Today I am going to address something personal and close to home not only for me, but for many large families who are noticing that they cannot keep up with the small families who have every one of their children on a recreational team this season.
We have a large family. I cannot find it right now, but I know I read somewhere once that a large family chose to replace community league recreational t-ball, softball and baseball, with going to play at a baseball diamond as a family. This sounds so much better for my family than what we are trying to do right now.
With a large family, community recreation league ball means that every child has different practices and different locations for practices, sometimes on different days but sometimes the same day at the same time. This splits up the family, but since we cannot leave the younger children home alone, we must take everyone along and let the younger kids play on the playground. For a mother who has dishes to do and cannot be there with the dishes and dishwater, this is a ridiculous waste of 2 hours a day and 6 days a week (12 hours a week)!
This would not be a big deal were it one practice or game once a week, but we have a large family. It is too much. It is every single night. Many nights, it is a few games a night or a few practices per night. We are never home in the evenings. We do not have time to make dinner, eat dinner and clean up dinner together. We do not have time to clean the house and prepare for the next day of homeschooling, which is really very important. It is also very exhausting. I have no prep time to prepare for the next day of homeschooling. We have no time to fold and put away laundry.
When my husband and I are watching and caring for the children not in the game or practice, and also watching the child in the game, we really am not getting the kind of workouts we would get were we actually running fast and hard. We mostly watch and stand still. We do a bit of chasing of a toddler or preschooler now and then, but it is not enough for the workout we need.
We like having our kids play basketball and baseball. We like our kids to swim. I think we need to find a free court once a week in which to play basketball, just us, in basketball season, together as a whole family. I think we can find a spare field in the spring and summer and early fall to play baseball together as a whole family. We can get a yearly family membership in the local swimming pool and teach our kids to swim. Our family really is large enough. We could do it! I really think we should. All of us would be scheduled at the same time and all of us could participate and exercise. It would be a unifying family time of exercise and the children would even get more participation time.
If we want it to be a larger social thing for the children, it can be. I know there are other families that would love to join us and have their entire family play ball at the same time, along with our family. Extended family and friends would gladly join in if invited. Strangers would see us and ask if they can join in. At the pool, we will have other children all around us. We will not be isolated socially.
Pictures? Yes, photos are wonderful. We can also snap photos, just like we do with rec sports and swim lessons. We can create a different kind of family memories. After all, we are different, being that we have a large family and we homeschool our children.
Our family is large and a large family is not extinct but rare. Large family living does not fit into the culture of the world around us. We have to be creative and have a different lifestyle than that of the mainstream. We have to figure out how to live a large family life in a way that makes our family happy and healthy, spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and socially. This is my solution. I hope we can do it after this year’s obsessive baseball season is over! This mom is fed up with recreational sports. They just do not work with large family life at all!
Related post, which I commented on: