Soccer mom stress syndrome!

Mandi - posted on 05/16/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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How can I juggle softball practice twice a week, soccer practice twice a week (which is 40 minutes away), homework, dinner, cleaning, laundry, working part-time, and games every Friday and Saturday for two kids? I can't keep up with all this, and now I realize somewhere in there I have to fit in some kind of exercise because when I don't exercise, my hip and shoulder hurts. I always thought of exercise for looking good and being healthy, not a necessity to avoid bone a joint pain.

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[deleted account]

Hey, could you exercise while the kids are at sports? Maybe bring some hand weights and power walk around the park they play in? Several of the mom's on my son's Baseball teams walk together during practice (we sit for the actual games though :)
Crockpot dinners and left overs work well for us. And to be honest, we eat a lot more frozen Skillet Sensations than I like to admit. When I worked I bought dinners at a place called "Supper's On" which is a grocery store where you pick from a list of entrees and sides and an associate helps you make them from fresh ingredients, then they pack them up for you. When you get home, all you have to do is freeze them, then heat them in the oven or on the stove (they give you instructions) when you are ready to eat. The cost was about $200 for 12-14 meals which were always big enough to leave leftovers for hubby & I to eat for lunch the next day--so about 2 weeks.

I agree with Zenia about hubby complaining. Since you are both working, he should be helping out--have him drive one of the kids to sport so you can clean (or relax!!) for an evening.

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Sylvia - posted on 05/18/2010

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It's hard if you're houseproud (easy for me to say 'cos I'm not!), but honestly, if your husband complains that you aren't keeping the house clean enough, that's his issue, not yours. You obviously have a lot on your plate; you don't need him kvetching about housework as well. If he wants things tidier, he can help. And if he wants competent kids (and, eventually, to do less housework), he can deal with the fact that the kids don't always do as good a job as you do. Getting kids to help with housework is one of those areas where time invested now pays off hugely later on -- I understand exactly how frustrating it is, though!!

About your Tasmanian devil ;^) -- would s/he jog along with you, since s/he has so much energy? Or ride a bike along with you? Is there an area nearby where other kids' siblings hang out? (My kid doesn't play organized team sports -- she's never gotten into it, and I am carefully not encouraging her, because I see so many kids her age getting burned out and turned off by the pressure to excel -- so if my ideas about this are really dumb or impractical, that would be why -- sorry!)

[deleted account]

Can you leave the 4 year old at home with Dad? They could have some quality Daddy & Son time--It's really important at that age! ;)

Mandi - posted on 05/18/2010

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I have thought of jogging the park trail at Phebe's soccer practice before. The thing is, what am I going to do with the four year old Tasmanian devil that I have tagged along with me? I have tried to get my husband to take her to soccer once or twice, he gets home from work and doesn't want to do anything. Trying to get him to help is like pulling teeth. I am definitely going to start cooking more crock pot meals and casseroles that I can freeze or use as leftovers the next day. I think Sundays are a good day to do that. I don't ever go anywhere except church. When I signed Phebe up for soccer I had the impression it was the league closest to me, but later found out it was a league in the next town over. I already paid so we are dealing with it for now and next year I am going to make sure she will be in the league close to us. They usually do soccer in spring but for some reason they didn't this spring and will do it in the fall. She will still be in soccer but it will be much closer.

Zenia - posted on 05/18/2010

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I am cooking in advance in the weekends most weeks and it has saved me! Hon,dont put so much strain on yourself,its not worth it...if hubby is complaining,hand him the vaccuum..beggars cant be choosers. Or he can pay for a cleaner.You need to put some time aside for yourself,otherwise you will go crazy. And a crazy mum,cant drive any kids anywhere! We have created this supermum mess ourselves, we better clean it up,is what i think :)

Mandi - posted on 05/17/2010

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That would be nice, except I live in a small town 10 miles away from grocery stores and such. I have to be at work at 5:45am, so I would have to train myself to get up way early. I barely get 5hours of sleep as it is. I like the idea of making my kids help. I try to do that now but end up wasting time getting them to do it. Then when hubby comes home and complains about house, I go over my kids half done job. I think the idea of cooking meals on my days off and freezing them sounds good. Anyone tried that before?

