The Life Of a Sport Mom

A jam-packed sports schedule from dawn till dusk? Just another day for the sport mom.

The Life Of a Sport Mom

A jam-packed schedule from dawn till dusk? Just another day for the sport mom.

Dry erase boards. Wall calendars. Smartphone apps. Random little scraps of paper torn from the back of junk mail envelopes. These are some of the tools used by modern mothers in an attempt to organize the hectic schedules of their children.

If your kids play sports, you're all too familiar with how tough it can be. As a sports mom, you're in charge of all the details, big and small. You know which day Jimmy has baseball practice and what time Jane has gymnastics. You juggle the conflict that arises when one has a team meeting at the same time the other has a big game. You memorize the shortest route to practice fields, backup practice fields and indoor practice fields in case of bad weather.

But it's not even as simple as perfecting your kids' routines. You also need to know all their teammates' names, where they live and how long you'll have to wait in each child's driveway when it's your turn to drive carpool. You spend so much time on the road shuffling kids from place to place, halfway through the season you consider bringing your pillow and just living in the car, once and for all.

Assuming you can keep up with the challenges of transportation, there's also the small matter of gear. Sports gear comes in five categories:

  • Difficult to fit in the trunk (e.g. hockey sticks, football pads)
  • Heavy. (e.g. bowling balls, ice skates)
  • Impossible to carry (e.g. mesh bags full of volleyballs, more than three baseball bats)
  • Expensive (e.g. lacrosse helmets, bicycles)
  • All of the above (e.g. golf clubs, skis)

Then, when you finally get it into your vehicle, you have to take it back out and make room for someone else's equipment in time for the next practice.

Unlike sports gear, the sports attire you lug around comes in only one category: smelly. Everything from track pants to jerseys, athletic socks to cleats, wet swimsuits to leotards have to get packed up, too. That includes the drive home after practice, when nothing is quite as fresh as it was when you pulled out of the driveway.

As the sports mom, it's your responsibility to wash the clothes and sprinkle baking soda in the shoes, making sure it's all ready to go for next time. You need to know the location of every tutu and pair of goggles, and try not to lose your cool when you have to make a second trip anyway because someone forgot their running shorts.

On top of that, you add the gear a sports mom needs for herself at her kids' events. With your folding chair, water bottles and cooler full of nutritious team snacks crammed into the backseat next to five giggling soccer players, their bags of stuff, and the clods of dirt being transferred from their cleats to your upholstery, it's practically a miracle when the minivan doors actually slide closed with everything safely inside.

Being a sports mom is no easy task. There's always one more place to go, one more thing to pack and one more person to pick up. It often feels like the baggy uniform at the beginning of the season is hopelessly grass-stained by the second game and completely outgrown by the third. Some days, when you're tired and the car is full of damp, dirty sports paraphernalia and the loud voices of rowdy children, you feel like taking the long way home just to avoid passing any fast food restaurants or ice cream stands.

But you stick with it.

Why? Because of the smile that lights up her face when she masters a new skill. Because you see him encourage a teammate, stop to help an opponent who tripped or excitedly high-five the coach. Because you love it when they focus on a goal, but you also love the way they wave at you from third base. Because you're proud of them, and with each step onto their chosen playing field, they're learning to be proud of themselves. Those are things you would never trade or give up.

Not even for a quiet minivan with clean upholstery.

Also, learn how your child can balance sports and studies here.

Read useful child care tips here.

Read interesting ways to spend time with your family and improve your family life here.


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