I didn’t like it, but I did it.

Today was Wednesday and this means a crazy night. I have an on going frustration wtih the scheduling of meetings that are “church endorsed.” For me, the frustration falls in the fact that these meetings are the ones that my children are “expected” to attend and yet they are the most difficult to predict and get to. Why? Because of scheduling conflicts between the meetings in the various groups.

Today, I am going to pick a word that I’d like to stress as a thing that is good to have from time to time – consolidation. I’ll pick the definition that matters to me right now. Consolidation is a derivative of the word consolidate which is the simple definition I’ll include here:

consolidate: (verb) combine

ORIGIN early 16th cent. (in the sense [combine into a single whole]): from Latin consolidare, from con- ‘together’ + solidare ‘make firm’ (from solidus ‘solid’).

Why do I think consolidation is important? I do, that’s all that really matters. Alright, I’ll confess that it is because I really get irritated with things that can be consolidated and aren’t, especially when it puts undue taxation on my time.

That being said, the frustration continues…two related groups and their meetings overlap (are at the same time) and are in 2 different locations. It boggles my mind how this happens every year. Do people just not think? Or is it that they don’t care?

When I say anything I get looked at like I sprouted antenna or that I turned purple suddenly or something. Am I speaking another language that no one understands?

Don’t tell me that gas costs too much. I spend the money on the gas that goes into my gas tank, I know exactly how much costs. I changed my driving habits to help compensate for the fact that my children needed to be at these meetings. Instead of dropping off and going home, I sit and wait where it is more efficient. Yes, it might mean I sit and wait for an hour, but I bring something to entertain myself…you know, something to do.

Don’t tell me the drive is too far. I make the same drive. It might be a bit further and a bit more of a sacrifice, but sometimes we have to make sacrifices. Sacrificing for the right reasons typically yields blessings.

Don’t tell me that sometimes you just have to decide who isn’t going. Which child do I pick? The one that will be disappointed? I believe that will be all of them. Hmmm. Yep, that’s my choice I won’t take any of them if I can’t take one. If it isn’t going to be fair for one of them, it won’t be fair for all of them. You pick the child, I won’t.

My ideal situation would be to consolidate all those meetings and put them on the same day, at the same time, at the same location. Done! Now, I am not saying that every meeting should be on the same day, but like meetings…the young women and young men groups get this right…except the scouts and cub scouts seem to be oblivious to the rest of the world and of each other. The biggest conflict is often between the 2 groups.

I DO NOT want to drive in 2 different directions to get my kids to church meetings. It shouldn’t be expected of me either.

There are many of us with multiple kids in different age brackets. There, I said it, some of us don’t have all of our kids under the age of 8! In fact, I have 2 over the age of 8 now. The scheduling of meetings has only gotten worse as they have gotten older. The fact is, there is no reason for it. Pick a night for all youth activities, pick the location (a single location), pick the time. You’ve got all your parents of multiple kids taken care of and consolidated into a single trip. For us, one of us stays with the younger child at home where he is best suited. He isn’t waiting around doing nothing. While we manage when it is unavoidable, it is always best that he be in his own zone instead of bored out of his mind and expected to not run around and be on his best behavior. At home he can spend one on one time with the parent that stays with him. It is no fun to get in the car to take his brother to yet another activity that he doesn’t get to do. It is no fun to get in the car and go and come back. It is even less fun to go in the car and wait and come back.

Do no deviate from the selection except for special circumstances…every time is not a special circumstance.

The biggest complaint with my trying to schedule activities outside of “church endorsed” activities is that I have flexibility with the “outside” activities. I can move them around and I do and I have and I will. I have flexibility. The target keeps moving and it frustrates me to no end. Cub Scout pack meeting was on Thursday. The boys had piano on Thursday, so I moved their piano lessons to Friday. Then pack meeting got moved to Friday. The list goes on and on. I move those outside activities and the church meetings get moved again. I am tired of being flexible. I’ve done it, it hasn’t worked for me.

All I ask for is a target that doesn’t move and I don’t have to aim at in the dark. This includes changing locations at the last minute. If you call me with 2 hours notice it is going to upset me. If it is an emergency, OK, but it had better be a good emergency not one where you stubbed your toe and it hurts too much to wear a shoe.

I simply want a target that doesn’t move. I want something that is consistent and something that is convenient so that I WANT to take my child and I ENJOY taking my child and I don’t dread the very thought of the activity and all meetings related to it.

Is that too much to ask?

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