Here are some tips for staying organized when your child is playing sports:
- Put a nametag or write your child's name in permanent marker on everything (shoes, balls, bags, water bottles etc.)
- Tie a colored string or ribbon on your child's sports bag to make it easy to identify in a sea of bags (spending even an extra minute or two searching for the right bag when you and your child want to get on the road is frustrating and easily avoidable)
- Have your child keep all of his or her equipment together in the same place, preferably in a sports bag
- Make sure he puts her dirty uniform in the laundry. Either that or, to avoid the hassle of trying to get your child's uniform washed and dried in time, it may be worth the extra money to buy doubles on his uniforms
- Do a “sweep” of the area around the bench or dugout for your son's or daughter's equipment before leaving a practice or game
- Always bring along extra clothing for your child to change into after playing in muddy or rainy conditions. Be sure to replace any item you child uses so you always have a full set of dry, clean clothes
- Keep an extra towel – or two – in the car to keep the seats from getting muddy
- Join a carpool. Other parents are running in the same direction, so offer to pick up their kid for practice if they'll bring yours home afterwards.
- Keep a good calendar. Write down every practice, game and meeting, both start time and finish time, on your calendar. Plan your routine in advance.
- Limit your child's activities to the ones she truly enjoys; if she complains about practices, scratch that activity off the list for next year.
- On busy nights, put supper in a crock pot in the morning before work; or keep quick meals in the freezer; don't feel guilty if supper is frozen pizza or scrambled eggs; occasional sub-standard meals won't kill her.
A final bit of advice: Enjoy your days as a sports mom. They will be over in a blink of an eye!