School, Sports & Social Event Mania -- Help!

As I was sitting here, going over today's "TO DO" list, I found myself spending a good 30 minutes texting my tween girls (who were riding the school bus on the way to school) and then emailing with their friends' parents in order to RSVP to the many, many social events for them that, in recent years, seem to stack up at the end of the school year. Whew! Suddenly, I felt like their secretary or assistant!

With my overly active imagination, I pictured myself sitting at a desk, taking phone calls, receiving the many invites and details, and then phoning my "bosses" to relay those details -- and receive instruction from them on how to handle them. Sounds silly, but lately, it's not too far off from reality. Well, except for the fact that I don't receive a paycheck for the position. But really, what mom does? All joking aside, since my girls have entered middle school, I have been spending tons of additional time in my vehicle driving to and from the sports fields, figuring out game and practice logistics, and scheduling all of the above mentioned social and school related events! These girls have SO much going on! 

So, naturally, my mind wanders to my six just-turned 9-year-olds -- and their schedules. To date, I've managed to keep their events mostly under control, but I know that soon enough, I'll be adding more and more events to their schedules. And that, added to my tweens schedules, will be more than I can humanly handle ... and just between you and me, this has been one (of the many) days I've dreaded for a very long time! How does ONE human mother get ALL the logistics worked out so that ALL EIGHT children get to and from where they want and need to go? Gulp. I'm in trouble. And I know it. 

Because I have already figured out that sports and social schedules are WAY out of my control and often are not able to be planned far in advance (which I hate), I've decided to do what I can to maintain somewhat of a schedule around those things that are rather "unschedulable" (and no, that word is not found in the dictionary, but I've decided to use it anyway!). SO, I have started to carry large supplies of bottled water and snacks, fold-up chairs for sports spectatorship, extra blankets, and comfortable shoes along with me wherever I go. It's my very own custom made contingency supply stash for those "just in case" kind of days. I've also ramped up my "cook one meal for today and freeze one for a busy crazy day" philosophy because when I wrangle eight kids home after a long day of school and social and sports stuff, they're extra hungry! 

On these days, I go from bus driver to chef in the blink of an eye! Eight "starving" mouths still expect a hearty warm meal despite the fact that the "chef" has been MIA all day, filling in for the "bus driver," if you know what I mean! Having a defrosted meal that's ready to bake or even one waiting in the Crock-Pot helps that role transition on the busiest of days. You may be reading this thinking, "yep, I've been there" but this is a relatively new phase for me and one that I have a feeling is only going to get worse. And faster. And more furious. And way more out of control. I'm a planner and a scheduler. I like everything on a list with all the details sorted out way ahead of time ... And don't worry, I'm busy every day doing whatever I can to streamline this process and figure out how I can "nail this all down" ... and, well, okay, better CONTROL it. 

But for now -- and you may find this as shocking as I do -- I'm just letting it flow. I'm trying to enjoy some spontaneity (well, that pretty much only happens when things miss getting scheduled and they surprise me, lol) and the many opportunities for instant problem solving that occur as a result. I do enjoy the problem solving aspect for sure. As a result, sometimes we eat dinner on a weekend night at 7:30 p.m. because I didn't have time that day to prepare it ahead of time. Good thing it doesn't get dark until almost 8:30 p.m. now, right? Because of the longer days, no one really notices just how late it is as they are munching away on one of my home-cooked healthy meals.

Sometimes we get home late on a school night and everyone quickly packs their own lunch in a mad race to get to bed! I oversee it and we make it a game -- flinging cookies, packages of chips, yogurt cups, and servings of carrots across the room to each other in a frantic and loud, yet somewhat orderly, process (if you look real close, there really is a method to our madness). It gets done, that's all that matters. And I appreciate the help. I'm starting to figure out that as school, social, and sports events threaten to dismantle our orderly home routine, it's somehow serving to strengthen our family team. That saying "many hands make light work" comes to mind. Where I once did it all with very minimal help, now it's more of a team approach. Here's the problem, how can we solve it together? It's working. I like it. 

We may seem a wee bit more "helter-skelter" these days, but we're working together to get it all done. Our family. Our team. When my kids were very young, I used to answer the question "How do you survive each day?" with "When all else fails, bed time always comes at the end of the day," referring to my eight young kids' bed time. In recent years, with these non-stop scheduling additions, I still answer the same way, but I find I'm now referring to MY OWN bed time. It goes without saying that, at the end of each day, I am WORN OUT and I seriously CANNOT WAIT to go to bed! 

