April Jeppson: Always schedule time to be unscheduled

Published 9:13 pm Thursday, September 26, 2019

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

April Jeppson


Chatting with an out of town friend the other night, I mentioned how much I enjoy hanging out with my husband after the kids go to bed. There’s something about that hour or two that recharges me. My friend mentioned how tired she was. It was about 8:30, and they were just getting home from Scouts. She still needed to get her kids ready for bed and didn’t foresee much wind down time in her future. She said she wished her evenings weren’t so busy.

In a different conversation this week, one of my girlfriends and I were talking about how busy she was. She runs an in-home day care during the day, and then at night she alternates between working in the salon and her direct sales business. Oh, she also has four kids and needs to shuttle them to all of their practices and games. Then attend their games. Let’s not forget laundry and packing lunches. Did I mention that her husband insists on her packing his lunch as well? Long story not so long — she’s tired.

This is kind of a universal theme. It’s not just moms, it’s parents in general. My kids are between 5 and 11 years old. I’m assuming that being a parent continues to be hectic and busy, but I know for a fact that right now, it can be VERY busy.

There are so many activities to be involved in. It’s not just sports. Music lessons, Scouts, church, community. Everyone wants their child to be well rounded and adjusted. No one wants their kid to be the weird one, or left behind, so everyone is doing everything. I get it. You should see my weekly schedule just for myself. I love staying involved and busy, but where do we draw the line?

Albert Lea is still pretty small and everything is relatively close, but I know it can still get crazy for my friends. I’ve heard them talk about how Tuesdays are their only free night or how they can’t sit down for dinner until almost 7. I’ve seen how they have to drop one kid off at the field then immediately go and pick up another child at the dance studio. I’ve experienced first hand telling my husband to start dinner only to get a text back that says we only have hot dog buns but no hot dogs. Because oh yeah — we still have to find time to grocery shop.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do everything. Your kids don’t have to do everything. You are allowed to say no. Sure, your child might be bummed they don’t get to participate in xyz this season. But how much more will they appreciate the activities they do get to be in?

I don’t feel like I’m depriving my children of anything by keeping them home more than their friends. They each have their activity. They have their chores. They have Sunday school at church. They have the neighbor kids to play with after school. They get to play board games with their dad at night and dance around the living room when they annihilate him. My children are definitely not bored. Oh, and I get to spend some much needed time with my husband at the end of the day.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams.