Emma Hollingworth: A hectic social diary for the kids means it’s hard work – but hopefully it will pay off in the future

Have your say

SOMETIMES I feel like I am operating a taxi service for my children. Every night there is a different event or activity that I am running one child or other to.

She may well be only seven-years-old, but my eldest daughter has a packed life.

On Monday she goes to tap class. On Tuesday there is French closely followed by recorder lessons. Wednesday is swimming (we did have yoga that day as well but it didn’t seem to be having the calming influence on her that we had hoped). Thursday we have a break but Friday is busy with art group and ballet lessons. The weekend is no easier as on Sundays she is up at a local farm having riding lessons.

And now she wants piano lessons – let’s hope the music teacher can do Thursdays as that is the only window left!

Already I have said no to Rainbows, as it clashes with swimming, but once she goes into juniors next year I am sure she will want to join Brownies.

But guess who has to make sure she gets to these things? Yep that’s right, Muggins here – me.

Not only do I have to bundle her and her various necessary baggage for each lesson into the car, but I also have to drag two other tired, cross and hungry siblings along as well.

The lessons often only last just over half an hour which means either staying nearby – but this means letting the smaller two wreak havoc while they wait – or, which I tend to do, rushing back home and frogmarching the kids into the house for a very quick pit stop before dragging them, usually under protest, back out to the car to go and get their sister.

When you have your first child you can’t wait for them to be part of all these various clubs and events as you want them to have every opportunity going. But despite all our well meaning intentions of making sure all three have exactly the same opportunities in life, I have yet to sign the middle one up to any clubs apart from his weekly music lesson.

I am sure I can’t put things off for long. And then it will be the smallest one’s turn as well. Hopefully by that time the eldest will be fine to get herself to her activities.

However, I do think all these things will be a great thing for the children in the long run, despite my grumbles.

The eldest is fit and healthy and most of that is because she does a lot of physical activity. She also spends ages riding her bike.

She often takes a tumble over the handle bars and has had quite a fall from her horse when cantering. But nothing is deterring her from her love of sports.

I firmly believe all children should be out and about doing as much physical activity as possible.

And with the London 2012 Olympic Games just round the corner what better time to encourage them to aim high.

Sheffield City Council is already urging volunteers to help staff the UK School Games, Britain’s biggest multi-sport event. For more details on how to get involved visit: http://www.sheffield-lightingtheflame.com/