9 Sanity-Saving Tricks for Super-Busy Sports Moms


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Sponsored by BODYARMOR Sports Drink

Sports season can roll in like a hurricane and wreak utter destruction on your life if you’re not properly prepared with a firm handle on schedules, uniforms, health forms, deadlines, and team contacts. Add in multiple kids in multiple sports, and your house, life, and family dynamics can become a total disaster zone. Remember that above all, sports should be a fun experience—for not only you, but most importantly, for your child. So here are nine sanity-saving tips that will keep your head on straight and preserve the fun for your family, enabling all of you to actually enjoy this hectic time in your kids’ lives.

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  1. Carpool, carpool, carpool! It’s never too early to set up this time and sanity-saving necessity. At the first parent meeting, be sure to reach out to those in your neighborhood to set up a schedule for both practices and games with early-arrival times. If you’re new to the team or the area, send out a team-wide email stating your interest in a carpool and your availability, and we guarantee at least one other parent will be interested in splitting up the driving! There are even carpool apps that can manage the work for you, including Cozi, GoKid, and Carpool-Kids.

  2. Purchase a large whiteboard calendar and hang it in a central area where everyone in the family can see and read it. Use different colors for different children, so that Susie can quickly glance at the week and see all of her blue-coded events. This calendar should include all sports practices and games, but can also include Dad’s evening work events, Mom’s afternoon hot-yoga class, and days off from school. Everything going on in your family should be accounted for so that you can accurately see what’s happening during the week—and if you’re going to need help. It’s also helpful to have a weekly family meeting where you all evaluate the calendar together so that everyone is on the same page.

  3. Prep meals and snacks in advance. Make two or three meals on Sunday that can be stored in plastic containers to be easily grabbed from the fridge later in the week, microwaved, and eaten in the car. Or invest in one of the newest pressure cookers (we’re loving the Instant Pot) and make dinner in minutes before you run out the door or when you get back home later in the night. These even allow you to use frozen meat, so if you forget to defrost, you won’t be caught dinner-less! Also use divided plastic containers to prep and transport healthy, car-friendly snacks (like veggies and dip, or sliced fruit) to games and practices.

  4. Create a personalized “sports backpack” for every child in your family. Put all necessary items for your child’s sport in the backpack, including their uniform, shoes, equipment, snack, water bottle, BODYARMOR Sports Drink (Watermelon Strawberry is a favorite!), and a list of cell phone numbers in case of an emergency. And assign a place to hang these backpacks so they’re always in the same spot. Make your kids responsible for setting up the backpacks the night before, so that in the morning or right after school, they can quickly grab what they need and be ready to go. This will minimize last-minute searches for a pair of socks—and will also start making your kids responsible for their belongings.

  5. Store the cell phone of EVERY parent on the team in your phone. If you’re running late, run out of gas (yes, this does happen!), feel sick, or have an emergency with one of your other kids, you’ll be able to quickly get a hold of another parent on the team and ask them for help.

  6. Keep a bag of necessities in the car at all times. This bag can include snacks, sports drinks, bug spray, an umbrella, sunscreen, first aid kit, an extra pair of clothes, games for siblings in tow, a phone charger, list of team contacts, and even a book. The bag will be a lifesaver time and time again. Just be sure to occasionally replenish it—and don’t forget it on the counter at home!

  7. Buy back-up uniforms and accessories whenever possible. While your child’s sports organization will provide the official team uniform, it makes sense to buy an additional pair of baseball or football pants, socks, etc., at your local sports shop so that you can do laundry every other day or you don’t get stuck having to do laundry at midnight after a late game. You can find slightly used and inexpensive uniforms at local sports consignment shops and even on Facebook community consignment pages.

  8. Multitask at both practices and games. You’ll be spending between six and 16 hours a week between games and practices, so it’s best to do double-duty with your time! Drop off at practice, then run to the grocery store for food for the week. Clean the car. Walk around the field and get exercise for yourself. Or bring the dog along for outdoor fun. And while you’re at games, if there’s a wifi network or your phone can turn into a hotspot, bring your laptop and pay bills, catch up on emails, and even do work.

  9. Perhaps the best way to stay sane is to avoid drama—with the coach, the team manager, the officials, other parents, and even your kids! Politics and drama unfortunately seem to be synonymous with the world of kids’ sports but that doesn’t mean you need to get involved. An effective way to achieve this is with the 24-hour rule. Don’t contact anyone about an issue until you’ve given it a day to cool off. That way, all parties involved will have had time to think about it and see the situation with a clearer head. What seemed so egregious at the game the day before may suddenly be unimportant a day later. This also teaches your children about sportsmanship—with you being their best role model.

Molly Gregor is a writer and mom of four kids who is most often found at the ice rink.

 

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