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how do D parents manage kids sports schedules?

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myalterego posted 12/6/2013 11:01 AM

Haven't yet filed... but feels like we are heading that way. However, we have 3 kids... MS'ers. Three different sports (of course) and while I can do it alone most nights, there is at least one night that we need two drivers.

How do you manage that? I am strong that I don't want kids to suffer ... there aren't car pools available. Do kids just learn to have to be early and/or late to respective sports? Have you found a way to cooperate with the Ex with driving on some nights?

Looking for those with experience... thanks.

nowiknow23 posted 12/6/2013 13:31 PM

How do you manage that?
It really varies. I had a high schooler (non-driving) and a middle schooler when I filed.

I am strong that I don't want kids to suffer ...
What does that mean to you? I ask this because their lives will necessarily change, and they will have to adapt to those changes. No matter how well you two are able to work together, things will not be exactly as they currently are.

there aren't car pools available. Do kids just learn to have to be early and/or late to respective sports?
Yep. And they learn to take homework with them so they can work on it while they wait. Or a book. This can be a good thing, by the way. It teaches patience, cooperation, working together to make a complex schedule successful, etc.

Have you found a way to cooperate with the Ex with driving on some nights?
This only worked for a brief period of time in my case. We very quickly got to a place where I couldn't count on him (missed pick ups, unreachable by phone, etc.), so I made arrangements without him in the mix. Got a cell phone for my DD to make communicating changes of plans easier, reached out to some parents of teammates for last minute rides home when something came up, encouraged DS to work towards getting his driver's license, etc.

I hope it will be cooperative for you. I just caution you to be thinking ahead for the possibility that the cooperation may end at any point.

Newlease posted 12/6/2013 13:54 PM

Not a D situation, but when my sons were in middle school, my XWH worked a LOT of overtime, so I was basically a single parent during the spring, summer, and fall.

I enlisted grandparents and friends or teammates' parents when I was pulled 2 different directions. I hated missing anything, but I couldn't be in 2 places at one time.

It will be ok. You will learn a new normal.

NL

tryingagain74 posted 12/6/2013 14:52 PM

I'm just getting into this sort of thing; my kids are still really little. However, one night a week, my boys have their scouting meetings (each boy has one every other week), so we all go, and I sit and grade papers while the other two read or draw. My XWH has made it pretty clear that he's not the least bit interested in either helping with extra-curricular car pooling or actually being involved in the activity, so as my kids get older, they are going to either have to find rides or go without since I can't be everywhere all the time. I am one of five kids, and I had a parent who couldn't drive, and we managed to be in whatever groups or teams we wanted without too much hassle. My family typically shared the driving with another family. I'm hoping that I might be able to do that more as my kids get older.

myalterego posted 12/7/2013 10:20 AM

nik, I think you make a good point is that their lives will change regardless of how hard I try. I get that... or at least "the idea" of that. I have their schedules arranged right now so that I can do most of the driving myself... I guess I will learn to adapt - as you suggested. Ironically, one of the things I've thought about is if I moved that I would move walking distance to the schools (they are on a "campus") so it would make the school pickup vs. bus issue much easier.

newlease, I think 'new normal" is the right phrase. I will get there - I guess like anyone in recovery - it is one day at a time.

tryingagain, thanks for your thoughts also.

I tend to get ahead of myself - trying to project to the end result all the time. I need to breathe and understand it is literally one day, then one week, then one month.

notmeanymore posted 12/7/2013 10:37 AM

I think other parents are very understanding and willing to help out. Particularly if they are also divorced. Reach out to them, and reciprocate when you can. I don't like to ask for help, but I enjoy helping others. I have to remind myself at times that I'm giving the others that opportunity to feel good about helping someone.

Chrysalis123 posted 12/7/2013 10:41 AM

I could not count on X either. I was the driver, but X would show up at events to play the proud dad role.

Once kids got in high school and the schedules could be nuts, I would hire a HS senior to drive my kids. Worked great because HS kids are desperate for gas money!

ruinedandbroken posted 12/7/2013 12:52 PM

I don't count on or ask Ex for help with anything. Unless I *have* to speak to him, he does not exist to me. I have gotten help from soccer coaches picking up ds2 in time for practice, other soccer moms, etc. Or they are just late. They will adjust. I don't have the kids in more than one activity at a time and I make sure they do not conflict with the other child. Ex does not attend their practices and we alternate who goes to the games each week. This has helped me detach and keep me emotionally sane. I don't think the kids suffer. Kids adapt and I think as long as they have one parent at their events, that is enough.

debbysbaby posted 12/8/2013 02:51 AM

I had three in conflicting activities and it was tough. I live way out and not convenient to anyone for a carpool. I had to make one child wait extra time for me to pick her up (there were other class so she could do her homework) and I had to hire a person to drive my son. That got expensive but was necessary for about 4 months. Now two of them drive. That helped a LOT!

hathnofury posted 12/8/2013 07:35 AM

Ironically, one of the things I've thought about is if I moved that I would move walking distance to the schools (they are on a "campus") so it would make the school pickup vs. bus issue much easier.

This makes a huge difference when most of the activities are at school. I made a point when we just moved to be in walking distance to the two schools the kids would attend for the next seven years. It has made things tremendously easier. When the oldest starts high school, THEN I have to figure out how to drive her until she's old enough to drive, but it will only be one school. But they have activities outside of school, and THAT is what makes it hard. I try to consolidate, have them in things close to each other, but it doesn't always work out.

I love the idea of hiring someone to drive short term. Usually it is only for a season when you have situations where you need to be two places at once, and that makes total sense.

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