Why I don’t feel guilty for being excited about that.
If you are a fellow sports parent, especially with multiple children- I probably don’t have to explain any farther. You already know.
So our “sports year” goes from August-June. Yes. August-June. Let me give you a quick glimpse of that schedule.
- Starting in August is football season for our oldest, S. Practice is Monday-Friday 5:30-8 pm & Saturday 11-1ish usually. Come September, the games begin which is typically an all day Saturday event. This lasts until Halloween.
- Also starting in September is Dance classes for the youngest, K. This schedule isn’t quite as extensive because she only goes for an hour a week. Dance “season” however is a school year, so this lasts all the way until the end of June.
- Starting in November, (right as football ends) our middle one, G, begins wrestling season. This schedule is similar to football. It begins as Monday-Thursday-Friday, but then when tournaments begin in December, it picks up to every day. And those tournaments….All day Sundays. This seems to feel like the longest season of all- going all the way into March.
- Come March, we get about 2 weeks off and then baseball begins. Both boys are in baseball. This season gets complicated for a few reasons. First is that sometimes the boys will have a game at the same time yet different places. Second is that their schedule isn’t as set in stone as the other sports. Their games are every Saturday but also sometimes during the week. Sometimes there are practices throughout the week on the evenings that they don’t have a game. Third reason is that with the dance school gearing up for the big recital, the amount of time we have to be at the dance studio picks up as well. Baseball ends mid-June & dance ends after the recital at the end of the month.
- We get the lovely month of July to ourselves, before we start all over again for the next “sports year.” It’s no wonder that’s the month we chose to get married.
If that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. And get this, we’ve never ever missed a single game or tournament.
So why do we do it to ourselves?
The most obvious reason is for the kids. They like to do these things and we like to make them happy. Easy enough right? All parents want to make their kids happy.
But it’s much deeper than that. For everyone.
We watch them learn.
Nothing is more exciting then watching them do something new out on the field. We love how happy they are when they come home and show us a new move that they mastered. This is stuff that I can’t teach them. I can teach them a lot of things, but when it comes to sports… I got nothing.
We watch them lose, a lot.
This is obviously the hardest part. No one likes to see their child or their child’s team lose. But, it happens. There are a lot of things in life that will be disappointing and there are healthy ways to handle that. Sometimes it gets emotional and that’s okay. Talking through those times helps them learn how to handle the disappointing feelings of losing.
We also watch them win!
That is so exhilarating! There is nothing like the look on their face when they or their team gets a win. Sometimes us as parents even get a bit emotional!
This helps them learn about hard work.
Even after losing, they’ve never given up. They have learned that you get back up and keep trying. Towards the end of the season, we’re all tired. But they keep on going and always stick it through. When they pull off that win, they know it’s because they kept pushing, working hard, and trying.
They are doing something.
Sports keep them busy, but not too busy. They aren’t at home getting bored and fighting with each other every day or playing an x-box for hours on end. Having them in these activities keeps them moving, active, and socializing with other children and adults.
They are learning to be there for each other.
While our schedule is intense- the kids aren’t always going. During football season G is not in anything, but he goes to the games to support his brother. During wrestling season S is not in anything, so vice versa, he goes to most wrestling tournaments to support his younger brother. Little miss K goes to everything, but we will all be in the auditorium to watch her recital. It’s sometimes hard for the kids to sit through all of these things because their attention span is shorter than ours, but they are building deep sibling relationships by supporting each other in everything. (Plus we usually bring a bag of goodies to try and keep the little ones busy.)
They are building so many other life skills.
- Punctuality- They learn about being on time. This is never perfect. Sometimes we fail to get them where they need to be exactly on time, but I’ll be darned if I don’t sure try. They are only 11, 6, and 4 so they can’t be responsible for that part on their own yet. That comes from all 3 of us parents showing them our determination to do whatever we need to do to get all 3 children where they need to be. (And let me tell you, some days none of this would be possible if we didn’t have a 3 parent “household.”)
- Teamwork- No matter what activity we are talking about they learn that it takes more than 1 person to get the job done.
- Responsibility- As the children get older, we give them more responsibility in making sure that they have what they need. I do take the mom role in making sure uniforms and clean and ready, but it is their responsibility to get dressed, make sure they have all the right bags, and equipment before it is time to leave. MOST of the time, they do pretty well.
- Time management- They’ve heard more than once, our conversations about where they need to be, which parent was going to be with which child, and who needs to be dropped off at what time. Their part in this is being dressed on time. Time management is another skill that us adults demonstrate and we hope that all 3 of them will develop as teens. The oldest, S, has also seen my planner. I would never keep track of any of this, if I didn’t have my planner color-coded (picture attached). Orange spots are S’s games. Green spots are G’s. Pinks are K’s. Yellows are my work responsibilities (I work in administration for a school district so my work schedule also picks up in May for the end of the year) and blues are Personal events. Everyone develops their own way to stay organized, but mine can at least be an example.
They make friendships and so have we!
While 99% of this is about the children, some of it can be about us too! The sports that the boys play are through the city, so they’ve played with the same groups of kids for years- during all sports. This has allowed them to get to know some of their team mates pretty well. They go through all of the ups and downs of team work with kids they know and trust. We’ve also built some relationships with those kids’ parents. We’ve attended birthday parties, watched little siblings grow up, talked about our crazy schedules, complained about coaches in the stands, and celebrated wins together. It makes it nice to have other adults to spend time with, while spending all of your time at various sports.
So. We do this all for our lovely children with the best intentions…. But us parents……surprise!
WE ARE STILL HUMAN.
We get tired.
We sometimes hope that a day or 2 gets cancelled because of rain or lightning.
We hope the game or tournament goes by really fast because we have a million other things to do.
We also sometimes just get a little bored. (Personally, baseball season is hard for me. It’s just not my sport. However, football season is different story. I love football and don’t mind at all sitting in the bleachers all day to watch multiple football games. Wrestling I’m completely clueless about so I just go with the flow and listen to my husband’s commentary.)
We just want a day where there is nothing to do & nowhere to be.
& I don’t feel guilty at all for feeling any of those things. Nobody should. Becoming parents doesn’t turn us into robotic creatures with no feelings or emotions. I can feel all these things at once. I can proudly parade around wearing all of my picture day buttons, wearing our team shirts and cheering in the stands. But at the same time, I can definitely enjoy the days that we get to stay home and just do whatever. And that’s okay.
So with that being said, I am going to go enjoy my no practice-no game-no tournament-no recital lovely month of July. Cheers! 🙂
(but I can’t wait for football season!)