Monday, July 15, 2013

The Reluctant Sports Mom

Most of the time I feel like I don't have enough time to do anything.  Every evening I barely have a chance to sit down until at least 9:30 unless I'm feeding Carter.  I cook dinner, clean up, wash bottles, and sort mail or do laundry.  Once I finally do sit and relax, I'm usually multitasking--catching up on TV, reading emails, blogging, cutting coupons, etc.  Before I know it I'm practically nodding off in my chair.  Weekends are a challenge as well, since Craig is often on the road and I'm juggling two kids and all of the stuff I didn't get done during the week.  Usually I try to fit in something fun, but sometimes "fun" is a quick dinner out somewhere in the middle of errand running.  Half the time we're off to Buffalo anyway, so even that catching up never happens, which puts me behind the 8-ball again when the new week begins. 

Now we have t-ball.  I've known this was coming, for many years, yet now that it's here I'm finding myself ill-prepared for all that it entails.  Craig has been great so far.  Since he's an assistant coach, he's totally on board with picking up Jacob, gathering his equipment, and bringing snacks and beverages when needed.  On game days I go pick up Carter and get to the field just as the game is starting.  But this is the setup two nights per week.  We're only a couple weeks in and I hate it already. 

Look, I love Jacob and certainly want to be supportive.  And I will be.  But even on the best of days I'm usually perplexed by what to make for dinner and I run around like a maniac once I get home.  Now I have to manage two days a week where we're not even home for dinner (plus the usual late dinner we have on Tuesdays when I work out) without turning us into fast food or concession stand regulars.  I try to limit how much we eat out--both for financial and dietary purposes--but I feel like this schedule is making it almost impossible.  We don't have a chance to eat beforehand (though Craig makes Jacob a PB&J before his games), and by the time we get home, it's Jacob's bedtime, then Carter's right after.  All of a sudden it's after 9:30, and when we're supposed to eat dinner in there is beyond me.  I either have to come up with a better plan for fast homemade dinners, or rely on takeout.  And before you launch into praises of the crockpot or premade casseroles, keep in mind I'm out of the house for 12 hours, which is too long for any crockpot meal, and any casserole is going to take 30 minutes to cook, which is too long when it's late and we're starving.  I can only plan for leftovers so well, and that still doesn't help the fact that Jacob might be eating PB&J twice a week (plus probably one other time over the weekend) for the rest of the summer.  I just feel stumped about what we should be eating and when.  I feel like with the right planning we could be fine, but I am at a loss for what those good ideas might be. 

Tonight's game was in 90 degree heat.  That weather would be tough no matter what, but it's extra challenging with Carter.  He doesn't like the heat, and when it's that sunny I'm hesitant to take him out of the stroller if I can't keep him completely shaded because he can't wear sunscreen yet.  Thursday's game will probably be more of the same.  I feel bad putting him through that, but I also hate the thought of missing a game because I want to be there for Jacob.  I'm torn between both kids...and I'm sure it won't be the last time that happens.

It's only going to get worse next year when his games are on Saturdays, which means we won't be able to go away for the weekend like we do now.  Now my Saturday mornings will be spent getting up bright and early and heading to the diamond.  I did that as a kid and don't really like the idea of it any better now.  By then Carter will be running around like a maniac, so I will definitely have my hands full.  And before we know it, both boys will be playing and I'm not sure what's worse--when their schedules conflict, or when they'll be opposite and we'll be spending every night at the field.  Oy.

I want to be supportive, I really do.  But right now I'm just not sure how to make this work.  I feel strained enough already, let alone with two nights of games.  The boys love it and I know this is just a fact of life, but until I start figuring out how to maintain a sense of normalcy in the middle of all of this, I'm not really going to like it.  Hopefully someday I'll have it all figured out and be an old pro at this, but for now, I definitely feel like a rookie.

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