"Wow! Baseball really lasts a long time!"
I was dropping my five-year-old daughter Gillian off at a birthday party earlier this week, when my friend asked where my eight-year-old son Isaac was. After I explained that he was at baseball—one of four games this week—she was shocked to hear that the season still wasn't over. Yeah, I'm shocked too! My son's baseball season started at the end of May and finished, thankfully, this weekend. So yes, baseball lasts a really long time!
To that end, I have a confession that is going to make me sound like a horrible parent: I am so happy that baseball season is over! Don't get me wrong, I loved seeing my son being active and the sportsmanship and sport-specific skills he's learned in the past few months will stick with him for life. But packing up his baseball equipment after this weekend's tournament was the highlight of the summer for me. Here's why:
1. My kids can go to bed early againI've written here before about my very strict bedtime routine, which is one of the reasons why I think my kids sleep better. But late evening baseball games have thrown a wrench into my kids' early bedtime routines and they've been chronically sleep-deprived ever since. With the first day of school a few weeks away, I'm glad their sports season is over so that I can start putting them to bed earlier. Hopefully by the time school starts, they'll be caught up on their sleep.
2. No more snack dutyThankfully, there isn't a formal snack duty schedule for our baseball team, but with games held between supper and bedtime, inevitably my kids get hungry shortly after we arrive at the ball field. Some days I'm organized enough to pack fruit and other snacks. Other days it's an epic battle to keep my kids away from the canteen—which is stocked with more sugary treats than a candy store itself.
3. We get our weekends backAs a house league player, Isaac only has one game and one practice a week. But the practice falls on Sundays and that means it's been hard to make plans for sleepovers and play dates. Saying sayonara to sports means I get to reclaim my weekends!
4. I don't have to feel guilty about not attending every game and practiceI really do love watching Isaac play baseball–but not every single game and practice. Motherlode's Sharon Holbrook said it best last week in her post: "I don’t watch every game of Monopoly, every block tower built, nor every session of dress-up or imaginary play. And I don’t think I should. Childhood is not a performance."
I've been with my kids all summer long (including practicing baseball with Isaac at home), and though I feel guilty saying so, I appreciate the short break I get when the kids are at baseball. Sometimes I spend that time alone getting caught up on housework or take advantage of the alone time to go for a run or a bike ride—both things impossible to do well with young children underfoot.
I went to Isaac's wrap-up tournament this weekend and was cheering him on, but I was also secretly cheering for the simple fact that it was the last game. At least until next year.
Follow along as Jennifer Pinarski shares her experiences of giving up her big-city job and lifestyle to live in rural Ontario with her husband while staying home to raise their two young children. Read more Run-at-home mom posts or follow her @JenPinarski.