Now what?

Well, my soccermom-dom has reached a critical point. Most of the members of my older daughter’s soccer team, including the coach, are going to go competitive next season (i.e. no longer ‘recreational’ now ‘club’). This transition involves try-outs, and if she makes the team there will be lots of traveling to games out of town, two tournaments per semester, and a much longer soccer season. The traveling will involve at least 3 hours of driving for 1/2 of the season’s games, in addition to two practices per week and the regular schedule of home games that we currently have.

I am honestly conflicted about whether or not we should let her play up to club soccer. This will be a very difficult schedule for me and my enlightened also-academic-scientist-spouse (hereafter referred to as DrMrA) to add on top of our two academic careers and the other scheduled lessons and events for the children. I mourn the ever more elusive thought of spending Saturday morning with the whole family in PJs… and the idea of free time with the children without a schedule or something we are constantly late for. On the other hand, my daughter has really enjoyed playing rec soccer and after several years has become quite attached to her team. I guess I’m reluctant to make her give that up… because of MY JOB…- but I understand the kind of commitment her parents are making to traveling and being away from our consuming academic positions, both of which require some care right now in the papers-n- grants sense.

Now I know you are asking- WHERE did that come from… last I knew we were having a perfectly logical conversation about the academic job search…and now this!!

I had planned to talk about work-life balance and all that. So here it is plain and simple- this sometimes hits home hard. Things were easier when the children were small and taking care of bodily functions was and giving out hugs and kisses freely were all that was required. Now that they need a guide for life (and a chauffeur) things are more tricky than ever… and I naively thought it would get EASIER as they got older!

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8 thoughts on “Now what?

  1. One thing to look at may be to hire someone as a “Mother’s helper” to deal with the added schedule demands. A friend of mine paid a student from a local university some substantial monies to pick up their children from school and deliver them to their respective after school obligations. 3 hours in a car can be tough.

    Another thing that might be worth thinking about is the question of spreading your daughter too thin as school demands also increase. How old is she?

  2. Academic-

    Hmmm. How I wish I had family nearby… but a reliable undergraduate after school is always an option and one that we might seriously consider come the fall.

    And, she’s 10… I have a no-more-than-2 activity rule for each child, and so far we have been pretty good about that. I am very wary of having two overscheduled, exhausted kids!

  3. Preface: As a non-parent my comment may be of little use.

    I think that the whole ‘club’ and ‘travel’ team stuff is kind of crazy. When you are 10 years old, you shouldn’t be traveling hours to do things you enjoy. I find the cost (in time and gas) to be prohibitive.
    Are there any other sort of things that your daughter could do? Diversify her fun?

    please note, I have left comments here before, but decided to change my name, so that I can maybe get more specific in the future. 🙂

  4. Pinus-

    I’m thinking it’s not the end of the world to play rec soccer on another team as there are many kids she already knows on the other teams she currently plays against…

    Also, she may try another sport… swimming or softball perhaps. We have to investigate the possibilities…

    send me an email about that name change thing if you wish.

  5. My brother transitioned from baseball to golf when baseball got too travel-heavy. I personally went from an athletic activity to an academic activity.

  6. Academic-

    I’m thinking Pinus set me straight there- I could be spending that 3 hours doing something FUN with her rather than driving… the 10 year old… for 3 hour… to a soccer game…. 🙂

  7. I’m also not a parent, but if your daughter would really like to continue playing with her team, perhaps you could make some kind of carpooling arrangement with her teammates’ parents such that only one set of parents would have to make each 3-hour drive.

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