August 29, 2019

I Don't Want to Be a Sports Mom and I'm Against Children Growing Up

 I have entered a new season of motherhood. I think this would probably be hard for every mom – no matter how much you love seeing your kids become great people. I’m finding it especially difficult to navigate, though, because having crossed the threshold with one foot, I still have the other foot firmly planted in the old season of motherhood.

If you want me to cut to the chase: HELP. SOS. What do I do? Please?!

If you don’t mind me talking through it: I have had a baby or toddler in the house for the last eleven years. I know how to parent babies and small children. Bottles and naps and snuggles – love it! Cute little two year old running (you know what I mean!), running to the bathroom for the potty-training 3 year old, snacks and books and more snuggles – love it! Elementary school kids with easy homework, sight words, incredible amounts of sweetness with a bit of stinker buttness – love it!

And I love how my 11 year old daughter and almost 10 year old son are becoming – not just big kids! – but young adults. Twice this week Ben has lit the charcoal grill and made dinner (brats one night, burgers and corn on the cob tonight). L regularly bakes and creates awesome desserts. Ben mows the lawn and takes out the garbage. L does the laundry. And they are funny and kind and figuring out who and how they are, if you know what it means. And it feels like such a privilege to not only watch it but to be an active part of it happening.

But part of having this big family, with a 6th grader and a 4 month old and six more kids in between, is that at times we feel like less of a family. This maybe just means I need to adapt my image of what our family looks like and does, but how many deaths do I have to die?!

For our family to have dinner together we have to sit down, without Travis, at 4:30. He pops in and sits down to table shortly after 5 and by 5:15 he and Ben are gone for JFL. L takes off a bit later for cross country and things will only get more complicated as more and more children are old enough for sports and other extra curriculars. Family dinners will probably be like this for the next 18 years.

Now, I will admit that part of my problem is how much I don’t really like sports and the way they dominate families’ calendars. And the way that parents and coaches sometimes talk to the kids – ugh! And I hate how much money it all costs. But sports mean a lot of my (coach of a) husband and he insists that our kids will play sports if they want. I can see the good that comes from them. Ben and L both have benefited and become better people from being involved. Yet I still want to chop the Thunder Oak which is Kids’ Sports (CSYSK reference) because even with very limited involvement (one sport per kid per season and all will be school sports except for JFL) we are crazy busy.

I will admit, thought, that a lot of this is blame shifting. It is, perhaps, easier to blame sports than life. Because really, my kids are getting older and it breaks my heart a bit that I can’t have them all in my home, in my yard, at my table, in my arms. So life is happening, and I’m trying to cling to my kids as best I can for as long as I can.

But I still hate how sports can dominate. Seriously.

So if you have ideas or tips for me, please share them. And if you just want to commiserate, go for it.

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