Our family may be busy, but it’s worth it to support my kids.
This morning I opened the garage door to take my son to school and with that first step came the assaulting, suffocating sting of stench. I looked down to find my boy’s muddy, saturated cleats and rolled-up wet socks lying on the ground next to his soccer bag, water bottle, and wrappers from his favorite snack.
This was not surprising by any means. All the sports equipment–his dirty uniform, socks, shoes, and a vast array of my athlete’s items–are always left strewn on the ground in the garage because we can’t have that in our home.
The previous night, our Varsity soccer team had a game on the other side of the city, which happened to be in the unrelenting torrential rain. We debated going, thinking through the travel time and weather, wondering if the game would be canceled as soon as we got there.
But as any parent of an athlete knows, you don’t ever want to miss an opportunity to watch your kid do what they love, so we set out through the brutal traffic, enduring the long drive to watch the team compete under sheets of pouring rain.
And as soon as my son went in to play, they called the game due to the weather.
Ah, being a sports parent is fun, isn’t it?
You may also want to read: Why Our Family Is Okay With Our Teen’s Crazy Sports Schedule
It’s true. Sports can take up a lot of time.
But any sports parent reading this is probably nodding in solidarity because we all endure and enjoy this crazy, busy, maddening, and wonderful life we live with our athletes. On any given day, we are all most likely doing everything we can to support our kids in the sport they love.
We are constantly checking the schedule to see when and where the next game or match or meet is and how we can rearrange our own schedules to be there. We are scrolling through our inboxes opening weekly and daily emails from coaches and athletic directors, just trying to keep up with all the sign-ups and practice schedule changes, game information, and event regulations.
We show up, no matter how crappy we feel or how crappy the weather is, or how crappy life is because we would do pretty much anything to be there for our son or daughter. We’ll get up at ungodly hours and travel far to spend weekends away with our car packed full of a week’s worth of food and drinks, sports bags and chairs, sunblock and umbrellas, and layers of clothes. We’ll come back from these long weekends tired and grubby, sunburned or frost-bitten, to face the long week ahead.
We are constantly watching our tight budget because having a kid in any sport is expensive. We sacrifice what we can to manage the sports fees, ticket charges, hotel expenses, athletic-wear purchases, and all the ongoing fundraising donations and special event contributions we make to invest in the program and our players.
There’s more than just the games.
We deliver team meals and work at concession stands, we volunteer in countless ways to help run the events successfully and support our team. When we’re not watching our kid compete, we are showing up to volunteer at another sporting event, running ticket sales, concession stands, or logging stats.
We’ll fret about filling our kids’ ravenous appetite with whatever carbs or protein we can throw on their plates. Our kitchen is open all hours of the night because practices and games always end late and our kids come home tired and hungry and sometimes a little crabby. We stock up on bulk Gatorade and water, snacks, and pre-made meals to make our hectic, frazzled lives a little bit easier. And we frequent the fast-food drive-thrus and carry-out restaurants and pick up orders of their favorite food a little more than we’d like because sometimes it’s just easier after spending so many hours being away from home.
You may also want to read: Why Self Care Is One Of The Most Important Lessons We Can Teach Our Teens
But it’s not just the physical demands. It’s the emotional ones, too.
We’ll hear every detail of our athlete’s training; we’ll listen to all the new strategies or skill-building drills and how each player is doing. There are ongoing conversations about numbers and stats and PR times and how they are improving or not. We’ll have the scoop on all the other teams in our district and where our team stands.
We are praising our kids when they are excelling at their sport and working hard. We’re consoling them and counseling them through tough calls and painful setbacks, hard-fought losses, and the mistakes they made. Although we have other things going on in our lives, we understand that our kids’ sports are a big deal to them, so we make sure they feel heard and validated because we know, that’s what they need most of all.
We are reminding our athletes to ice or hydrate or rest, although they will tell us they know what’s best.
But often they don’t or they forget, so we tell them over and over again. We’re teaching them the critical skill of self-care, and this is a really hard lesson for them to learn. They need to figure out how to maintain their physical health and mental well-being; both can take a toll during their sports season.
Our kid’s uniforms and practice clothes are always soaking in the washer with whatever new magic potion that promises to take out the stains and the stench. It rarely does, so we wash them again. There are knotted socks and twisted jerseys, soaking wet towels, and dirt-covered cleats. There are bags that bulge with equipment shoved in, and garages full of sporting goods from years gone by that we plan on selling or giving away. Some day.
In addition to games and practices, we are schlepping our kids to pasta dinners and team building events and fundraisers, which can take up more time than our lives would allow.
And although our kids love their sports with every fiber of their being, we also remind them to study hard and support them in every other thing they may want to do.
On any given day, this is what sports parents do. It’s grueling and exhausting, exciting and fun.
And it’s worth all the sacrifices we make to watch our kids experience the incredible rewards and invaluable life lessons learned from it all.
This is a contributed post by Christine Carter. She writes at TheMomCafe.com, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration, and faith. Her work is published on several various online publications and she is the author of “Help and Hope While You’re Healing: A woman’s guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness.” and “Follow Jesus: A Christian Teen’s Guide to Navigating the Online World”. Both sold on Amazon.
We get it. We’re sports parents too. Here’s a few of our favorite products we’ve found help us have a better mindset–and be a little more comfortable on the sidelines.
The Parents Manual of Sport Psychology: A Practical Guide To Achieving Athletic SuccessSport-Brella Vented SPF 50+ Sun and Rain Canopy Umbrella for Beach and Sports Events (8-Foot, Red)Mental Toughness For Young Athletes (Parent’s Guide): Eight Proven 5-Minute Mindset Exercises For Kids And Teens Who Play Competitive Sports101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent: Making Athletics a Positive Experience for Your ChildChanging the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to our KidsEasyGoProducts CoverU Sports Shelter –Weather Tent Pod – Patented (2 People-Black)Heated Stadium Seats for Bleachers with Back Support – USB Battery Included – Upgraded 3 Levels of Heat – Foldable Chair – Cushioned, 4 Pockets for Snacks, Cup Holder – for Camping, Games & SportsNaanle Sport Baseball Canvas Tote Bag Large Women Casual Shoulder Bag Handbag, Softball Baseball Lace Reusable Multipurpose Heavy Duty Shopping Grocery Cotton Bag for Outdoors.Arctic Zone Titan Deep Freeze Rolling Cooler – High Performance – 60 Can Capacity (Blue)Baseball mom Shirts for Women American Flag Raglan Softball Shirts for Women Baseball mom Hoodie Baseball mom Sweatshirt Sports mom Shirt Softball Sweatshirts for Women Love Baseball mom BaseballI Raised My Favorite Athlete Sports Mom Dad Gift ShirtSwimWays Kelsyus Original Foldable Canopy Chair for Camping, Tailgates, and Outdoor Events, Grey/Blue , 37Mac Sports RF904DR-100 Diamond Rocker Chair, Steel Blue
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission when you purchase an item from this post. We only recommend what we love!