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How To Keep Your Kids Active While Maintaining Your Work/Life Balance

Maintaining proper work/life balance is already difficult enough for any adult. When there are children in the mix, things become even more complicated as you suddenly find yourself battling opposing feelings of being too exhausted to do anything for yourself, and guilty for not having the energy to keep your kids involved in extracurricular activities.
Piper sponsors a children’s hockey team called Piper’s Fury, and we spoke with a husband & wife duo whose sons play for the team. Mary & Corrie have found their family’s perfect recipe to managing their careers, household, and keeping their children  both active and healthy. Find out how they work together to do it all & the tips they’d like to share with any parent struggling to juggle everything:
Mary: Teacher
Corrie: Information Technology Director
Kids’ Extracurricular Activities: Hockey and Baseball
What are game & practice days like in your household; have you all settled into a routine that allows you to be able to get home from work in a timely manner/your kids settled after school?
Mary & Corrie: Our hockey season usually begins in September and goes until the beginning of April. We are fortunate in that Corrie’s work day ends just before the kids come home from school. He makes dinner and if there is homework to do, it is done at that time. By the time I get home from work, the family is ready to eat together. While I clean up, the boys get their equipment ready to go and we head out to the rink. It really is all about routine-and Corrie’s ability to cook all of the weekday meals!

Do your kids do homework before or after school?
Mary: Since our boys do not get much homework, I asked another hockey parent, whose son does get homework, about their routine. Here is her response:
We do homework both after school and after a game (it depends on the amount.) We’ve found sometimes he just needs that break after school. He is usually energized after a game because of the exercise and is in a good place to focus. The biggest thing has been making sure he is establishing better time management skills so he is not leaving too much until the end and maximizing the class time provided. This has improved considerably after two tough lessons where he had to stay up late and get up early to complete (his work!)
Why do you feel it’s important to place kids in afterschool activities?
M&C: We believe that it is vital to have our kids in after-school activities. We feel that it has built lasting friendships, it has taught our boys tolerance of others, they have learned the importance of teamwork-it is the work of everyone that makes a team successful, it has given them the chance to take risks, they know what it feels like to win and lose, and no matter what the outcome, life goes on. Corrie is very involved in coaching so the boys have the added benefit of spending time with their Dad on the ice or at the ball diamonds. It’s always fun to hear and participate in the post-game or post-practice discussions that happen either on the way home or at home while having a snack before shower. Activities outside of school also gives the boys a chance to be proud of their abilities. They normally have a small cheering section of relatives at each game!

How do you find time for yourself outside of work and your children’s activities? 
M&C: Corrie and I made the decision early on to consider hockey and baseball family time. So, as we head out to a weekend tournament, we consider it a short family vacation. Perhaps the only difference from other families might be that our vacation includes snow and arenas! As for making time for ourselves, we are lucky enough to have family close by who love spending time with Carver and Raiden. For example, “Auntie Sue and Uncle Kev” will invite the boys for a campfire and sleepover and Corrie and I can use that time for ourselves. The strong bond that the boys have with their extended family means we don’t hear from them until they come back home. They are just too busy having fun!
Do your kids participate in extra curricular activities? If so, what are they involved in, and how do you build your family’s schedule? Let us know in the comments below!

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