Last fall, I signed my two boys up for soccer. This was their first experience being on a sports team, and we were told that soccer was a great intro into the sports world for kids. Two weeks in, I quickly realized that one of my boys had absolutely zero interest in soccer . . . even though he had picked soccer from the list of options I gave him.
It was a long season.
We had two soccer practices and two games every week. As much as I loved that my boys were being active in a team sport, I started to rethink my idea of mandating sports for my children.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-sport. I grew up trying many different sports before I found my niche in gymnastics and track. But I also wanted to do those sports — no one made me do them.
My husband and I thought our boys needed to get involved with sports. In fact, we felt pressure because we were a little late to the party. Most of our other parent friends had their kids in sports two or three years before us. But I strictly stuck to my rule of no sports before the age of five.
I don’t necessarily regret signing my kids up for soccer, but let’s just say that we aren’t doing a sport this season. We’re sitting this one out. And I’m totally OK with that. We have a lot on our plate right now, and it made sense to take a breather before hopping back into the sports world. And to be honest? Our break may last longer than one season.
For one thing, sports are expensive.
Even with the $100 team fee, we still had to buy athletic socks, a specific type of soccer ball, and cleats. We’re talking at least $150 per kid to kick around a ball. And since I have two kids old enough to play, that’s $300 to play soccer! We’re a family of five living off of one income, so $300 is a large chunk of change for us.
Second, I hated giving up my Saturday mornings — heck, we all did!
As I mentioned earlier, my family is juggling a lot right now. My husband works full time and is working on his doctorate. I homeschool my kids, and we’re renovating our home. When I say renovating, I don’t mean repainting the wall or hiring someone else to install a new light fixture. I mean tearing out drywall and completely gutting our kitchen, living room, dining room, etc.
Everyone is busy . . . so, so busy . . . and we really have to be pick the things most important to us — and be intentional about those choices. Sports does not make the cut for this season of life. We live on two acres, and my kids are much happier running around our yard, wading through the creek, and exploring the woods than they were kicking around a soccer ball on the field.
One day, we’ll get back into the sports world. I firmly believe a lot of great life lessons come from participating in sports. But for right now? I’m ok with my kids unofficially playing sports in our backyard. And that’s fine.