Monday, October 11, 2021

Not Just a Mom-- How We Handle Busy Nights

Good morning and happy Monday! I know many of you may have the day off from work/school today for the holiday and if that is the case, I hope you're enjoying it! Today the Not Just a Mom ladies and I are talking about how we handle busy nights and I am looking forward to the advice! 

If I'm being completely honest here, my kids are too young for us to have super busy nights. We used to do swim lessons twice a week, but lessons were 30 minutes long and walking distance from our house.. so no big deal. 

I may not have a lot of my own advice to give, but I know someone who does! I grew up in a family of 3 very busy girls with a dad who traveled for work on occasion... meaning my mom became pretty darn good at getting us into an after school routine. I wrote down some of the things I remembered about how she made everything run so smoothly, and then I asked her a few questions too. I figured I'd share her advice and sprinkle in a few awkward sports photos of me from the 90's too. 😉

For reference, my sisters and I all played soccer, volleyball and basketball each season. We also tried cheerleading, cross country, golf team, swim team, and did Girl Scouts at various times, but not consistently. Without further ado, here's some advice from my mom:

1. First and foremost, nothing is ever perfect! Some nights will run smoothly, and some will be chaotic. Be grateful for the easy nights and don't beat yourself up for the hard ones. You can only do so much!

2. I cannot underestimate how helpful carpooling is. At the beginning of each sports season I would get together with the other moms who lived close by. We would each pick a day/time that worked for us to be the driver. For example, if soccer practice was Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would pick up 2-3 kids on Tuesdays, then somebody else would do Thursdays. We would switch off if we needed to, depending on what worked for us each week.

3. Make lists and keep them handy-- I kept a notepad in my car, but knew other moms who kept them in their purse. Then if there was a schedule change/something worth changing in the calendar, we would remember it when we got home.

Who schedules pictures for AFTER practice? Only a dad. That hair. 😂

4. Dinner was always the hardest part. It's difficult to make/prep a healthy meal for the family that far in advance and have it still taste good. You can only use the crockpot so many times before everything starts to taste the same. Some nights we had dinner at 5:30, some nights we had dinner closer to 7:30, but we ate dinner together as a family as often as possible. Like I said, I used the crockpot, or would make a meal earlier in the day and keep it in the oven on a low temp to keep it warm. We ate takeout more often than I'd like to admit, but sometimes it was the only thing that worked that night!

5. Each daughter could do one sport or activity per season. We made the mistake once of you girls doing more than one thing in a season and it was chaotic. After that you had to pick the one you liked more. We were lucky that soccer was in the early fall, volleyball was late fall/early winter, basketball was late winter/early spring, then soccer started back up in the late spring. There was very little overlap. It also made it easier that everyone was in "volleyball mode" at the same time. 

I'm in the back on the right, can you tell I got highlights? Sorry for blinding you 😆

6. Each daughter had a sports bag to keep whatever you needed for practice in. Before you went to bed each night, you had to make sure everything you needed was in your bag, then one parent checked it. We had a designated spot in the house to keep your bag so you were never looking for it at the last minute. It took less than 5 minutes the night before but made everything much smoother after school. It also taught you to be responsible for making sure you had everything!

7. Some of your sports were through school, which meant you just stayed after school for practice. This made everything easier because it was one less carpool! We still alternated driving home though with other moms. 


After talking with my mom about this, she seemed to have been a lot more stressed at that time than she ever let us know. I verbatim said "mom maybe I'm looking back at this with rose colored glasses, but I don't ever remember it feeling chaotic... it just felt fun." She said that's an important lesson in and of itself.. so often the parents feel the stress/pressure of getting everything done and overanalyze whether or not they're doing everything "well enough". Most of the time, the kids are able to roll with the punches and don't even see the negatives. 

So maybe the next time you're worried you didn't do "it all" or do it "well enough", realize that your kids don't notice at all... and one day they'll probably grow up to think you had been nailing it the whole time. 😊

If you wrote a post about getting through those busy nights, please link up with us below! Have a great week!

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  1. I love that you asked your mom to help with this post! She has some good advice. I did smile at her taking notes on paper, these days we'd just note it in our phones!

  2. Great advice! I loved that you went to your mom for ideas; I never thought of asking my mom and she juggled 4 of us (though I do remember getting left behind at the school after either a practice or a game one day!).

  3. i love that you asked your mom. We didn't do sports growing up so it was never hectic from my point of view

  4. I love that you asked your mom. What a great idea! I should ask my mom how she handled it but I do know that, with four kids, our activities were limited to just a few which we all did.

  5. I love that you had your mom give advice! Genius!