Can you relate? What are your secrets for surviving school, social, and sports event schedules? Do share.


Image via Kate Gosselin

celeb moms, kid activities, kids nutrition, kate gosselin


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Gerti... Gertie594

Well, Kate, one thing you could do to help you with all the work you do -- lol-- is to let their Dad, you remember, their biological Dad who loves them, to help with this. He would make the whole experience so good for them compared to you barking orders constantly. Those poor kids deserve a major break from you!

BJJ6681 BJJ6681

OMG I can totally relate I don't have 8 kids!  I don't know how you do it!  Good luck in the coming years :)

nonmember avatar NoWay

Oh NO! Dinner at 7:30 on a weedEND night? Oh, how awful! LMAO! My family life is so hectic between actually working full time and being a mom of "tweens" that we eat dinner at 7:30 - 8:00pm on WEEKnights on a regular basis. You may have a lot of kids, but you are not the only busy mom out there. And like Gertie said ... let their dad pitch in from time to time. (And by the way ... 9+ is plenty old enough to pack your own lunch EVERY day!)

nonmember avatar LCDS Parent

What Kate fails to mention is that Jon is just as much, if not MORE, involved in the kids's lives. And, I don't hear him ever complaining or patting himself on the back. Quite the opposite, actually.

nonmember avatar kaerae

I would ask why you're still packing lunch for kids more than old enough to do this themselves, but then I remember what a neurotic, control-freak, eating disorder-inducing, shaming, horror show you are when it comes to food and then I answer my own question...

nonmember avatar MG

Wouldn't it be in the kid's best interest to work with Jon for the activities? I am a 'human' mother of 6 kids. I had them one at at time the old fashion way so no multiples here. Their father and I do something really crazy, we coordinate our schedules! Because we do that, we get the kids off and going where they need to be. This is a crazy concept I know, but I bet she could do it too. What you have to decide is if you love your kids more then you hate/dislike your ex spouse. I know not all ex spouses are in the picture, but if there is one (Jon) then why not work together? And to the moms that have to juggle kids that are truely doing it by themselves, I commend you ladies.

Laine... Lainey0468

Really people?  If Kate wants control rather than chaos in her busy house, it is her prerogative.  I seriously doubt she barks at her kids all day/night.  Don't judge anyone unless you walk in their shoes. 

nonmember avatar LCDS Parent

Before the grammar police start, that was a typo. It should read: kids' lives.

Brandy Barnett

This is why I miss the good ole days when many of us were growing up. Kids went to neighborhood schools that they walked, rode bikes or took a bus that they could walk to the stop to get to. Friends and many activities were in said neighborhood and older kids could get to them independently. Kids also had a lot more free time. Luckily, in this case as the six get to that age, Maddy and Cara will be of driving age and they seem pretty responsible so hopefully they will be able to at least get themselves places. Also as the six get old enough to stay at home for short times while you run a quick errand it will get easier. I would suggest, if its feasible(and I do realize that there are numerous complications in this) to enlist Dad's help. He could shuttle some kids and spend time with them at the same time. Its also a hard issue of simply looking at priorities and streamlining. Maybe some chores have to wait because the kids game is more important right now. Its only going to be a few short years before the kids no longer need parents on a constant basis so take the time to enjoy the time with them now, you won't regret it even though it leaves you frazzled.
As far as meals go, sometimes its okay to fudge, go ahead and have something quick that may not be quite as healthy, but add some fruit and veggies. You do a great job.

Think... ThinkSnow

This just proves again, Kate can't keep track of all her lies. She's said in the past that Mady and Cara make all the lunches, then on CWS it was the young girls, who switched with the boys for a day.  If Kate weren't such a biatch, she would have several mothers or dads as friendly acquaintances that she's met over time at the kids' games. Lots of people have more than two kids and often look at ways to car pool kids to activities. How about the kids' grandparents, my parents often game to basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer, games and/or practices. Not to mention Jon is most likely present at ever came he can be at. Kate the marter act doesn't work. You don't work outside of the house 9+ hours a days, and still need to find time to do laundry, housework and grocery shopping. You have no idea about being a busy mother.

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