[deleted account]

Yep, Lisa, I think dropping an activity or two is a great plan. In fact, our house rule is no more than 2 sports and one other extra at a time--and I only have one!! He does Taekwondo 3 times a week, baseball twice a week, music twice a week. When Baseball season is over, he'll have a week with Taekwondo being the only sport before swim starts. Because he is starting school this fall, I will not be enrolling him in a second sport once swim is over and the new rule will be 1 sport and 1 other. I just feel like it's too much--Think about it: If it's too much for the parent to keep up with, it's definitely too much for the little kid!

Sylvia - posted on 05/17/2010

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Well, it sounds like by far the best thing to do would be not to get into that situation in the first place. Now that you're there ... First of all, do your kids need to play both soccer and softball? Do they need to play soccer 40 minutes away, or could they play somewhere closer to home? Do you have to drive them yourself every time, or could you carpool with another family (or families)?

Second of all, it sounds like your partner (if you have one) and your kids need to help more around the house (or maybe you need to lower your housekeeping standards -- mine are very low LOL). Even quite young kids can help with cooking and cleaning, and the younger they start, the better they'll be at it as they get older. My mom was a single parent from the time I was 10 and my brother was 6; we had more responsibilities around the house than most of our friends did, but we were both grateful for that when we moved out and already knew how to cook, clean, do laundry, pay bills ... Also, I think it's good for kids to really understand what has to happen in order for them to participate in those activities (you have to work in order to pay the fees; laundry has to get done in order for them to have clean uniforms to wear to their games; food has to be cooked so they can eat before soccer practice ...).

I don't know what to tell you about homework; my DD is only 7, so B"H she doesn't really have homework yet (except maybe once every few weeks). When she does have homework, the rule is it has to get done before she gets to do anything else -- including going to her swimming lesson on Thursday night, which she looooves, so that's a good incentive ;^).

I'm really bad at exercising, myself -- the only things I really like to do are walking, cycling, and swimming. My current bike SUCKS ($100 special from Canadian Tire, left out all one winter...) and we don't have an adult pool nearby, just the swim school where DD takes her lessons. So basically what I do is walk a lot. If I have to run an errand and I have a choice of the bus or walking, I walk if it'll take less than 20 minutes (unless it's, like, pouring rain or snowing or something). In the spring, summer and fall, I try to walk every day in the ravine near my office for half an hour at lunchtime -- it's good exercise *and* I get out of the office! We also have a treadmill in the rec room of our building, but I only use it in the winter, because booooring :P Anyway, my solution to lack of exercise is to walk places whenever I can -- it also saves on bus fare :)

[deleted account]

My kids are only 3 an 5, and I already worry about this (my daughter does dance, swimming and soccer...which seems like too much, and we haven't even started anything for my 3 year old), I already get up at 5 to exercise (30 min runs) but can't imagine what is going to happen once they both start having activities...especially ones that are farther away.

Would anyone consider dropping a few of their kids activities?

Amy - posted on 05/17/2010

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Schedule, Schedule, schedule. Plus crockpot for dinner. It has been my salvation. I still feel like I cooked for my family and I can either grab it throw it in the back and eat at one of the parks or when I get home its still hot and ready, I assume that both arent playing softball and soccer so homework can be done while the other one is playing. Also since there's a 40 minute commute thats a good time to get it done also. I exercise in the morning before my kids are awake, and remember it doesn't have to be very long 20-30 minutes gets the blood moving, oxygen flowing and you'll start to notice you have more energy.

Angie - posted on 05/17/2010

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For the last 8 years I've had this same juggle. When the kids were little, it was easy but now my kids travel to play soccer so DH and I have to split up on weekends. There are times I have 3 things to do at once - team soccer dinners, college prep for my oldest, band concerts, church activities, etc... I take each day as it comes. I have a really good schedule and we stick to it. I exercise at 5am before my family is even awake. But my best defense is prayer (which I do at 5am when I take my dog for our 2 mile walk).

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