Turning the Page

August 24, 2023

Today has been better.

I woke up feeling surly and tired because I definitely didn’t get enough sleep (7ish hours, but I needed more). BUT my run felt good, the morning actually went more smoothly (!), and I have plenty to do today but it feels manageable and mostly fun, so yay.

I also started reading this book, which was recommended to me years ago but has sat on my shelf waiting for the right moment, I guess:

I mean, it’s true. Everything ISN’T terrible. I need to take my own advice and zoom in a little — focus on each day (perhaps each hour) during a more stressful period. That doesn’t mean forgoing longer term planning and strategizing (this remains essential), but not KEEPING my focus on the long view or the bigger projects I am working on for longer than I need to.

Running metaphor: I should try to be in each training run, rather than always thinking about the race.

Some Soccer Details . . .

SPORTS PARENTS! Thank you so much for the tips. A few details I didn’t include, but perhaps should have just to provide a complete picture:

1- I often don’t take C to soccer practice – especially if the other two have to be somewhere. Our nanny tends to drive him and then Josh meets there to take him home (the practice location is essentially on our nanny’s way home, so this helps her plus then Josh gets to see a bit of practice). I’m thinking I will to be the primary soccer driver for one practice/week so I can have some involvement.

2- Because our weather is often bad right now, lightning alarms will go off in the middle of practice and it can be cancelled at any moment. SOOO drop off doesn’t work. A carpool might, but I have reached out our WhatsApp chat and no one seemed excited to carpool (maybe they will once the novelty of watching wears off!?!). I do however feel like I should be at (most?) games, whenever it is possible – sometimes it isn’t because the other two have something (gymnastics or piano – both are Saturdays).

3- I’m honestly glad he’s doing it. I just feel overwhelmed about the sheer volume added to the family calendar. I think Kae pointed out that every weekend does not include a tournament and that’s a very good point. There are several tournament weekends but most weekends contain just one game.

(Also this is a year-long commitment – August to June! That in itself feels a bit scary.)

Podcast Rec!

Erika and Kelsey NAILED it with this one I thought:

Such a tough topic, and so thoughtfully and graciously discussed.

Kelsey is a self-identified compassionate atheist (with a Christian upbringing) and Erika is Christian with an evangelical upbringing who continues to practice her faith, but on her own terms.

I would probably describe myself similarly to Kelsey. I identify as Jewish more as a cultural descriptor than a religion though I still find it valuable / fun to practice some of the traditions and share with our kids in a secular way. I also think it would be good to teach them about other faiths and traditions, just to have a broader view and understanding of others — we probably haven’t done enough of this yet. They do get some of this at school, which has students and teachers from a fairly wide array of faith / cultural backgrounds.

I loved how both Kelsey and Erika are very respectful of others’ traditions, and I feel that way myself. I love how many traditions are rooted in kindness and community and I would never disparage another’s faith. ANYWAY. Great episode on a tough topic.


  • Reply Brooke August 24, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    Your #2 helps me feel less alone – I have put out feelers for carpooling on a few different teams so far and there is little interest from others which boggles my mind! (And makes me feel a little embarrassed that I sound desperate.) We live in a wealthy area so maybe other people feel like they have the bandwidth to do it all on their own? Or like you said they just really enjoy being at every practice or game. Or really enjoy driving lol.

    • Reply Sara August 24, 2023 at 12:34 pm

      This is the primary reason I wanted to buy a minivan for my next car – the options to carpool! Now that my kids are 7 and 9 and just using the easy booster seats, it’s a real option to consider these days.

      I almost wonder if people feel a bit “behind” on getting into carpooling because of Covid? All of a sudden, I kind of woke up and realized last year that this was an option for my older kids once another parent offered to drive my son somewhere.

