As a parent, you are required to set a good example for your children. I teach my children how to be sensitive to others but not to allow their emotions to get out of control. If only I could follow my own advice.
Our family, like many families, is involved in numerous sports and extra-curricular activities. Three nights a week, I load all three boys in the car and haul them and their gear to practice. I remember to have them in the appropriate clothing and bring bats, balls, mouth guards, shoes and other equipment the sport requires. I also need snacks, drinks, books, games or toys to keep the other two boys busy while practice is being held.
Within ten minutes we arrive at practice, the boys all rush to exit the car and run to join their friends on the team. Meanwhile, I unload the stroller, the snacks, the drinks, the chairs, the blanket, the balls, the toys and books and the crying baby. I carry chairs and bags on my back like a camel as I push the heavily loaded stroller down the bumpy hill. Once I reach the other parents, I am winded and tired. I manage to smile as I wipe away the sweat from my face. I now have an hour to chase the baby and keep an eye on my other son as they try to run as far from me as they can. I do not get to watch the practice.
This is my routine three days a week. It would be much easier to stay home but I know the team building skills and exercise is good for my children. I know my sacrifices are worth it. When I see the pride in my son’s eyes when he scores, it is worth it.
Occasionally, our two sons have different games at the same time, on the same day. They both plead with my husband to go with them. No one cares if I am at the game. I am not the chosen parent. They fight with each other over who gets Dad at their game. My heart breaks as my mind rewinds all the nights of practices I endure. I hold back tears as I realize that I am not appreciated. Reality check, they are five and six years old. After all, how important are feelings anyway? I’ll survive.