Y’all. This past weekend I paid hockey fees for all three boys for the year. That’s three kids in sports. And HockeyDad and I had a frank discussion about how much he’ll be available to respond to fire calls come the fall because the honest truth is that we are rapidly approaching the busy season of parenting. At least from a chauffeuring perspective. The baby and toddler years and super hands on, and very high needs. But this stage? This multiple kids in sports thing?
It is just a different kind of hard. Your kids face challenges. You both learn new life lessons. There is a lot of driving and time management is absolutely crucial.
Last year was our test drive. Sure, we had three in hockey, but two of them were in Initiation level. So there were no games and the practices were at the same two rinks all season. We got into a nice manageable rhythm.
Even with that routine, with that test run, there were a few things that changed because we had multiple kids in sports.
1. You stop watching TV. Or at least you get a lot pickier about what you watch. Trust me, you do not have time for every new show that hits the stations. Sure, you can PVR a bunch, but by the end of the day, you are so exhausted from the rink run that you fall asleep within 5 minutes of turning on the TV. It’s ok. That’s what summer and Netflix is for.
2. Your house cleaning standards go way down. Like way down. If this is going to be something that truly bothers you, I strongly recommend hiring a cleaning person now. It will save your sanity and maintain your standards. Another option is just to succumb to the chaos that is your house during hockey season and hope that you can dig out of it come spring time.
3. You learn the fine art of calendar crafting and put more effort into finding the calendar system that fits your exact needs. And when that calendar system doesn’t exist, you make your own. Its just that important.
4. There comes a point in any season where you need to be in more places than actually possible. This is ok if there are two kids, you go with the man on man defense. But with three? You have to call in reinforcements. There’s no other way. And they will be there because your people never let you down. Just ask.
5. At some point in the season, you will realize that you haven’t had a meal at home, around a table in weeks. Possibly months. You look at the schedule and are forced to accept that it just isn’t going to happen any time soon. Just pack a few more snacks, do some meal planning with on the go meals and add in some fruit and remind yourself that they are still getting food and really that’s all that matters.
Last year was the test run for multiple kids in sports. But this year? Oh, it’s on like Donkey Kong. One in Initiation, one in Novice and one in Atom. This is why caffeine exists. So bring it on.
See you at the rink.