Before my son was born, I knew that the first activity I wanted my son to do was swimming. I have such fond memories of when I went to swim lessons and we made lifelong friends at swim class when I was young and I wanted to do the same with my son. So when he turned five months old I tried to register him at our local YMCA for swim lessons.
I soon found out that even at five months old, signing your kid up for activities is a ruthless game.
I was not a member at our local YMCA as I do not need a gym membership. I have my own gym in my basement. Since I was not a member of the YMCA, we had to wait a few extra weeks to sign up. I had called about two days before to find out if they had swimming lessons still open and they did. So on the day that non-members could sign up, I called early in the morning and tried to sign up my son. Of course all the classes were filled.
The woman on the phone then tried to explain I could just sign up my son to be a member and pay a price for him each month so that next time I could sign up for swim lessons a few weeks earlier. She even tried to convince me that it would be cheaper based on the membership price. However, as I do teach math four hours a day at school, it is much more expensive to pay the membership and then pay for the swim lessons. However, it does spread out the cost.
I was hoping that it would take some years before I had to get into the competitive race of spending money to sign my kid up for an activity. I also wish that as a culture, we did not have to pay to sign up early for everything. Families already have so many extra costs to pay, that having to pay an additional fee to sign up for swim lessons seem unfair to all.
Listen to my podcast, episode 6 to hear more and let us know your thoughts about your kids and activities. And yes, I will be having my son join as a member and paying more for his swim lessons in December.
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