Busy Sports parents, do you feel like you’re drowning?
Last night I was talking with a sports mom, who was recounting her busy day to me: running from school to home to pre-game drop-off, to home, and back to the game. It made me tired just listening to her!
I remember that life. There were seasons when all three of our kids were playing sports and weeks when we were at games at least 4 nights a week. I know how tiring it can be.
If you are feeling the pinch of time, money, and energy, I want you to know that I get it. And I want to help you out, so I’ve gone on a hunt for you and found 10 things that will make your life easier as a sports parent.
Take a few minutes to peruse; I’m sure you will find at least one that can make your life easier!
Fundraising: How I dreaded the seasonal fundraising pleas, asking people to donate or buy things they don’t want or need. That’s why I love the idea of Flipgive. It’s an easy concept and it works like this: people go online to buy products from hundreds of vendors and every time they shop, a percentage is given back to their campaign. Each team can set up a campaign for the season.
Meal-Planning: Planning meals for the week is a great idea in theory. But taking the time to sit down and think it through may not be a priority in your busy schedule. That’s why I love what my friend Laura Fuentas from Momables has come up with. She does the meal planning for you, with recipes and shopping lists.
Team Snacks: Have you ever remembered at the last minute that you were responsible for the team snacks that day? Dang, one more thing to remember! If you’re like me and you’d rather take two minutes to do something that usually takes an hour or two, then Benchboxes is a perfect solution.
Scheduling. Half the problems in youth sports seem to stem from poor communication and that’s why teams are finding that online tools like TeamSnap make things run so much more smoothly. The features of TeamSnap are too may to list, so it’s worth your while to check out how they can make your team life easier.
Losing Uniforms/Equipment. I can’t tell you how many bags, shoes, even uniforms were lost over 21 years of sports parenting. I think if I’d done a better job of labeling the items, the recovery rates would have been much higher! Mabel’s Labels provides a great system for marking your kids’s stuff and makes funding lost items much easier.
Bleacher Butt. Investing in a comfortable, top of the line stadium chair should not be low on your priority list. Think of the hours you spend in the bleachers! A good bleacher seat will make your life easier because it will keep your bottom and back from wanting to leave the game before the game is over! Here’s a chair that you deserve!
Messy Cars. Kids and messy cars just go hand-in-hand, but if you can at least have organized chaos in your car, you’ll be one step ahead and maybe, just maybe, your child won’t lose things so easily. I love this car organizer.
Messy House. I hated having a messy house, but it was inevitable with three children playing sports. I kept telling myself that my kids wouldn’t grow up worse for it! Of course, you can’t let it go indefinitely, so here’s some ideas. First, here’s some lazy housework hacks that you can use. And second, a very old friend (so old, in fact, I’m not sure she would remember me!) wrote a book and got famous a long time after I knew her. The book, The New Messies Manual: The Procrastinator’s Guide to Good Housekeeping is full of tips for conquering messiness and not letting it control your life. The book was from 2000, so it actually sells for really cheap.
Loads of Laundry. I was always looking for ways to keep the laundry organized. I taught my kids to do their own laundry, but even then, things got left in the laundry room, socks got mixed up and underwear got lost. Here’s a few great ideas: a DIY laundry organizer that I LOVE because it’s simple and you can make one yourself.
This storage bench is adorable for folding and separating the kids’s clothes. If neither one of those works, I think they at least give you an idea of how you could make your own.
The bottom line is this: take the time to be sure your kids know how to do their own laundry and then provide an organized system that will help them carry out their duties.
Margin. If you do not establish boundaries in your life, you are headed for trouble. As a busy sports parent, you must learn to say no to some things, focus on your family’s needs first, and on your needs as well. One of the best books I’ve read on establishing boundaries and having margin in life is the book Margin. Having margin will make your life easier because it gives you room to breathe and room to say yes to unexpected things that are very necessary.
If you have other suggestions on how sports parents can make life easier for themselves, I’d love to hear from you and share them with my sportsparenting followers!
For more about dealing with the busy-ness of sports parenting: