On-the-Go Tips for Soccer Parents
By Jessica Shyba/Momma’s Gone City
One of the things that makes parenthood so wonderful, wacky, intense, complicated and challenging is the constant change that happens when kids inevitably progress through stages and ages. It’s true that each child is different, and while it probably speaks volumes about our parenting style, we’ve truly let all four of our children lead the way through their young lives.
From sleeping patterns to potty training, ballet classes to soccer games, each child has chosen a different pattern and path that they felt the happiest and most comfortable with. With four children ranging from ages 1 to 9, we’re used to preparing for any and every possible variation of the most extreme circumstance, because the chances are we’ll hit four different parts of that spectrum in one outing.
With their diverse interests, we constantly juggle five different activities between our kids during the week, and we run the gamut on sports injuries, accidents and general personal necessities. Soccer is a sport that both Beau and Zoe are devoted to, so we spend three or more days a week at the soccer field, and it’s often a muddy and sometimes even bloody experience. No matter what kind of day or week we’re having, we know that there’s a soccer practice or game likely right around the corner. Despite what can often be exhausting circumstances, the fresh air, exercise and excitement is usually exactly what we need to keep us motivated and invigorated. There are very few things that channel Beau’s spirit the way soccer does, and I suspect this will be the case for many years to come.
I’ve learned as a parent to always try to foresee any and every unexpected circumstance. Sometimes it’s easier than others, of course, but being able to pack accordingly is a key way that I try to always be prepared. Now that the weather is getting nicer, we’re outside as often as possible. Soccer is such an easy sport to incorporate into the day, so we keep a ball in the trunk of the car along with what we call our Always Be Prepared Kit, which contains all of our usual necessities.
Our Always Be Prepared Kit
• BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages
• Diapers and wipes
• Plastic doggie bags
• Kid’s snacks (non-perishable)
• Epinephrine injectors
Our ABP Kit is small enough to keep tucked in the trunk or behind the driver’s seat and pretty much contains everything I usually otherwise either keep in a diaper bag or forget to pack with the other sports/kid/pet gear that we almost always have with us. We are almost always outdoors playing, and I don’t worry so much anymore now that we’ve been through the wringer more than a few times. Beau is our child that usually ends up with skinned knees, or with some variation of a kid wound, as he plays hard and doesn’t think about safety as a first priority. But I also know that a character BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandages will cure pretty much any tearful, worried little face and I try to never leave home without them.
Raising four children has taught me more about myself than anything I’ve ever experienced otherwise. I was never a very organized person, but being a parent showed me that in order for me to be successful, I absolutely must have certain things readily available for any unforeseen circumstance. Each child has their entirely own schedule, personality and disposition, but they all love to be outside playing anything and everything. If I can walk out of the front door knowing that I have pretty much all of the necessities packed, even when I inevitably forget something, I feel confident that I’ll have some control in most other situations that present themselves, especially if an accident occurs.