Unfortunately, my kids are being faced with more and more tough choices lately. And I don't know what to do about it.
My night to pick up the kids is Tuesday. A couple weeks ago "Levi" arranged to switch the night to Thursday because we had a soccer game that night. After we had already planned the change, his sisters decided to join Girl Scouts and of course the first meeting was that Thursday night.
So the girls were forced to choose between spending time with me and our family, including their baby brother "Gabe", or attending their activity. They chose Girl Scouts, which is fine.
Now this weekend Levi is invited to a birthday party. I can't drive him all the way back to the party and then pick him up and drive him all the way back. I offered to him that if he wanted to attend, his mom would have to transport him or else he could just stay with his mom the entire weekend. He chose to stay so that he could attend the party.
He will miss an indoor soccer game, and a 1-mile fun run that he has run the past 2 years.
Also coming up in the next few weeks are a Saturday morning art class the girls asked about, and tryouts (and eventually practices and games) for a travelling basketball team that Luke would like to join.
When we first divorced, their mother lived 10 minutes away in the adjoining school district, and it was no big deal to take them back and forth to activities in either area. But since she moved a little over a year ago, transportation has become a significant issue. It's a 1 1/2 hour round trip. With our busy schedules and the price of gas, I just can't be driving back and forth every day. Twice a week (Tuesday & Friday nights) is enough!
As the kids become involved in more and more activities, there will be more and more times when they have to choose. And I'm sure as they get older they will more often choose their friends over their family. And it breaks my heart.
But it is my intention to encourage them to be involved in the activities that they enjoy, as much as possible, and not to make them feel pressured or pulled in one direction.