My day starts with checking the uniform cleanliness status, the color coded calendar on the refrigerator, and my supply of coffee and coconut milk creamer.

Because I’m a Sports Mama.

I have four extremely active children. On any given day we potentially have three softball games in three different cities in the Metro, a volleyball game somewhere in the school district, a football game up to four hours away, dance rehearsal and a dad and mom who may be coaching any of those things…..well, not the dance or football. That’s just the fall season.

Most people tell the season based on weather. Our season are dictated by the sport. Winter, spring, summer, and fall translate into:

Winter = SNOWBOARDING, volleyball, and domeball (not that I have a favorite or anything SNOWBOARDING)

Spring = tryouts and volleyball (while wrapping up snowboard season)

Summer = traveling and rec softball

Fall = fallball (softball), volleyball, football and the loss of my sanity.

All non-active sports season time includes conditioning with a program through the school run by a local sports medicine clinic. Our kids are running, lifting, and stretching on the daily. It’s overwhelming to manage the schedule of one kid who chooses to be this active. Add three more and you understand why I check my coffee supply daily.

Week days are full of carting kids to and from practices and competitions. Weekends are packed with tournaments that last from sun up to sun down. We pack lunches, eat more than our fair share of concessions meals, and visit ball fields and school across the state. Rarely do we have a free weekend.

I love it.

And I hate it.

Yes…it’s a love/hate relationship. I am often envious of families who have entire weekends, even multiple weekends in one month where they are all home, together, with no schedule other than hanging at the beach. But watching my daughter’s face as she belts one past the infield, my son’s excitement when he tells me how he almost blocked a punt, and listening to the older girls coach the youngest in the ways of traveling softball….my heart is happy and I long for these days to never end. Mid-week when I’m overwhelmed making sure everyone has washed their uniforms, makes it to practice, eats something other than a hamburger or hotdog from a concession stand…I try to remember those smiles and happy moments.

I attempt to make every game or competition. I fail but I try. I’m fortunate to make my own schedule so I make many games that others are unable to. I don’t watch practices because honestly, chances are I’m driving another kid to their practice. And I’ve been known to take the wrong kid to the wrong sport and the wrong time. It takes a village to make all this happen and I have one hell of an amazing support system.

I want to emphasize that our kids CHOOSE to be involved. They love their sports. Yes, they get tired. Yes, they have bad days. And yes, I offered multiple times to let them take a season off. Last week in fact, my daughter was having a meltdown about having to go to practice. I told her she had to finish the season and she could take a break. I explained that we as a family do a lot to make everything they get to do happen – sports are not free, nor is equipment, gas to travel, and food to bring along. I told her I don’t appreciate her taking it for granted. She quickly realized she could take a break, thought about it, and hopped up and was a happy camper to get to ball practice. I didn’t guilt her into finding her happy but led her to make a decision where she did find her happy.