This spring, my two girls are on a total of eight sports teams. They’re softball veterans, and decided to try lacrosse and field hockey since they’re sick of sitting on our couch and are still only allowed to socialize outdoors. Their being so busy tallies up some wins: They’re physically active, meeting new kids, trying new things, and so on. But from a parenting perspective, it tallies up some losses, too.

Back in the distant, dreamy days when my kids went to school in person, they gamely walked there. But God forbid they should walk to a practice. It’s as though one extra, optional moment of activity will break their backs. So I find myself in my car, apologizing to my coworkers for joining calls on speaker and apologizing to my kids for blaring through their Bluetooth. (I sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher to them: “Wah wah wah wah wah.”) Also, my husband coaches several of these teams. We only get to wave from one field to another.

For many parents, this is a normal part of life. For me, it’s a novelty. Last year, spring sports were largely canceled. In previous years, I was largely absent, either working or commuting while babysitters and other parents picked up the slack. But “novelty” has a positive connotation, and this . . . I’m not so sure. Keeping busy has its advantages. But eight teams at once? That might just be bananas.

Are your kids overscheduled? Or have you been able to find the Goldilocks zone—not too quarantined, not too frantic, but just right? Tell me about it, at andrea@time.com. I’ll ask Siri to read me your email while I drive someone to practice.


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