Guest Author - Lisa Polovin Pinkus
Children who play sports create moms who watch sports. Blending a child’s soccer schedule into the weekly routine can be challenging, especially if you have multiple children with various interests.
With any team sport, there is usually one to two practices a week with a game on the weekend. When children are still young, moms often find themselves dragging all the children to one child’s sports activities. It can be difficult to entertain the younger children while watching the older children participate in their beloved sport.
Here are some ideas for making the group adventure a fun experience for everyone:
Bring a book. If you value daily reading, sitting at a sports event is the perfect time for your other children to do some reading. Make sure you always carry a book as well. Then, when practice runs late, you can get through a few extra pages while you are waiting.
Pack snacks. Not only might your team player get hungry during his workout, you can fill some time for your other children by offering them a snack. The Fridge To Go is an excellent way to pack cheese sticks, carrots and hummus, or frozen yogurt tubes. The Fridge To Go is different than other portable coolers because its walls are made of non-removable ice packs. My Fridge To Go lasts six hours in heat of an Arizona summer day.
Pack things to do. I recommend packing a “sports backpack” filled with various games and activities to be used only during sports outings. Depending upon whether it’s an indoor or outdoor sporting event, I pack different items in my to go bag. If we were watching an outdoor soccer game, for example, I might pack a ball for my younger children to kick around, or some shovels and pails, or travel tic-tac-toe. If we were indoors, I might pack dominos, a drawing pad, or an iPod with headphones. Keeping your children busy and happy will allow you to watch the game without too many interruptions.
Be prepared. Bathroom breaks and the need for your attention seem to occur more frequently in a one-hour period at a baseball game than during other normal hours. Don’t expect to devote all your attention to the game or to the book you brought with you. Know that this time is “children time”, and go with the intention of watching the sports event and being with your other children.
Anticipate what lies ahead. Think about what will happen as soon as you arrive home. Will it be time for dinner? Prepare dinner ahead of time so all you have to do is warm it up. Is there a lot of gear to unpack and/or wash? Help your children learn the habit of putting things when you get home and getting dirty clothes ready for the laundry. When they are able to help you, you are able to focus on the family’s routine.
Being a sports mom is an exciting part of motherhood. We are proud of our children’s successes; we cringe at their learning challenges on the field; we delight in their joy of the game. Unfortunately, we cannot always immerse ourselves in the practices or games due to our responsibility to our other children. Hopefully, the tips above have helped you think of ways to manage sports schedules so that you can enjoy the game, keep your other children happy, and make the transition back home smoothly and efficiently.
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