      We’re doing travel baseball this year and I am also petrified about what our schedule will look like. It does sound like there will be more busy periods (fall and spring) and less busy periods (winter and summer) so that helped me out my mind a bit more at ease that it’s really just a few months at a time.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger August 24, 2023 at 12:59 pm

      In speaking with some moms at the practice, I found myself clarifying I wanted to carpool “bc my other kids have activities!” because of course if I wanted more time for myself or had to work that would be shameful . . . sigh

      (and yes! I am surprised too!)

    • Reply KGC August 24, 2023 at 1:59 pm

      I found a similar situation to the carpool issue with finding an after-school babysitter. My second-grader didn’t get in off the waitlist for aftercare at school, so I suggested that some of the neighbors and I split and after-school sitter. Two other families (both also with second-graders) were ALL IN – the kids all live on the same block and play together and are good friends, so it’s easy money for about 2 hours per day of work. I finally found someone and…the other families bailed. They have parents that either work from home all the time or they trade off so that someone is always home and decided to just ‘make it work’ despite being so thrilled about the prospect of childcare because – as you know – it’s hard to work with kids at home! I feel very alone in really wanting extra help, and I NEED it for the days that I go into the office, but am also feeling like I’m coming across as desperate (which…I am). So I’m going to use this sitter, who seems great but is also charging an arm and a leg (and I feel I have no other option, since it took me months to find someone), but it also just feels sort of like…”can everyone else really do this? am I the only one who feels overwhelmed? what am I doing wrong?!!?”

      If I’m being totally honest, I feel like I am trying my best to embrace the BOBW model of getting adequate (or even extra) childcare but it is SO HARD to find a) a provider or b) a spot in aftercare.

      (okay sorry that sort of ended up being all about me but Brooke’s comment about feeling a little embarrassed really resonated!)

      • Reply Milly August 24, 2023 at 2:47 pm

        My hot take on this – I wouldn’t want to enter into a “business” relationship of sharing a babysitter with people who live on my block and are good friends with my child. Too risky. What happens when there’s a disagreement on how the babysitter is operating? Sure, it’s only 2 hours but these kinds of arrangements can breed some real discontent.

        That being said, they should not have committed and let you drop like that. I would have just said “no thank you’ from the beginning!

        • Reply KGC August 24, 2023 at 3:26 pm

          @Milly – yeah, we did think about that. It’s a fair point (and one that has solved itself anyway since they bailed!). Honestly splitting it just also really would have helped with the cost. The high schooler I found is lovely, but she’s charging more than some nannies do for a kid who is incredibly self-sufficient (gets his own snacks, plays nicely by himself, but legally cannot stay home alone). I couldn’t find anyone else and there are no aftercare spots despite considerable effort. It feels like a no-win situation as a working parent. I really want to believe that I can have it all but it doesn’t feel that way right now.

      • Reply SLR August 24, 2023 at 3:04 pm

        Just jumping in to say I cannot fathom how so many of the families in my daughter’s class manage without after school care! I find it almost impossible to get any serious work done when she’s in the house, and that’s if I can wfh, which isn’t possible every day (nor would I want to). Solidarity!

      • Reply Ashley August 24, 2023 at 3:16 pm

        I truly have no idea how people find an after-school sitter. I did look into it, several times, when my kid wasn’t doing great in the after-school program. Well, I never found anyone that could do it consistently, and we NEEDED childcare! So we stuck it out with the less-than-ideal after-care program and survived. Barely. The options were lacking, at best. Those were some lonely years as a full-time working parent. It felt like we were the only people in that situation.

        • Reply KGC August 24, 2023 at 3:28 pm

          Yes, it was basically impossible. School starts Monday and I JUST lined someone up for two days a week. We shall see!

          • Sarah Hart-Unger August 24, 2023 at 3:32 pm

            It is much easier to find full
            Time (but obviously much more $$$).

