Monday, February 25, 2008

in the club

Tomorrow starts my new life officially as a Soccer Mom. Pook has his first baseball practice tomorrow (team Fighting Illini). I'm going to a meeting to be the team Business Manager on Wednesday, then Bug has his first soccer practice (team Austria) on Thursday. On Friday Pook would have another practice if he weren't going to a birthday party, and yet another practice on Saturday! They both will have games every Saturday soon, and Pook will have them midweek too. At least the soccer league sticks to one consistent day and time. Team Austria meets every Thursday at 5:15 even though the Saturday games will vary. Little League is all over the board and the Fighting Illini even have one game on a Friday evening at 6pm!

Why have I done this to myself? I have tried hard to not be a family with over scheduled children. So although Pook played soccer at the Y several seasons starting when he was three, I wasn't ready to face this day, and poor second child Bug hasn't played a sport until now. But he isn't old enough for baseball. I could have insisted that Pook play soccer too and scheduled him for the same days, but to be honest, everyone we know will be down at the baseball fields and I'd rather be there too. I really have done this to myself.

All the practices start at 5:15 which makes our evenings all topsy turvy. I'm such a scheduled person that I'm going to have a stressful learning curve over the next couple of weeks. We usually eat pretty promptly at 6pm (as a family, every night) and have the kids tucked in and lights out by 7:30. The evening works as long as we stay on top of it. Our mornings are the same way-- they're tight but they work. So, how do families get home from practices at 6:30 and eat a healthy meal and get the kids to bed at a reasonable hour? I suspect that they don't. I think both meals and sleep suffer usually. Hopefully homework and school work don't. Our bedtimes are going to suffer a bit, but we'll have an imposed rest time if it gets bad. I've made a list of menu ideas to work with. Pook did a ton of his weekly homework today. I'm trying to remember to stay flexible. That's all I can do.


  1. Good luck in that club!

    It sounds like you have everything planned as well as you can.

    And, if the planning fails, the season can't be that long. You can do anything for a short period of time.

  2. The key is to realize the difference between letting the kids pursue the activities they love and forcing them to do the things you think they should. Some kids are overscheduled because their parents do it to them. Some kids are overscheduled because they love keeping busy and doing many things.

    My number one didn't do a sport until Kindergarten, and he has never craved after school activities at all. I've always had to prod him to try new things, always one activity at a time.

    On the other hand, number two begged and begged until I let her start gymnastics a few months shy of her 4th birthday. Then came ballet, soccer, softball, basketball, girls scouts, swim team... She wants to do it all! I've actually had to hold her back. As of this spring she is a busy nine-year-old juggling numerous activities and she loves it!

    And if I had a third hand... My number three dabbles in girl scouts for the social aspects but is primarily focused on her competitive gymnastics, happily working out at the gym three nights a week and looking forward to more.

    I haven't made their choices for them (and it hasn't worked when I've tried).

    So have you really done this to yourself or are you letting your children follow their bliss? That's what get's me through the crazy days of carpooling and calendar juggling.

    The older they get, the worse it gets, so hang in there!

    Your "old" friend Laura