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Are sports out of control for your family? Here are some questions you can ask yourself to make sure sports are adding more good than harm!
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Is sports hurting your family. Somebody emailed me recently and was saying, Hey, my husband loves sports. Super gifted coach. We’re pretty involved. She didn’t say what sport. Um, but she was saying, it kind of stresses me out. We, we don’t eat dinner together or we’re eating a lot of like fast portable food. And it seems like it’s adding a lot of stress to the family. Husband thinks it’s worth it. I don’t necessarily think that it’s worth it. And for her, they were homeschooling. And so her husband’s point was also that it was extra important that the kids had this level of socialization. So I just wanted to make a podcast about this question, because I think we could ask this about any of the curricular activities that we sign up our kids for.
And I want to show you how I coach my clients, like what I ask them, because of course there is no right or wrong answer for any of these things, but we want to know what our reasons are and we want to pay attention to. The things that we’re kind of boxing ourselves into. And we’re feeling pressure to kind of follow social norms. But then really that’s the thing that’s causing us stress, not the actual way that we are living. So I’m just going to speak from my experience, having done. One, exactly one season of soccer, but we did sign up five kids. So we did five kids have soccer at the same time. So there were all these different practices. They were on to two nights a week. And then the games were all on Saturday. At different times, but they would all be at the same place. Right? So we live in a small town, so all the practices and the games were at the same school. And so that was really nice. And so when we’re thinking about. Is the chaos that this adds into our life worth it. First I want to address, you know, does it mean to be chaotic? And so for us, like we got this tote and then all the soccer stuff was in a tote. And then we would put the tote in our giant Catholic man and we would take it to practice. And then we’d be like, you have to put your, your ball and your cleats and your. Shin guards back in the tote. And we were just really tight with the kids on doing that and being like, yep, you got to do it. But then there wasn’t chaos. Like where are your shoes? Because we always knew where the shoes and the shin guards in the balls were. Okay. So there’s some things like that where we can do some training or set up a system to make it easier to be a sports family. Okay. Then the next thing she mentioned was dinner. So I think we have this idea. That we have to eat dinner together as a family and let the good families eat dinner together. But here’s the thing. That really came out of all of a sudden two parents were working. Um, then there were sports and it’s just that the family didn’t see each other a lot. And that’s when we started hearing the importance of family dinner as an antidote to, we don’t spend hardly any time together as a family. And so I just want to offer that family time is important, but I actually don’t think that meals or specifically dinner is much more important than any other kind of activity that you do. Now, when we’re sitting together in a meal, there tends to be talking. I mean, that’s not true. If you have a bunch of little kids, we are still not an old enough family to have an enjoyable talking. Interesting discussion mealtime experience. I’m mostly like, please don’t spill your water. Please sit on your bottom. Yes, you have to eat that. Right. Like, that’s our dinnertime experience right now. And so. You know, why is this important to you? Is it just, is it just this general idea that we should be doing it? Because particularly for this mom, if you’re homeschooling your kids, like you’re together all the time. So then you can ask yourself well, but we’re not together with dad. Okay, but how can we create togetherness with dad? And can we do it outside of dinner time? And so there are no hard and fast rules about that. But you, you can look at it and talk with your husband and say, what’s important here. Like, why are dinner times together important? Can we get that benefit somewhere else? Okay. And then the next thing is, are we letting all the kids play all the sports, all the ages, things like that. One of the things that we really saw very quickly for the soccer team is that we shouldn’t have signed up the five-year-old. That was just a joke. He totally could have skipped that we should have waited till he was six. And then the other thing we discovered was that we can age some of the kids up and combine the teams. And so that’s just a logistical thing that will make our life easier. And so just being really curious and having out of the box, thinking for. You know, maybe we start them later a year later. Maybe we wait until both of these kids are the age of playing and then we start doing that sport. I am just really like put it all on the table. Because, you know, it’s not all, or nothing. Husband may want some sort of sports activity, but you say, you may say like, great, we’re going to do soccer, but we’re not going to do basketball. And for us, I see that soccer’s in the fall and soccer’s in the spring. And that soccer overlapped hunting season. And I didn’t really think that through, so I may choose not to do that next fall because of that reason. Hey. The next thing that I would explore as a family is, do I need to be there at all? Like if you, as the mom say, I’m going to stay home with the babies, I’m going to know practices and I’m going to two games this season. Maybe that’s the only thing that’s stressful for you. If husband’s coaching and he’s taking them, but you just feel like you have to be there then. Maybe that’s the only thing that’s causing you stress. And if husband took them and you stayed home with the little kids, you’d be like, oh, actually that’s fine. And so for our kids, because we have such a large family, there’s no way that I could be at all the practices of the games. And so we told them before we even signed up, we said, Hey, we’re going to do this for you to enjoy soccer.
