The month of October is really the start of craziness in my house. We have so many things going on between now and the end of spring that life gets messy. It is when practices ramp up in preparation for competition season to start in December, school is in the thick of things, holiday activities get planned and added to the calendar, and it is the biggest season for my businesses and for my husband at work. I actually woke up with a migraine yesterday because I didn’t sleep well with all the things running around in my head that I needed to remember to do. Then I couldn’t fall asleep last night and woke up at 4:00 AM this morning for the same reason. Too much is rolling around in my brain. It can all be a little overwhelming and super exhausting. I have been hearing all of my friends saying the same things about their lives right now. It is so hard to keep up with everything, and sometimes you get that feeling that you are drowning. The biggest thing that consumes most of our time is the girls’ sports, and I know my friends would agree. They way kids’ sports are these days is pretty intense. If you are really serious about the sport, it requires a million hours of practice and tons of games or competitions. The world is so much more competitive now than when I was a child. I was a dancer for much of my childhood, but I didn’t do competitions. We just had a yearly recital. I am pretty sure I practiced no more than twice a week for an hour or two at the most. Then I quit dance so that I could play basketball and cheer in middle and high school. I didn’t do basketball or cheer outside of school either. We practiced for a couple of hours right after school, and it wasn’t nearly as intense as club sports are now. I guess there were club sports when I was a kid, but I don’t recall anyone that I knew that did a sport outside of school. It is the total opposite now. Everyone we know is doing some kind of club sport outside of school sports and also tries to fit in the same sport or more through school. It is insane. My oldest practices 5 days a week for 3-4 hours at a time for gymnastics, and my youngest practices 3 times a week for 1-3 hours at a time for cheer. It is a lot to keep up with because every day is different times and every day is a different carpool. Then my oldest is also on the gymnastics team for her high school, which adds additional hours of practice after the club practice. It really is insane. Trying to keep up with who goes where and when and who is driving who and when is nearly impossible. Let’s not forget to throw in the fact that both my husband and I have jobs to do, the girls have schoolwork to do, and we all also have other outside responsibilities (like being the Vice President of the gymnastics parents’ club and helping to make all of the cheer gifts and spirit wear). It seems to never end.
Don’t get me wrong. All of these are things that we happily do and want our kids to do because they love it so much, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t get to be too much sometimes. It doesn’t mean that we don’t mess up and forget things occasionally, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we aren’t all totally exhausted all the time. It is a sacrifice that we choose to make, but it is a sacrifice nonetheless. I am telling you all this just to say that I am tired and it has only just begun. Forgive me for grammar and spelling mistakes over the next several months, as my brain may not be functioning at full capacity. Wait, who am I kidding? I make mistakes even when I am 100%. LOL! Seriously, though, I am asking for grace…grace for me, grace for all those other moms and dads who are in the same boat, and grace for all of these kids who are doing way more than most of us ever even thought of doing at their age. When you see that mom or dad with the dark circles and bags under their eyes, don’t judge them. Instead, give them a pat on the back and tell them they are doing a great job. Tell them that you know how they feel and that it’s okay. I promise you, they will appreciate it. Then, to all of you parents who know what I am talking about, hang in there. Enjoy the little moments because they will be over before you know it, and you will miss the chaos. Just hold on tight and bring it all on. You can handle it. This is what you were made for.