Kids activities, conflicts, schedules and drama

There is something to be said about explaining kids’ activity schedules to friends and family. Does this look familiar to you?

photo credit: Youth Hockey Chicago facebook page (
photo credit: Youth Hockey Chicago facebook page (

The way the professor is standing there, wondering why everyone is looking at him like he has horns…that could be me when I talk about hockeyringettegymnasticsplaydatesbirthdayparties and all the rest of it to various friends and family…

Something weird has happened to me recently. And it makes me think…

Am I the only one who gets worked up about having to choose one kid over the other when there’s a conflict in their sports activities? Because I do get worked up.

Here I was thinking that if I choose the hockey playoff game over an out of town ringette game, at least one, if not both kids, would be upset or disappointed if I wasn’t present for their activity. Turns out I was wrong.

I am often wrong.

So first, there was the hockey playoffs. By some sheer miracle, the boy’s team managed to get into the semi finals, and by some other star-aligning event, we managed to tie the number 1 team in the western conference of the GTHL during Game 1.


Game 2 and 3 are coming up this weekend, and my heart was set on going all out to support our boys at the rink. We actually have a chance of keeping this competition alive for a while, with a team we have not won a game against all season, and to see the boys play with such fire and enthusiasm, it’s addictive. If you’re a hockey mom, you will understand exactly what I’m talking about.


The girl’s ringette team was invited just recently to play out of town at exactly the same time as Game 3 of the playoff hockey game. Add into that the commute, and it became obvious that one of two things was going to have to happen:

  • We parents separate and at least one of us, maybe both, will miss one kid’s game. Given that Ben’s dad is on the bench as a coach/trainer, it becomes default for me to miss the hockey game. (Which is not unusual and completely without drama during the regular season because this is what happens in families with multiple kids in different sports. BUT hockey play-offs is different, and I felt completely torn.)
  • I pawn off the girl on some other ringette family, or her grandmother, and live with the guilt of ‘choosing’ the boy’s game over hers. And then go to the hockey game all the while thinking my poor little chicklet is playing her ringette game without a parent cheering her on.

Here’s  my thing: I want to be there for both kids. But if I’m completely honest with myself, I want to be there for hockey more. Partly because of the playoffs, and partly because the ringette game is not a playoff or tournament game. It’s simply an invitation to play that team in that town.

There was a lot of drama (on my part), and unhelpful helpfulness (of certain people). I finally resolved to ask 8 year old Sonja herself how she feels by giving her a few options, and choosing the one that makes her most comfortable. This is what I said to her:

This weekend we have a conflict with Ben’s playoffs. Here’s what I’m thinking. Either, we all go to hockey, and you miss the ringette game out of town. Or, I can take you to your game and miss hockey. Or, if it’s all right with you, you can let grandma take you to ringette and ride back with one of your ringette friends when you’re done. You’ll have grandma there cheering you on and she will text me updates, so I will still know what you’re up to. What do you think you want to do?

She didn’t even blink. She choose grandma and her friend and it’s no problem and she gets it about her older brother’s hockey and what is the big deal?


The big deal is that I am a parent who, apparently, seems completely clueless about parenting kids in competitive sports. At least that’s what it feels like until I have a chance to reflect, and consider. Fact of the matter is, at some point someone will miss something in the kids’ activities. Just gotta wrap my head around it, for the future.

In the meantime, if anyone needs me, I’ll be at some rink.



One thought on “Kids activities, conflicts, schedules and drama

  1. We’ve been lucky so far in that everyone’s activities miraculously fall on separate days of the week – plus we don’t have any playoffs to worry about. But I totally get that feeling of wanting to be more than one place at once – for me this often comes up on field trip days, when I feel like I SHOULD go on the field trip but I have something else beckoning, and it’s so easy to just choose not the field trip, you know? I know you know :).


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