Mental Note #1 – Soccer is important

Last night our family schedule was tight with soccer games and a board meeting.

I should make it clear here that we are not a family that encourages or discourages team sports.  I will speak only for myself  – I dislike team sports.

This is the second year for Robbie and first year for Charlie to play on a team sport.  Soccer is fun to play and my boys love kicking the ball around and  playing with friends.  The joy I get out of watching them play is worth the time and effort it takes to get them to a scheduled game.  I am thankful that our community has an easy and short schedule for their soccer league – Tuesday and Thursday evenings for 4-5 weeks, no extra days for practice and no Saturdays!

Here is what happened last night:

3:30 Bus drops Robbie off at home.

3:30 – 3:45 Robbie eats after school snack, winds down, and gets out his homework.

3:45 – 4:30 Robbie does his homework and practices his piano while I start dinner and help him with homework.

4:30 – 5:00 I am cooking dinner, trying to get the boys to gather their soccer clothes and setting the table.

5:00 – 5:15 We eat dinner.

5:15 – 5:25 I get Henry dressed, Charlie and Robbie get dressed into soccer clothes, put on soccer shin guards and socks and we determine that Robbie’s soccer shirt must be in the dirty clothes because we can’t find it.  Thankfully both boys have the same colored t-shirts and don’t play at the same time.

5:25 We leave for soccer games and Jack stays home a little longer to put away the food.

5:40 Charlie’s game – I am one of the coaches for Charlie’s team, not by choice. In order for Charlie to play soccer this year one of us needed to be a coach.   I know very little about soccer.

6:40 Robbie’s game – behind schedule tonight!   I thought I would be able to see half of Robbie’s game before leaving for my board meeting at Iola Winter Sports Club (IWSC).  The games were running a little behind.  And he was just starting to warm up with his team when it was time for me to leave for the board meeting.

7:00 My board meeting.

As I was walking to the car my gut/motherly instinct was telling me to stay and watch my son play soccer.

My brain, on auto-pilot, was telling me that I needed to go to the board meeting.   I feel very strongly about the commitment I made to being on the board for the IWSC.  I have only missed two board meeting in the few years that I have been on the board – the first time was when Henry was born the day of the meeting and the second time was when I forgot it was the first Tuesday of the month (shortly after becoming a mother of three).     It is very frustrating to me when there are people on a board and they rarely come to meetings.  Especially when I know there are people out there who are willing to take a position on the board, would be committed to showing up and taking on some extra responsibilities.

During breakfast this morning I was eager to hear how the soccer game went.  Instead my heart was broken by the tears I saw and the sweet little voice that asked, “why couldn’t you watch my game?”  I am sad that I disappointed my son last night and mad that my choice  was to go to the board meeting.  If it was a paying job that I had to go to, this story would be very different.   Thankfully, me going to a paid job isn’t a choice that I have to make right now.

I try not to take on any “mommy guilt” or have any regrets in my life.  This incident is one that is so close to making me feel guilty.  Instead of feeling guilty I am chosing to learn from this and move on.

Mental note #1 – Skip board meeting for soccer game!

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9 responses

  1. Oh no! It is hard to make those choices and schedules get tight! I think if you explained to him how you feel about committing to a committee it might help him understand?

    • Thank you Sarah. After your comment I made sure to apologize to Robbie and explain more about the board meetings. I don’t think he gets it and I don’t expect him to. This makes me think I should talk more about what I do there and why I like to be apart of the board.

  2. First off I was shocked to read your opinion of team sports, what with you having been involved in Track. I know as a Mother of two children that participated in team sports, I think they learned a lot of really good habits, ideals, committments and in general they learned to bond and get along with people. I thought it was an excellent experience for them. It also was a fantastic experience for both Dick and I as we wound up working so many of the meets – meeting other families – coaches. I made a point of never missing any game, concert or anything else that my kids were involved in. I was very fortunate to be a working Mother – who had awesome employers – who allowed me the flexibility to do just that. I think your last comment in your blog about this situation is the right way to go. The little ones grow up way too fast to not share with them the joys of sports and their participation in it.

    • I loved track. I didn’t like basketball, volleyball and never want my kids to play football! What I don’t like about team sports is how worked up and focused the team members, coaches and some parents are to winning – not playing all players, playing only the good ones in order to win, parents yelling at the coaches or ref.
      I don’t see track as a team sport as much as some people. Everyone gets to play! You get out of it what you put in! For the sake of the team you might participate in a different event. That was more of a factor when I was in college on a larger team when team scores amounted to something.

      One of the things I disliked about track was when our relay team messed up. I didn’t like the blaming that happened between teammates when someone missed a hand off or their split was slower than normal.

  3. Hi Jenny – I remember those days and now see my daughter being as involved in her kids sports. Up at the crack of dawn for water polo practice; rugby, water-polo (again) after school, cricket and rugby and water-polo games at the weekend. I boy-sat one weekend and was exhausted just getting them to and from their fixtures.
    I love your mental note and totally agree.

  4. Jenny I’m with you on your team sport feelings. I think my swimming days were very similar to your track ones. I loved that it was a personal sport, as you said you get out of it what you put into it. Yet at the same time there was still a team atmosphere, the same work ethics to be learned, the same teammates to work things out with but without a lot of the negatives you talked about. I remember cheering for teammates from grade school through college, and it was always an individual thing, they might be slower than molasses compared to the star swimmers but it was a best time for them so you cheered even harder. My long winded point being that I’m not pushing my girls toward team sports either, if they choose to go there on their own that’s fine but we aren’t signing up for 4 year old soccer this year!

    I love that you refuse the mommy guilt, good for you! Also, not surprisingly, I’m with Sarah. Sometimes life doesn’t cooperate and if you do have to attend a board meeting or what have you an explanation goes a long way even if it isn’t fully understood immediately. After all our kids should learn that mom’s get to have lives too right?

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