Before I dive into the ultimate sports mom survival guide, I want to tell you a little story.
I was “that” sports mom.
You know the one…the hot mess.
That was me.
First, let me set the stage. I am a working mama of two wild boys: GQ is 8 and Logi is 2. For most moms, I’ve probably said enough for you to know that life at our house is crazy!
OUR VERSION OF CRAZY
I work all day Monday through Friday, commute, and barely make it home in time for every sporting activity, dinner, dishes, and bed. Honestly, it’s chaos.
But I pride myself on always getting everything done in a way that makes it appear seamless to onlookers. Anyone else with me here?
Their Dad and I have as much of a system in place as we can to balance our odd schedules, hyper children, and generally overbooked lives.
And we’re both kind of perfectionists. So we hate mistakes!
But every now and then something happens to throw the whole ship off course! And it’s just a domino effect. The end result, in this case anyway, was the whole lot of us looking foolish.
I sure wish I had this ultimate sports mom survival guide before I became “that” hot mess sports mom!
HOW IT ALL STARTED
Last week, GQ had a basketball game at 8 PM on Friday. They won, but Coach was less than impressed with how the team played.
So he immediately ordered them off the bench and into a corner for a good tongue-lashing. We all [parents included] stood there and took it, promising to do better at the next game first thing in the morning.
After that, everyone was in a hurry to get out of there. In our hurry, we [meaning I] didn’t realize that GQ had left his water bottle on the bench when Coach sent them off the court. By the time we realized he didn’t have it, we were all the way home, and the gym was closed.
It was his favorite sports water bottle, and he immediately burst into tears.
So that sets the stage for the next morning’s fiasco.
By the time we got everyone inside, settled, and into bed it was pretty late. But for some reason, their Dad + I thought it would be a brilliant idea to stay up until the wee hours binge-watching some random series on Amazon.
THE NEXT MORNING
So the next morning, when my alarm went off [in my overly groggy state], I did the mental math to figure out how long I could hit snooze before I actually HAD to wake up.
I finally woke up about an hour before we needed to leave. I started the Keurig, got myself basically ready, laid everything out, and woke up GQ. After he was dressed, fed, and brushed, I applied his essential oils before waking up the other two.
While their Dad showered, I changed Logi’s diaper and put on his clothes, shoes, and coat – all while he slept. I left him to sleep while I made sure that all drinks, snacks, toys, etc. were ready.
I sent GQ to put on his sports slides and jacket while I completed all of my last-minute tasks. Then I picked up Logi and got him loaded into the car as he snoozed away.
Finally, I made sure GQ buckled up properly while I loaded the stroller, basketballs, court shoes, and all the things into the car. Their dad finished up his stuff, locked up, and away we went.
AND WE’RE OFF
Once I exhaled and sat back, I began to do the mental calculations to figure out when we would get to the gym. At first, I let out a sigh of relief when I realized that we should just make it right at 9 AM. Cutting it close, but it should be fine.
But an instant later, panic set in when I realized that the game was scheduled to *start* at 9 AM! In my sleepy haze, I had forgotten to factor in prep time before the game!
So we should have been pulling up at the time that we were actually leaving the house. Therefore, in reality, we were running like 30 minutes behind!
So I’m sweating and running through everything in my head on how we could rush in get him ready and not miss a beat. But any hopes I had of that were dashed as soon as we opened the door.
The game had already started by the time we got there at 9 AM. So we were not only late…we were messy late!
I ran him in while his Dad unloaded the car and got Logi situated. I did my best to get him quickly out of his sports slides & track pants and into his basketball shoes while the game was going on.
GQ was embarrassed. Their dad was less than thrilled. Everyone was looking at us, [but trying to pretend that they weren’t]. And I just wanted to bury my head in the sand!
I was *that* sports mom. OMG…I have not been that mortified in a very long time.
And I totally get it…1st world problems, but that just set the tone for the rest of that day.
They won, but he was just off the whole game and missed a pass that he shouldn’t have missed. Then it was time to shoot around, but he didn’t have his ball because his dad left it in the car in his rush to get into the game.
It was just one thing after another from there. A total fiasco.
7 Life-Changing Strategies to Simplify Life as an Overwhelmed Working Mom
GETTING IT TOGETHER:
The Ultimate Sports Mom Survival Guide
Don’t be like me – in perpetual sports mom survival mode. Be the other sports mom who has her *ish* together! This is what I should have done:
1 | Timing
Calculate backward. Figure out what time the event starts, what time you should be there for any preparations, how long it should take you to comfortably get there, and how long it should take you to get everyone ready and build in a buffer for each of those sections. Use that to work yourself back to when you need to wake up and start getting ready. DO NOT hit snooze!
2 | Prepare
Have everything ready. Prepare as much as possible the night before. If you can load anything into the car in advance, do. Layout complete outfits for everyone. Prepare drinks and snacks for everyone. Have toothbrushes, vitamins, medications, oils, etc. out on the counter.
3 | Execute
Wake up right away. Do as much as you can before anyone else wakes up. Let everyone know what they need to do right when they wake up and ensure that they stick to the plan. Make sure that any bathroom trips happen 1st thing; you won’t have time right when you’re walking out the door. Choose a simple breakfast like a banana, yogurt, or a Lara bar for the family’s breakfast.
4 | Review
Keep an eye on the time to make sure you are on track to get out the door on time. Check each kid to make sure that they went potty and are appropriately dressed, groomed, and ready to walk out the door. Make sure that you have water, snacks, shoes, balls, oils, and any medication. Load the car, load the kids, and lock up.
5 | Complete
Go over your mental checklist before you take off. Double-check to confirm that everyone is properly buckled and nobody has left anything important. Make sure that you pull out of the driveway with enough time to arrive at least 15 minutes before game time. Settle in and enjoy the drive. Once you arrive, just unload everyone, make your way to the gym, get your kiddo changed, give them their water, and send them over to the team for the game.
GREAT JOB MAMA…YOU KILLED IT!
Obviously, this example is for a morning basketball game, most likely on the weekend. But you can take the same ideas and apply them to later weekday sports games as well.
Sure, some of this seems like simple common sense. And it is, but we oftentimes get distracted and lose sight of the basics in the chaos of the day-to-day mental load that we mamas carry around.
This should just help you take a step back and get back to the basics.
Thank you for taking the time to read the sports mom survival guide! I am so glad you stopped by. I hope you come back again soon!
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