As a parent, you want your child to experience things, to have opportunities and to have fun. Sports are a great way to do that. However, with a full-time job, 3 kids, a working spouse and demanding team schedules, it can be tough to balance it all. It’s almost enough to force your little athletes into early retirement.
Before you go that far and ruin a promising little league or pee wee career, you have some options. After all, sports do actually do more than just let kids run, jump, hit and throw things at each other. They teach discipline, leadership, responsibilities and are an amazing bargaining tool for parents if their child’s room isn’t clean or if their grades aren’t good.
So, what can you do to help ease the burden of playing soccer taxi? Keep in mind, every situation is different and can vary depending on the number of children you have, what sports they play, where you live and so on. As a parent looking to get the “competitive edge” on your day, here are a few tips you may want to try as a busy parent of an athlete.
PLAN. PLAN. PLAN.
Just like your child’s coach, create a gameplan for basically everything. Establishing who is going to take the kids to games and practices can be beneficial and ease stress. It doesn’t have to be between spouses, working out a schedule amongst parents of the team can help as well.
Something else to consider is planning for expenses. Youth sports are getting more and more expensive and coming up with a financial strategy can ease the burden of travel costs, equipment, uniforms and the like.
If you have sick or personal time, schedule a day off from work to catch up on sleep, and recharge your battery. It’s a lot of work being a parent, especially with an active athlete. The more skilled your child is, the busier you will be (traveling teams, all-star games etc.). There’s no shame in asking for a timeout.
Utilize calendar apps and reminders to help you with your schedule. It can be a terrible feeling for a child to feel like they have been forgotten about. Obviously, it’s not intentional but it’s better to figure out ways to avoid it.
Also, consider using apps for everyday tasks like meal planning or for to-do list like washing uniforms or picking up team snacks. You have a lot on your mind, make things easier for your self and use your smartphone. Most are designed to be like personal assistants these days so take advantage of them.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP
This one kind of goes along with the planning tip but I wanted to isolate it because it’s important. If you have a support system like family or friends, don’t be afraid to ask them for help. Having someone other than you drive your child to a game and you showing up late is better than not going at all. Having your child consistently be the last child to be picked up can frustrate your child and even the coaches.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule. Hopefully this helped you out, even if it was just to give you something to read while your child is practicing. Be proud of yourself. I am sure you are doing a good job.