We were three weeks into our family’s Spring sports schedule, and I was ready to throw in the towel!
While studying this month’s calendar on the side of the fridge, I realized that on average we would have approximately two hours at home each evening. Two hours to make the dinner, cleanup the dinner, do the laundry, put away the laundry, clean the kids, catch up with one another, finish homework, etc.! Two measly hours! How were we going to survive May?
I am admittedly new to the “Sports mom shuffle.” This is the first year that both of my children have participated on multiple organized teams, but I’ve quickly learned that this shuffle is not for the faint of heart. Here are my 10 tips for survival:
- Lower Expectations. For everything. There are simply not enough hours in the day to get everything done on a normal day. When you cut that time down to two hours…psssshh it’s almost laughable. The house will not be spotless. Veggie sticks might be the vegetable with dinner. Folded laundry might never make it to the drawers. It’s ok.
- Simplify Dinner. You will not be serving seven course dinners this season, Mama. Time to work your magic with the Crockpot, Instant Pot, and frozen entrees. I also try to do batch cooking on Sundays to help with meal prep. Of course, one family member will inevitably ask, “leftovers again?” Sorry, kids!
- Think Comfort. Nowhere is Athleisure wear a more acceptable fashion statement then at your kid’s practice or game. You will inevitably be spending hours on bleachers, lounging in the grass, or running drills. Invest in some comfortable active wear and team spirit gear. My pencil skirt for work makes for a terrible “momiform.”
- Michigan Weather. Be prepared for every weather phenomenon known to man. Parkas, umbrellas, sunscreen, rain boots, mittens, and sunglasses were all used by my family in a one week span here in Michigan. You can never be over-prepared for the spring weather conditions.
- Equipment Bags. With this season’s crazy schedule, I have found that having a dedicated bag for each kid and activity minimizes the last minute chaos. Mitt, batting gloves, bat, and sunflower seeds stay in the baseball bag. Shin guards, gloves, and ball stay in the soccer bag. Ideally, this eliminates the last minute search for lost equipment.
- Maximize Drive Time. During the busy seasons, this time becomes vary valuable. We catch up on the day-to-day happenings with the kids. Who had a substitute teacher today? Who did you play with at recess? What was the hardest thing about today? These little chats keep us engaged with each other. This time is also used to study. We have a bin of math flash cards, “snap” words, and brain puzzlers that the kids work on. They like to quiz each other, and we have found that this quick practice is so beneficial.
- Organize, Organize, Organize. Snack schedules, picture days, practice times, games, clinics, and fundraisers can easily get lost in the day to day business. My suggestion is to write them down on a sharable calendar. Whether you use a family calendar app, Google Calendar, or go old school and handwrite it down. Figure out a system that works for your family. Make sure to triple check the coming schedule at the beginning of each week and trouble shoot and conflicts.
- Divide and Conquer. You can’t do it all. Well, actually you can, but you don’t have to. Enlist the help of willing grandparents and other family members. When our schedules are this busy, other people are missing spending time with my sweet kiddos. My kids’ grandparents love to help and feel needed. If you are running yourself ragged and simply need some time, just ask. The worst they can say is no.
- Clear Your Social Calendar. Sad but true. My friends will have to catch up with me on the ball field or wait until the end of season.
- Enjoy the Chaos. We’ve all heard it, or read it, or lived it. Soon enough there will be no one at home that needs a ride to practice or grass stains removed from jerseys. And for that reason I will not wish this season away. I will count my blessing and learn to not only survive…but to savor the “sport’s mom shuffle.”
Are you currently doing the “Sports Mom Shuffle”? Share your tips and tricks!