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Parents with large families...

Mabel Mae

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How do you keep a balance?!


I have four boys and one girl and every night after school we have dancing for her. The balance is just so unfair on my boys but then I've been told she has amazing potential so I can't say no to the training can I?! If I had the money I would consider a dedicated dance school where she could board but then surely she'd miss out on growing up with her brothers?


Perhaps in the future I can look into scholarships for her and in the meantime one of her younger brothers has decided to take ballet as we are at the studios so much!


Just wondering how other parent's coped with it?


Oh I should add I am a single parent so have nobody to sit home with the boys and we generally sit in the car with the DVD player or do homework whilst she dances!

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Mabel Mae,


Is it possible for you to find activities for your sons in the area of your daughter's ballet school? We have done this with much success for many years and it has also reduced traveling in many directions.


If not, is there a park nearby where they can play while they wait for their sister to finish her class?

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Any grandparents around who could help out maybe one night a week taking the boys to an activity??


I do feel for you, I can't imagine how we would cope with activities if we had another child and that's with two parents around!

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Oh, I feel for you! It's hard with just one sibling! The year my husband was away and I was a sort of single mom was insanity! The sad truth - you can do your best to find activities for the boys near dance. You can make sure that summers are totally devoted to them while she is at SI's. But really, there isn't a balance. My son knows that dance is a short-lived field and that he just has to "suck it up" (American slang for accepting what you can't change) and realize that the bulk of the family $$, time and attention go to sister. We tell him it's his job to support her and applaud her (and sit through endless classes and rehearsals). In return, it's her job to recognize and applaud his generosity in time and stoicism. Ballet is truly a family business and a family commitment.

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What about taking them to the library while sis is in class? I'm afraid that if they're stuck in the car all the time they'll start to resent their sister. There were 4 of us kids when I was growing up, but Dad did things with my siblings while Mom took me to ballet every day.

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I agree with Yankee, is there a park or playground nearby? Playing football or just running around in the fresh air will be fun. Boys often don't get enough of this at school these days, they will enjoy the freedom even if raining - take waterproofs - and then only go indoors if it is really stormy weather. A friend of mine said she had to think of her son like an active dog - he needed exercising every day!

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Guest balletandsynchro

Mabel Mae,

When my DD was at an intermediate level, and my younger daughter said she didn't want to dance anymore, I found a pool near the dance studio. They had speed swim and synchronized swimming (hence my screen name!) It has been several years since that time, but perhaps if your boys like to swim, there is a pool near the studio with a speed swim program. Just one more idea!


(Edited by me to fix a typo)

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I think carpools are the best thing after sliced bread. If you can find another mom for carpool, you would be free every other evening to be with your boys. Just a thought.

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How old are you boys? Is there anyway they can have some playdates with some of their mates? Maybe before her dance class or during???

If they can have some time with their friends they'll feel less restless,

you'll feel less stress, and hopefully your boys may better understand why they have to sacrifice. Since you'll be making an effort to do something nice for them too.


It's great that your younger son wants to take ballet - maybe you'll have another Billy Elliot on your hands, meaning another child with hidden talents in the family!


Another thought....do you have any neighbors that can take the boys sometimes? We've got an old fashioned neighborhood - everyone helps each other out around here ( kids, yardwork, borrowing cups of sugar,etc)


BT4D is a really great and supportive community, another old fashioned neighborhood, so to speak....We feel your angst, just know we're all here to listen and support you! :devil:

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Mabel Mae-


You have been given some really wonderful suggestions and I hope they work for you. I am also the mum of a large family, in fact very large. When dd was younger and still needing transport to ballet, her younger brother would often watch and did end up dancing for a while.


While we waited, we sometimes did the grocery shopping nearby. Other times we had a walk or went to the park. My husband is British; we always have a football in the boot. School work was frequently done as well. There were some after school sports programs available and we took full advantage.


These days seem hectic but they will pass sooner than you think. I've only 1 left at home and dd is away at university. Hang in there. You've lots of support on the board.

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