The Struggles of a Sports Parent | Softball is for girls

Dear neighbors;

Ignore the Grass – Excuse the Mess

We are at the ballfield, being blessed.

While some things in life will surely stay…

We won’t have forever to Watch them Play

(Poem Copyright Stef Daniel 1/2017 – Softball is For Girls)

I drove up to my house on a rainy Sunday afternoon with a car full of groceries for the week, feeling a tad frustrated. I looked up and saw that even after a year of moving into our new house, the gutters were still not up. And the flower beds were still in need of work. There was still so much we haven’t gotten done.

Luckily, winter reared its head so there was no grass to be cut this Sunday, and we wouldn’t be spending the last evening of the weekend trying to tend to the yard into the wee hours of the evening like we end up doing in the summer time.

The past week was a blur. Travel ball practice, hitting lessons and track practice along with chorus and basketball games for multiple children seem to have blended the days into one big quick passing of time. I knew when I walked into the house, laundry in heaping piles from tending to a family of 6, and cleaning would need to be done so that we could start yet another week with some semblance of sanity.

The struggle is real! Parenting is no easy gig. And having kids that are actively involved in activities and sports and school groups seem to make getting anything done, anything to the point of completion at least – an impossible dream.

I look down at the odometer on my car and realize it is wayyyy past due for an oil change, and that I have put some 55K miles on the car in a very short time. But where have I gone? 55K miles driven in circles from point a to b and c and d and back again. Empty water bottles roll out from under the seat, and the groceries are on the back seat because the trunk is full of gear.

And the calendar on my fridge and the one in my phone are set with all sorts of reminders and to-do’s and places to be awaiting me for the week ahead. At that very moment, sitting in the driveway, a text comes in from a fellow softball parent asking if I have booked a place to stay for the summer world series in Florida? And all I can think is well shit, as I add it to the list and wonder where this extra money will come from. Sigh.

So there is all of that. And there are days where it seems over-whelming, even though I realize that this has been our choice as a family to provide these opportunities for our kids.

The constant struggle of balancing budgets and time to ensure that my kids get to do all the things that they want to during their childhood – and trying to ensure that all the things we are told we are supposed to do, like have a perfectly manicured lawn and make sure the house is decorated and socks are matched is often a chalky pill to swallow.

There are many people within and outside our family that do not understand why we do all this running. Why we do the lessons and allow our kids to participate in all the activities that they want to. There are people that get upset that we spend every weekend at some sort of ball game throughout the year, and that we can’t join in on a cruise, or extended family vacation because we have tournaments and games scheduled a year in advance. Those that shake their heads when they see us taking time off from work for ‘vacation’ to attend a world series or showcase. Others that cannot believe the money it takes to make all this possible for the kids.

But for us. It is all worth it. 

For us, we have realized that far too soon, and much too fast – these kids will be grown and be traipsing into the world of ‘adulting.’

That the time will come when they are no longer interested in spending their time on road trips with us and waking up early to enjoy fast food biscuits on the way to yet another venue.

That soon there will be friends and significant others in their lives that over shadow spending time with the ‘uncool parentals.’ That a day will come when they won’t be looking to me to find their missing uniform top, or texting me during the day asking me to make sure I grab grapes to keep in the cooler for the weekend.

There will come a time when they won’t be looking up to the bleachers or stands to see if I am watching them play. They won’t be there next to me during a late car ride home with nothing lit up but the stars and a Waffle House sign, stinky, dirty feet mucking up the car, and conversation full of laughter and pride as they recount the fun they had during the day.

That in just a few short years, these moments – these amazingly simple, beautiful and blessed moments of me being their biggest fan, will come to an end. That they won’t come running to me after an amazing play with a toothy smile that only comes from the feeling of self confidence and achievement.

And that someday, it won’t be my arms they run to when they feel defeated or frustrated. I think about how many times I have swiped hair from their tear stained face, and kissed their foreheads and reminded them how amazing and talented and awesome they are.

And while this life is a bit messy, and I will admit to at times being frazzled and frustrated and overwhelmed, I know deep down that the memories, and time spent together – that this investment in them, will help them become better people and give them something to always remember about their childhood.

There will be many things they may say about their parents – but one thing is for sure. They will never be able to say that I wasn’t there. That I wasn’t behind them and with them always.

And that come Sunday nights at 11pm when they hear a neighbor cutting grass – no matter where they end up in their lives – they will smile and know that at that house, time spent with a child playing sports was chosen over the responsibility of creating a perfectly groomed home.

Because the reality is, that some things in life will wait for us. And some other things…sadly…will not. 

And that this sign…is my reminder every time I pull up at my house, that while I may not always have it altogether, I do have my priorities in the right place when it comes to my kids. And honestly, everything else in life can wait.


RESERVE YOUR SIGN! 

Dear neighbors;

Ignore the Grass – Excuse the Mess

We are at the ballfield, being blessed.

While some things in life will surely stay…

We won’t have forever to Watch them Play

(Poem Copyright Stef Daniel 1/2017 – Softball is For Girls)

We have 100 of these amazing signs in stock! They are on SALE FOR $20 Through January 29th, or UNTIL SOLD OUT! These are FOR ALL SPORTS PARENTS, no MATTER WHAT SPORT your child plays! Click HERE to RESERVE YOURS! 

 

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