I am always a glass-half-full kind of mom, but four kids in three different schools with after-school sports commitments have me living out of my Hyundai these days. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish my role as a parent and my ability to get my kids to and from their extracurriculars, but I don’t remember sports being this intense in our days! It’s like they’re training for the Olympics. And me? I’m the lackey making sure they get there on time with water, snacks, and all their gear. Every Sunday night I say a silent prayer for myself and all the parents reorganizing our schedule and doing the drop-off dance from school to sports and back again. But when prayer isn’t enough, I lean on these five easy tips to make sure we all survive in one piece. Here we go!
Get a Calendar and Stick to It
I can’t stress enough how important the calendar is. It’s the holy grail. I used to just keep it all in my head — the dates, the times, the places — and then one kid became two, two became four, and now half my life is spent trying to keep track of where they’re supposed to be and when. As soon as you have their school and sports schedule, put it in your calendar and stick to it. It will become a lifesaver.
Stock the Car With Snacks
When you’re on as tight of a schedule as we are, there’s no time for extra pitstops back home or to the grocery store for last-minute snacks. I make a point now to make sure the car has water bottles and easy, energizing snacks for the kids to munch on in between school, sports, and home. Could be fruit snacks, protein or granola bars, goldfish — stuff that’s easy to toss in the back seat!
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There are only so many hours in the day. At the beginning of the year or season, your kids may want to do it all. Heck, you may want them to do it all, too! But be realistic. It’s not just about having the time to do their chosen sport, but having the passion and the responsibility for the commitment. It can be a lot! Throw homework into the mix and it makes things even more complicated. Stick to what they love most and don’t overcommit their (or your) time.
Make Room for Family Time
Between school and sports and dance, sometimes I feel like my kids are more like roommates. I barely see them these days — only in small moments as I take them from one place to the next. Especially as they get older, it’s a priority for us to always make sure that no matter how crazy life gets, there’s still space for family time. We still make a point to have dinner together, to have movie nights, and make sure the weekend is full of fun activities (when we’re not at games or dance competitions, of course).
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Lean Into the Chaos
When all else fails, just lean in. Lean in and let go, parents! We’re not superheroes, we can only do so much. Sometimes we’ll fail! Sometimes we’ll forget the dance bag, the lacrosse sticks, the extra water. It’s life and it happens. When you’re slowly going crazy in the pick-up line, remember that there’s another parent right behind you doing the same. We’re all in this together!