If you are a Mom with kids in travel sports, you probably just spent Memorial Day weekend on the sidelines cheering your player on. While families all over are starting their summer or nearing the end of the school year, your family is gearing up for a summer on the road managing packed weekends at tournaments all over the state (or beyond) and keeping the rest of your family happy too.
Travel sports parents know their summer schedule long before there is even a glimmer of those 90 degree dust and sweat filled days. For me, this schedule lock down happens in January and I’d be lying if I said I don’t look forward to the flurry of fun that this season always brings. With our oldest now in college we don’t have summer showcase baseball as the most dominant schedule issue. However thanks to our two younger athletes, we will spend this summer bouncing from softball and tennis tournaments to summer swim meets and high school football practices in between. And the truth is, we wouldn’t have it any other way. Our kids love their sports, they happen to be summer athletes, and so this is just what we do. That’s why this week is a great time to share a few ideas for you to keep in mind if like me, you are starting off summer knowing exactly where you’ll be, all summer long.
Create a Travel Sports Budget
If you haven’t already done so, create a travel sports budget now. We’ve got great budget planning worksheets in our DIY GO MOM!® Planner and you can’t afford not to keep track of expenses. Its really easy to spend mindlessly, especially on food, and if you are taking everyone to each travel sports event, you want to have enough resources to make room for some fun.
Leave Younger Kids at Home
Do you all really need to go? Lets face it, sometimes its just better to leave younger siblings at home. If the weather is miserable and the location is the pits with nothing to do, why punish yourselves by making everyone go? Your expenses will be lower, everyone will be happier, and you’ll actually have the chance to focus on the athlete who is competing instead of the children who aren’t happy and needing to be entertained. My husband and I split up often when this happens and there’s nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter for the day if you have to.
Schedule House and Yard Work for Weekdays
If your travel sports schedule has you gone every single weekend, there are a few things you need to make sure still happen, like house and yard work. When it comes to housework, create a cleaning schedule that happens during the week instead of the weekend. The same thing goes for yard work too. Let your kids know that they have a responsibility to help out, that because of their activities your family doesn’t have time for chores on the weekend and they have to step up and pitch in as part of the crew. Yard work and mowing the lawn can be easily done as a team during the week,
Hire Key Services When Needed
If your kids are competing in travel sports but still too young for using the lawn mower, don’t hesitate to hire a neighboring teen who would be happy to make that extra money. And if things really get nuts, you can always call in a one time cleaning service or more and get help for bigger projects when needed too.
Make Time for Family First
Family time. It has to be the most important thing about all of this. Just because your travel sports event might be in a fun place doesn’t mean you automatically get a lot of true family time together so you need to work hard to make that happen. There’s no question if your child has the opportunity to compete at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports, it would be very worthwhile for your entire family to make the most of those discounted travel packages and you’ll definitely make memories that last a lifetime. But if that’s not on your radar, you are going to have to work hard to find that extra time if you are all together and have fun. Or to create that time and bring eveyrone together you keep family first.
Its not worth it if your child doesn’t have fun.
Its not worth it if it’s not your child’s dream and they don’t want to work this hard.
Its not worth it if it causes friction among your family because of the logistical stress.
So do yourself a favor and get out that planner to mind your budget, your housework, look to be flexible and don’t insist on everyrone being together when its not optimal, and then look for those golden nuggets when family time will be the focus and you’ll all have a blast. It all begins with an organized plan and if you have that to work from, you’ll love every minute of your time as a sports Mom. Tell me…
How to you make travel sports a fun family experience for summer vacation?
I love sharing my own personal experiences raising three athletes and just like so many of you, we figure it out one season at at time. And you never know what your kids might do. Just to mix things up, this year our tennis player has decided to try out for high school football as a rising senior. And our rising middle schooler has decided she wants to train for cheerleading tryouts a year from now. So while our oldest is now in college and not playing competitive baseball, our younger two have just doubled their sports rosters and the scheduling challenges roll on! I love that they are both trying new things and who knows where it will lead them but I can be sure that they’ll have a ball every step of the way. Check out our Team Mom Pinterest Board for ideas we love and please leave us a comment ~ we’d love to know your favorite resources too!
Thanks so much for stopping by ~ we’ll see you next time!