Your parents aren’t necessarily going to be there. And we love you and we support you. And that’s great, but it’s just, just from the beginning. I want you to know we’re not going to be at all the practices in the games now. I really like seeing them play. So if I can make it to a game, I do, but still because there’s five of them. And usually watching 10 minutes of this kid’s game and then leaving and watching 10 minutes of that kid’s game. But just in general, I see that it’s just totally optional. And so in your brain, if you think it’s not optional, Then, of course it would cause you a lot of stress. Okay. And so then another thing she was saying is the crazy sports schedule schedule is making it hard for me to be more present in the evening and pray as a family from the heart. Okay. And that’s really flowery, like mom language, right? Present as a family and pray from the heart. Sounds wonderful. Right? All of us are like, yes, we want that. But why. I don’t know the ages of her kids, seven kids in a baby. Right. So I’d be like, okay, what are the chances that we’re getting seven kids while I’m pregnant in a room to have calm, present per full time in the evening? And does it need to be in the evening? Why aren’t we doing it in the morning? Right. Like, you can just see that as, as I’m sensing frustration and, and in moms we do like life gets too chaotic and then we need to pause and go, okay. How can I problem solve around this? And if you want to pray with the kids, well, there’s lots of ways to pray with the kids. Right. And so, but your brain right now wants to pray with them in the evening. And I just want to say why, and you may have a good reason for that. You may say, you know, I really want them to calm themselves down and connect with the Lord before they go to bed. And be like, oh, that sounds beautiful. And so is that more important? Then the husband wanting to do the sports. Can we pray together as a family after the sports? Or can we pray together as a family at 10:00 AM before we start school? Like really understanding your reasons. Now I have a feeling that she feels a little squashed by the husband. Right. It’s like added this chaos to her life, which by the way, happened to me, it was my husband who really wanted the kids to play soccer. And I was like, ah, I don’t know about that. And he was like, yeah, it’s gonna be great. And then it was hard. And. But I agreed. We talked about at nine greed. And so I told myself I was going to have a good attitude about it for the, you know, the time that we did it. I think it was like six or seven weeks. And.
And then I looked at all of the things and just one by one problem solves them. Right. So it’s like driving food. Making sure that things don’t get lost. Are we signing up for snack? We chose not to do pictures, right. There was just like all these decisions. But if you’re feeling squashed by your husband, that is just not even really about the sports at all right. You can go to him and after you’re calm, you have to get calm and be like, Hey, I love you. I really feel like. You weren’t listening to me in my feelings. And you just chose to do this anyway, even though I didn’t want to do it. And then we can talk about that, but it’s not really about the sports at all. It’s really, it could be about anything, which is just like, I brought my heart to you. And then you just were like, Nope, we’re doing it anyway. Which usually when I’m coaching a woman, isn’t what happened. Either. She didn’t bring the objection clearly. Or she was like, she was really mousy about it. Like maybe, I don’t know. I don’t know if he should play the sports and he’s like, yeah, I think it’s going to be great. And then you go, okay. Like, that’s not you really saying, Hey, I’m pregnant, I’m tired. I don’t think we should do this. Or you’re welcome to do this. I’m not participating at all.
Okay. Like, that’s what it would sound like. To still support your husband and be like, yeah, knock yourself out. If you want to drive everyone to practice, go for it. Right, but I’m not choosing to do this. I’m pregnant and tired and I don’t want to do it. Right. And we can be strong without being angry.
And then you can also explore the food thing. Right. And so you can say, yeah, you know, We’re going to do. Um, I’m going to call it fast food, but what I really mean is just like food that is fast or portable, and it’s not as healthy as maybe the food that you normally eat. Can you be okay with that for six weeks? ’cause it’s like, you know, probably 20 dinners. You can tell yourself that, like, can I be okay with 20 dinners? Probably the answer is, yes. It probably just feels yucky when we put all of this together. Right. And you’re like, and we’re not even praying and we’re eating the portable dinners, right. Like just gets built up into our mind. And then all of it feels really big. But when we like. Untangle it and go, okay, well, let’s deal with the dinners because you could just make really healthy, like burritos.
Or wraps. And they could eat those in the car and you could make them ahead of time. Like there’s, that’s solvable. If you want to hold the bar of healthy and travels well in the car or we’re eating it at the field.
