Worth It!

I feel like you all have been with me on a crazy journey this summer as I planned to let my kids fully participate in our neighborhood swim team even though I was going to have a baby on the very first day of the season. That baby is one month old today, and we had the last regular meet. As you know from my last post, our routines fell apart, and it was a groan to the finish line, but we made it, and I am so happy for my children, and, frankly, proud of myself for getting through it all with a mostly cheerful outlook. Special thanks to the neighborhood parents who drove my kids, watched my kids, lent them towels, fed them, did my volunteer assignments for me and kept my spirits up. Of course, nothing about our life would be possible without the support of the grandparents, who have been forced to hop on to the crazy pace this summer, but I am sure that they would agree that these moments are totally worth it!

  • Kellie “Red”

    Nice dive! Love that picture of the twins!

  • Kathleen M

    Alice, you’re an inspiration!

  • Kathy

    Congratulations on a job well done – or at least well survived. Kudos to all those who pitched in to keep it moving for you and your family. Happy 1 month to Teddy – so cute! Great photos. Thank you for sharing.

  • JMB

    Way to go! Love the swim team bathing suits! Ours have lasted forever.

  • Sera

    Do any of you have any tips on how to handle experiences like this when one of your kids has difficulty waiting, or going places in general? My four year old has sensory issues, and this has made it very difficult for his older siblings to participate in classes or teams. We do things such as soccer, karate, and piano lessons, and they are sometimes horrendous experiences for him and, in turn, me. (The grocery store and library are usually too much for him as well.) These activities all happen during the week when I am the only parent available. I am glad my older kids get to have these experiences, but I wish that I enjoyed them more myself. My youngest is one year old, and she is happy-go-lucky at these types of events.

    • http://www.buildingcathedrals.com Mary Alice

      Here is a mix of advice, some of which may be useful to you.
      1 – babysitters and carpooling: Probably not what you want to hear, but I am trying to use babysitting and carpooling for at least some of our activities. When I have a sitter for my 3 and 4 year old, I can go to the activity and actually be present to my older child, take pictures, etc. If I am only leaving 2 children and will stay in the neighborhood, I can get an 8th grader to babysit. I also share rides often with neighbors so that I don’t have to go to everything all the time.
      2 – find a playground: Several of our activities (swimming, choir, baseball) have playgrounds nearby or on the grounds. We no longer “go to the park” everyday, but we get in our playground time during activities.
      3 – simultaneous activities: this winter, I set up a private swim lesson for my preschoolers at the same time as my big kids had lessons. It cost a bit more, but what it saved in sanity was well worth it, no more cranky kids on the pool deck!
      4 – bring toys: make a backpack full of toys or activities that are just for this time out of the house. Little plastic animals, Kumon workbooks and fun markers, etc. Let your child help fill the backpack and change out the toys often so that it stays entertaining
      5 – bring snacks
      6 – implement ground rules and discipline: at baseball, I will not allow my children to be obnoxious doing things like banging on the bleechers, but I have to come up with a consequence in advance (usually related to the snack), or else I am sort of distracted and just repeat a “no” that I don’t really mean
      7 – realize that it will get better: we have had some easy years and some hard years with activities, but six months or a year might make a big difference to your demanding child, and sometimes just knowing that helps me push through some difficult times

  • Bethany “B-mama”

    Way to go, Mary Alice! From a grown pool rat to a pool rat mother, awesome work. It is hard to describe the heat on the deck of a pool during a swim meet with forbidden, refreshing water just feet away. It is pure torture for any parent, coach, volunteer timer. I’m so glad you all survived well.


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