My oldest son is 5, and we have just begun our journey into organized sports. O.M.F.G. Why didn’t anyone tell me that T-ball was this serious in kindergarten?! Here’s a few things I’ve encountered over the last few months as a brand-new sports mom.
Get in Formation
First, the forms. MAN, there are a lot of forms! I had to go to a special “forms processing night” and bring an original copy of my son’s birth certificate, a medical release form, three proof of residency documents, code of conduct forms for both players and parents , and even a special form from my son’s elementary school to prove that he was enrolled there. I am surprised I didn’t have to give blood just to sign him up for freakin’ T-ball. Seriously.
Committed to the Crazy
Then there are all of the weekday and weekend time commitments. Practices. Games. And more games, due to rainouts. Forget about having a personal life during baseball season! And it can be so difficult to make it to everything — I feel like I am always racing down the freeway to try to get to weekday practices or games on time. Not to mention that we always have an antsy 2-year-old with us that needs to be entertained. And forget about getting the kids fed or to bed on time those nights. Weekday games especially suck!
The “Volunteer” Requirement
Then there’s all of the “volunteering.” But it’s not volunteering, because no one really wants to do it. One mom joked to me, “Why don’t they just call it what it is? A requirement!” That’s because if you don’t volunteer, they will charge you $200 or more, depending on when in the season you flaked out. Thankfully, I just finished my last volunteer commitment this weekend by selling merchandise at a game. I even learned how to put up my first pop-up tent and zip-tie banners to the dugout. If I wasn’t considered a sports mom before that moment, hopefully that earned me a few brownie points.
Snack Shack Duty
The snack shack is serious business people!
And, of course, there’s the infamous snack shack duty. In some leagues this may mean you only need to sell M&Ms and Cokes, but at mine we actually barbecue burgers, scoop chili, and make snow cones. There’s detailed instructions both leading up to and during the snack shack shift, and every family needs to do concessions at least twice. The upside, at least, is I did have fun commiserating with other parents!
The Hero Parents
Speaking of parents, one big positive I’ve found is that most of the T-ball parents are supportive and encouraging of the kids. Especially, when they forget to drop the bat, or run the wrong way around the diamond! Some of the coaches, like ours, even coach on two teams (I think he didn’t want to let either of his boys down!). And I know a few moms that are juggling three or more boys’ baseball schedules right now. You guys are all my heroes!
So that’s just a few of my reflections on the beginning of my sports mom journey. I figure I have at least 16 more years of this life— any survival tips?