I had a friend, we did beach nights and she would roast potatoes and like kielbasa sausage in like a big dish. And then they would eat that and maybe some sauerkraut anyway, it was great. And I remember being like that is a really great beach. Dinner that was healthy and they brought it like it. Wasn’t pizza. And so this is solvable, but if your heart is hurt and we’re stressed, we’re not even thinking about solving it. Because we’re in our stress brain.
And so listen, my heart goes out to the sports families and there was a reason that we did not do it for a long time. And in the end, I’ve actually really enjoyed doing soccer season. Now that’s one thing I’m not going from soccer to baseball, to. Or soccer to basketball, to baseball. Like we’re not doing all of them. And if I felt like it was too much, I would come to my husband and I would say, Hey. It’s too much. Like, if you want to do this, I need some help somewhere else.
Right, or, and I give you lots of ideas for this episode about like food and ages and all sorts of things. Like there’s so many ways that you could treat the sports season. And so in the end she was saying, You know,
How do I know that I should follow my husband in this or not? Like, do I pray and try to discern it myself? Should I just follow him? But I think that we tend to, like I said, only talk to the husband when we’re upset. Or we don’t speak clearly. So we don’t speak clearly on the front end and then when we, and then we let ourselves get upset and then we just yell at him. And like, even if you’re not yelling, we’re kind of just like talk at him with great emotion.
Maybe you’ve heard something in this episode where you’re like, oh, actually, if we just did it this other way, I think I could handle the sports thing.
And. All of it may stay the same. And you could just think differently about it. Right. You could just be like, yep. It’s going to be hard. Yep. I’m going to be uncomfortable. One of the days I had all three boys in my car and I was like, this, this will be fine. It was not fine. Oh my goodness. They climbed all over the car. They rolled down the windows. One of them like opened the door and almost fell out. And I was just like, oh my God, we just had to sit in the car for 20 minutes. And I just thought that wasn’t a big deal. And it was. But I coached myself and I was like, of course it was Sterling. Of course, course I was going to be hard to sit in the car. With a four or five and six year old.
And then I wasn’t angry and I wasn’t like, my husband made me do this and I’m so upset. Right. I was just like, yeah. We’re just testing the sports thing. And I actually have mostly liked it on the kids have really liked it. So I’m willing to make my life more uncomfortable and add hardship because I value the experience. And so when your husband values the experience more than you do well, it’s not a zero sum game. You can be like, listen, honey, I love that you love the soccer thing. How can we make it? Not as hard for me?
You know, how can we prioritize things that you value? ’cause a lot of times we see the husbands, like asking for what they want and having fun. And then we’re kind of mad about it and I’m like, well, but did you ask for what you want? Are you taking time to have fun? And you’re like, well, no, I have to be with the kids all the time. And I’m like, yeah, of course. You’re upset then.
Cause if you had your own thing that you could do that felt really refreshing. Maybe you’d be fine with the soccer season. right. Like, maybe we do all the soccer games on Saturday, and then you leave the house for three hours and you get to do whatever you want. And all of a sudden you’d be like, that’s the best I will totally do the soccer season. Crazy Saturday. If I get alone time. Out of the house. Or in the house. One of my favorite things to ask for is me being alone in the house. And sometimes I just clean and listen to music and it’s amazing. And that just is the best thing ever to me. And so, you know, are you filling your cup up? And then also, I’m just going to add this for this particular person who wrote me. And I just want to say that, like, I am pretty much grumpy about everything in seven months pregnant. Like, I’m just kind of a grumps. I’m tired and my body hurts and I don’t feel like doing anything. And so just everything feels kind of hard and big.
And if I was making a major decision, like, should we pull the kids from school or should we stop being a sports family? I’d be like, listen, darlin. I love you. We’re going to decide that like two weeks after the baby comes out, Because after I have a baby, I just think so differently. Like my mind clears up my priority shift really quickly and I’m like, oh, I might’ve just been hormonal. So. That’s for you, moms who are struggling with sports season and you’re pregnant, which is not all of you, but stay tuned. I will give you an update in the spring. If we sign up for soccer, how we do it, how we change it. If we continue to be a sports family, But this is how I feel about, I feel like flexible and open and curious. And we’re always just kind of evaluating things, but your husband loves you and he wants you to be happy and he wants to take care of you. So if you can get calm and tell him how you really feel and ask each other, well, what is important here? My guess is you’ll just handle the season very differently and maybe it will fit into your family really well. All right. My friends. I hope that’s helpful. I love you. Thanks so much for listening and have a blessed.
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