This weekend, I followed my twin sister around as she ran from arena to arena for her son’s hockey tournament, learning about what it is to be a Mom with a son in Rep Hockey.
After working a full day on Thursday, Julie drove home, picked up her 11-year-old son and their bags, grabbed a quick bite to eat and were on the road for a 6 hour drive to Southern Ontario from the Great White North. Since the tournament was 40 minutes away from my house, they stayed with me to save some money on a 2 or 3 night hotel stay. After a white knuckle drive through snow squalls in a stretch of Highway 400 known as the snow belt, they thankfully arrived safely here just before midnight.
I took Friday off to spend time running around after my twin sister and her son at the arenas. I’m used to early morning wake up times so that part wasn’t a problem. I fed my guests and myself a big breakfasts of eggs, bacon and toasts or pancakes and sausages to make sure we had enough energy for the games ahead. I found out that an active 11-year-old boy eats as much as a full-grown man.
The hockey games themselves were nail biters. I was bobbing up and down on my seat with excitement and nervous energy! Seeing my nephew, a defenseman for his team, catch the puck and rush the opposing net as a quite exciting. Unfortunately, he missed his shot. Although all teams seemed closely matched, my nephew and his team lost all their games.
My son is not yet 17 months old, yet my husband was looking at hockey skates for him this morning! I know that being a hockey mom is inevitably in my future. I will be spending many weekends running around from arena to arena. Spending the weekend with Julie and catching a glimpse of what a Hockey mom does was a real eye opener. Am I ready for this? It does seem very self-sacrificing. I’m already struggling to find time to do regular house cleaning, how does one cope? Not the mention all the expenses of putting your kids in sports; team fees, equipment fees, travel and hotel fees. This could all quickly add up to $6000 to $8000 per season. YIKES!
I asked Julie if she had any advice to give this Hockey-Mom-To-Be! Here is Julie’s list.
Tips From A Seasoned Hockey Mom
1. Managing sports cost
Julie suggests to opening a separate checking account specifically for sports. Deposit a predetermined amount every pay. She suggests dividing the total cost for a year by the number of pay checks per year. She says it makes handling payments with cheques easier.
2. Time Management
Spend some time organizing. Prepare meals ahead of time since you might be out of the door as soon as you get in from work/school for a practice or a game. She keeps a calendar on her fridge with all the family activities and the meal plan for the week. Also, since her kids are older now, she will drop them off at practice, and that hour to go for a run, or do some groceries to maximise on her precious time.
3. Make Friends With Parents Of The Team
Julie doesn’t drive her sons to hockey practice every time. She organizes car pools with other parents and they take turns taking the kids. This sounds like a great strategy to stay sane. She also car pools with other parents when traveling to out of Town tournaments. The cost of tournaments is high enough, why not save a little by splitting on the cost gas?
4. Be Ready To Sacrifice
As a parent, you sacrifice some of yourself for your kids, but if you have kids in sports, you have to sacrifice much much more. Julie says she spends about have of her yearly work allowance of vacation days just on hockey or lacrosse tournaments alone. I’m sure that’s hard to not be resentful of this sometimes!
Do you have kids in travel sports? Do you have any tips for this hockey mom in training?