School is quickly approaching for youth around Indianapolis, many of whom are involved in activities in and outside of school. Not only can balancing school work and extracurriculars be difficult for students, but it can be equally as difficult, if not not more so, for parents.
Parents are often responsible for attending games, concerts, recitals and plays, along with being a chauffeur for their children. How can parents possibly balance work, home and their child’s active lifestyle?
For Victoria Bigsby, a mother of three, time management is vital in making sure her children’s needs are met while keeping the flow of her busy lifestyle.
“Often times taking my children back and forth to their activities can be stressful, especially with four kids,” Bigsby said. “I just make sure that I plan out everything strategically so that I am fully aware of everything I have to do.”
Her children are involved in activities, which can conflict with each other.
“Our family typically has a problem with sports games overlapping with other activities,” Bigsby said. “My husband and I have to take turns taking our kids to different things. Sometimes both of us can’t be at games or a program, but as long as one of us is there to support them, we are satisfied.”
Having one child can be a difficult task for many, so having three children, as Bigsby put it, can be “a lot to handle.”
“Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed or stressed, I just try to remind myself that my children are my purpose,” Bigsby added. “Saying that to myself makes it all worth it in the end.”
Scheduling time for active children can be especially difficult for single parents like Shana Smith, 42, who has to work many hours throughout the week. Smith has two children ages 10 and 13, both are in sports and participate in other clubs and activities that sometimes conflict with one another.
“My children mean everything to me and I want to do what makes them happy, but it can be hard to prioritize time for myself,” Smith said.
Many parents rely on school transportation to get their children back and forth from activities, which gives parents one less thing to worry about. However, not all school districts provide after-school transportation, or there are times when parents must handle travel.
“My son takes an activity bus to his practices, but any other outside program I have to schedule out time myself to take him,” Smith said
Without a mode of transportation provided by the school or program, how do busy single parents manage taking their children?
“My kids come first in my life, so even if I don’t have much time to myself I just put my needs aside and focus on them,” Smith said. “If I’m not able to take them because of work, I ask a trusted family member or friend. This is really where having a good support system comes in handy.”
Parents with busy children know this is a part of childrearing, and it will be over before you know it. In the long run, the sacrifices are worth it
“I do everything I am able to do for my kids, and that wouldn’t be possible without a good support system behind my back,” Smith said. “Whether it’s sports, clubs, dances, I will find a way to make it happen if it means making them happy.”
Contact newsroom intern Adriana Brown at 317-924-5143.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly attributed Victoria Bigsby's quotes to the wrong person. The article has been updated to correct the error.