I saw an ad for it again today. The Cherry Blossom Festival. Our family would like to go, we see the festival advertised every year. And… every year we miss it.
Parenting brings forgetfulness, far busier schedules, and less free time. But it also brings a mountain of fun. Parades, festivals, state and national parks, aquariums, museums, zoos… the list of things I’ve found more fun with kids is innumerable. Sometimes there’s so much fun stuff for families to do that choosing one is difficult!
How do we, as parents of young children and babies, manage to find, plan, and participate in fun activities for our family and still be able to enjoy it ourselves?
Our key seems to be balance. When I overbook, my husband is irritable, my child is tired, and I’m overtaxed and frustrated. We have responsibilities and schedules like anyone, but now I’ve toned it down a bit. I make sure some weekends are free, with no plans for 2 days. This is not often since we like staying active and keeping our child active as well. We participate in events closer to home more often. I no longer plan several things in one weekend. If anyone feels tired or unwell, we stop.
In the past we have kept going no matter what. I remember a trip out of state when I was sick, running a fever, and we just kept on and did the planned activities. It was a struggle! Another time my mom, daughter, and I were on an overnight trip and my daughter, 3 at the time, slept very poorly in the hotel. This was so unusual for her; despite her lack of sleep I wanted to barrel through and continue on to the museum. You can well imagine how that went! And it was no one’s fault but my own. But we live and learn, and sooner or later we figure out what works for ourselves and our families!
So we will plan this year to go see the Cherry Blossoms. I will hope to make it to the Parade and another activity. But if we can’t for some reason? Well, there’s always next year…