School has officially started here! WHICH IS WONDERFUL! And also means something else has started. I’ll give you a hint. Ready?
Do you see it? Do you?
For those who don’t know about my crazy obsession, this is my planner. Like, really. I use this to plan my entire life. (And for the record, Steve isn’t some heart broken man that I plan on counseling through a break up. It’s Slugger’s teddy bear, who was missing an arm.) And there, there at the bottom! Fall baseball season has begun!
Slugger has been playing ball since Kindergarten, and though I wonder about how much HE has learned, I’ve learned a tremendous amount over the last few years. And because I’m a giving person, I plan to share that knowledge with you. Now, if you’re looking to the learn the definition of “short stop” or “pinch hitter”, this isn’t the place. Seriously, you guys, google. I’m here to teach you something far more valuable.
How to survive being a side line mom.
Now, though in my case this applies to baseball, the tips I’m about to teach you can be applied to just about any activity you are
forced happily spectating. So pay attention.
This first nugget of wisdom applies to almost anything kid related:
- No matter how much they enjoy the activity once they’re there, your children will fight you tooth and nail about actually going to said activity.
It never fails. My son loves his team and coaches. He generally enjoys himself while out on the field. But when it comes time to leave the house, he acts like I’m dragging him to a symposium on the effects of global warming. Every. Damn. Time. So, that being said, plan to leave at least a half an hour earlier than you need to. You know, in case you have to shove them in the car, kicking and screaming.
2. Always bring water.
Do not, I repeat, do not count on your child to remember to bring their own water bottle. It’s a recipe for disaster. You will remind them 345,239 times, and mid game/practice they will be dehydrating faster than you can say “I told you so”. Or at least, it will seem that way from all the throat clutching and rasping noises they will be making in your direction. They will spend more time whining by your side than on the field playing the sport you paid good money for them to play. BRING WATER.
3. Find your people.
Stop scratching your head and let me explain. There are going to be other moms there, you know, because it’s a team made of children. Unless you’re a magical chameleon unicorn, not all of these moms will get you. It’s up to you to hunt down and find the ones that do. And then firmly plant yourself next to them. To avoid confusion and awkward social situations, I’ve complied a list of most of the “mom types” you will find among the bleachers.
The Posh Moms:
You will know these moms from miles away. They are always polished and well dressed. Hair is coiffed, nails are polished, and they are dressed like they just stepped out of a high end catalogue. Their makeup is always on point and you’ll notice they never seem to sweat. I’ve yet to figure this out.
The Sporty Moms:
These moms clearly played some sport in college, though the debate is open as to what. They are usually dressed like they just went for a jog, with lots of spandex, ponytails, and baseball caps. Don’t look for them on the bleachers, because more than likely, they’ve positioned themselves behind the team bench and are leading the little buggers in some kind of group cheer. You can also easily recognize them by their intense need to high five everyone and shoot a thumbs up to their kid on the field every thirty seconds. Team work.
The All Together Moms:
These moms were born to birth people. Like, really though, they seem to have the mom thing down to a science. They are always prepared, always on time, and usually have anything any child could possibly need on hand. When it comes time for them to provide the team snack, you can bet it’s something painstakingly homemade. Like cupcakes with a picture of each child made from icing and fondant. The Martha Stewarts of Moms.
Which brings me to my final group.
The Barely Holding it Together Moms:
Personally, this is my group. These are the moms who are in the thick of it. They look war weary and disheveled. You can tell by the strain in their voice and the twitch in their eye that they are one tiny person away from a mental breakdown. They cope with sarcasm and humor. They scream from the sidelines at their kid, who is currently throwing dirt in the air like confetti, rather than paying attention to the action on the field. My people.
Now that we’ve covered that…
4. Clear your entire afternoon/evening schedule for the duration of the season.
Don’t even imagine that you will have any form of a life until the season has concluded. Just don’t. Plan on pop up practices, last minute games, and God knows what else. There will be parties and impromptu ice-cream. You are a slave to the game now. Live with it.
5. Forget eating dinner. Ever again.
This one kind of runs hand in hand with number 4. Because your brats are school aged, most activities take place during prime dinner time. Which means rushing through homework, throwing a snack at your child, and running out the door (thirty minutes early, don’t forget this.) You will spend a good percentage of your time on the bleachers wracking your brain on how to actually feed your family a meal that night. Don’t stress it. This is why McDonald’s was invented. Don’t judge me.
Now this last bit is just some added advice for those
fools moms out there who have more than one child, like yours truly.
To keep your additional little ones entertained, consider packing the following:
Every electronic device you own.
Every snack currently in your pantry.
Water (We covered this)
A toy loved enough to entertain, yet not so loved that losing it wouldn’t cause a complete meltdown. (Like such a thing exists. Ha!)
Vodka (For you. Clearly.)
Duct tape (Just in case…ummm. Never mind.)
If all of the above doesn’t work, send your additional children to All Together Mom. Chances are she has something they want.
Above all, have fun. Enjoy this time. It will go quickly. Plus, at the very least, you know your kid will one day have a bitchin collection of “participation trophies” to show off. It’s all good.