        • Reply Helena Murphy August 24, 2023 at 9:08 pm

          It is SO hard to find after-school care. Before-school is just as hard if not harder. This school year I think we will be able to get in on my son’s school after-care 3 days a week, but even then, it’s from 3:20 to 5pm. I live 12min from the school but even if my meeting is online I can’t do it. So hard. I end up having to do an early pick-up, say 2pm, have my son at home, playing alone or watching a movie so I can do a 3-5pm meeting. Unless I can pay someone 20+ hours a week, I can’t even start looking…

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns August 24, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    Ugh the carpool stuff sounds so tough. You have the extra challenge of very volatile weather. That isn’t really the case here. We can have storms come up fast but now like you guys do!

    I’m looking forward to listening to the Girl Next Door faith podcast. I’m so behind on podcasts lately! We are trying to figure out what to do for religious ed. I was raised Catholic, my husband was too but would describe himself as agnostic. He’d like to expose them to more faiths when they are older/more mature but for now we are trying to find a middle ground by finding a Christian church whose values/teachings align with ours. TL;DR: It’s really complicated.

  • Reply Milly August 24, 2023 at 2:45 pm

    Meant to pipe in yesterday about the travel sports. My son plays travel hockey and it’s super intense. Tournament weekends are next level, though, and not the norm so at least know that 🙂

    Do you know the parents well or is this a new team? Do they live super close by? I only ask because if it’s new parents, they just might not be comfortable yet car pooling because they have no idea if you are reliable, responsible, etc.. I watch some teammates come in at the last minute and that’s not how we like to operate so I would never car pool with them.

    Also, if you aren’t basically neighbors, car pooling can turn into just as long as driving yourself! Many of my son’s teammates are 20 minutes minimum away. If I go pick one of them up, or they pick my son up, it really doesn’t help much.

    My final thought is some parents just like to go on their own and don’t want to carpool. I like that quiet one on one time in the car with my son and I love watching him practice and play. That’s just my preference…. and has nothing to do with the other parents.

    Just some more food for thought 🙂 It’s probably not about you, rather, it’s about their own preferences.

    • Reply Grateful Kae August 24, 2023 at 4:08 pm

      Agree that carpooling is most ideal when you live near the other people. However, we have still had success with less-than-ideal carpool setups. Last year for swim we had a group of 4 of us that worked out a rotation for every Tuesday when the kids practiced at this far away pool in another town. We all live pretty spread out, so on the days I had to drive, it ate up literally my whole night. (Given the pool distance, I had to leave home, pick everyone up (took at least 30 minutes), drive 20 minutes to pool, wait, then reverse the whole process to drive everyone home.) However, given that this was a 1x/week situation, with 4 families doing it… it was only our turn once a month! Which was pretty awesome.

      Even when we have the more normal closer practices, I prefer to just drive “both ways” on just 1 or maybe 2 days per week versus, say, I drive them all to practice, and another parent drives home. It works either way, but I’d rather just bite the bullet and have only ONE night kinda suck and then have a bunch of FREE nights on the other days, instead of being “half tied up” on all the other nights. If that makes sense.

      I know what Milly means though about sometimes just enjoying the 1:1 time. We didn’t carpool as much this past spring for various reasons and while it kinda killed me logistically, honestly, I did enjoy the chatting time with my son. (Boys often do not “chat” a lot with their moms when the car is full of their friends. 😆)

  • Reply Daria August 25, 2023 at 9:36 am

    I was JUST complaining about before/after care on my blog… It is so hard. Thankfully, we had a neighbor whose girls are in the same school offer to carpool when my husband is traveling and I have to report to work at 7:30 the latest (teacher). After care with them, too. I can be home at 3:15 so I will grab my oldest from their house then. Thankfully, my youngest has before/after care at his preschool and I honesty am so thankful for it. With my oldest it’s much harder- a kindergarten at a public school. Ugh deep breaths, dee breaths. Also feeling like I am in a limbo right now… Want to be/feel settled in our routines…

  • Reply San August 26, 2023 at 7:48 pm

    It’s very hard to always be “in the moment” instead of constantly thinking ahead, esp. for people like us (aka planners), but sometimes it’s a good mental practice to redirect the thoughts and focus on here and now.

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