I am sure most of us have been there (or current living it) — we start and end our day with what seems like utter chaos. Some of us don’t even remember when we ran out the door if we put deodorant on (it happens to the best of us). As moms, our life begins and ends our day with our children. We love them and want nothing other than to see them succeed, make friends, use manners, make good choices, experience life, have fun, etc. So, when it comes to sports or extra activities, do you allow your child to sign up and play as many sports/activities as they want, whenever they want?
As a working parent and mom/bonus mom of three, sports and other weekly activities can be tricky. We have three girls in two different school districts and varying in ages: fourteen, ten and eight. The older one has been consistent at playing a sport in the winter and occasionally a sport in the spring. The other two, because they are so close in age, like to compete against each other and interact with similar activities. Keeping similar activities allows us to be in one spot for both girls (win/win). However, as the girls get older, their curiosity with all activities expands. This year, our oldest is participating in track while the other two wanted to try jump rope classes and play lacrosse. After reviewing the schedule (insert the blank stare with eyes twitching face as I stare at every single practice/game/meet), it was time to make a very difficult decision. As my husband and I sat down to discuss, a message from our pastor came to mind, “Parent now for future in mind.” I pondered at what exactly that meant for us and our household. Would I want us always on the go? Track practice was every day after school with meets twice a week, jump rope was every week for at least two hours in the evenings which would cut close to bedtime, and lacrosse was another two days out of the week. If we really wanted our kids to have fun and be involved (I get it, it’s better than sitting in front of electronics) it meant our family would sacrifice most evenings together for being on the road. My husband and I would have to split duties for one to attend a track meet while the other ran the other two to jump rope. This would mean that both of us in any week couldn’t capture what one or both girls would be doing. In the same week, one would run one of the girls to lacrosse while the other picked up the oldest from track practice and got the other from the sitters to get home and do the nightly routine. And, on Sundays we would be running from church to a game where we hope we could all pause and cheer on one of them as a family of five. Sound confusing? It was too much. We didn’t want every night of the week to be filled with ‘busyness’. We wanted the girls to have fun and experience life, but not if it meant that we sacrificed growing, game nights, intentional family time and dinners together.
Our lives get busier as our children get older and their curiosities expand. But, it doesn’t mean that we always have to say, ‘yes’ and sacrifice the things that should matter most to us, family. Friends, I do not have this parenting down and I too often struggle with wanting all three girls to just play everything they have ever wanted to play. But, over the past year I’ve had to learn that it’s healthy to set boundaries and limit our children’s activities and sports. It’s healthy to grow together as a family and share the ‘why’ with our kids. And, it’s healthy to share with them that creating ‘busyness’ misses moments of laughter, memories and beauty in just being in the moment.
I hope this message brings you relieve that being a mom is hard work and can be exhausting. But, we don’t have to do it alone, and saying ‘no’ or setting limitations on the amount of sports/activities that our kids are involved with can be healthy. I pray this brings you peace and that you ‘parent now for future in mind.’
Tiffany Blaskis-Knox is a mom/bonus mom of three girls who works at a Fortune 500 company and is married to her handsome husband of almost two years, Corey. Their family loves spontaneous road trips and sightseeing the beauty in which Jesus created, hanging with their families, serving at their church and game nights. When Tiffany isn’t on work travels, working or spending time with her family, you can find her on a softball field where she has played for the past sixteen years. Contact Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org