(Photo via Vanessa Mejia)
There's no turning back now ... football season is upon us! In less than two weeks, I will be spending five days a week, two hours a day on the football field. Well, not literally. I'll be spending five days a week, two hours a day in my favorite chair on the sideline.
Here are my most helpful tips for surviving the season:
RELATED CONTENT: Sports mama tip: 3 things to say to your athlete after every game
RELATED CONTENT: What I've gained and learned from being a football mom
Are you the parent of a youth, middle school or high school football player who’s looking for more tips or resources? Check out our Parent Guide, Parents 101 course, nutritious recipes and more.
- Find a comfy chair. You're going to be doing a whole lot of sitting. Ain't nobody got time for bleacher butt. You can find all types of chairs these days; chairs with canopies, chairs that recline, chairs with cup holders. It's totally up to you. Just be sure to get one. Your back (and butt!) will thank you later.
- Dust off your crockpot. If you're like me, it's been collecting dust all summer long. I tend to get the most use out of mine in the colder months ... mmm, chili! But, trust me, your slow cooker will become your best friend during football season. Prep your dinner the night before and drop it in the next morning. You'll come home to a heavenly aroma AND dinner that is ready to be served! #winning
- Find a football mama bestie. Let's face it, there will be days that you will be unable to get your child to and/or from practices or games. Have a backup plan. Just be sure you are willing to return the favor!
- Stock up on Febreze. NOW! Once equipment is distributed, everything will smell bad. Everything! Your car, your house, your kid. Not everything can be thrown in the washer, but (almost) everything can be sprayed down!
- Get a planner. Paper, electronic ... whatever your little heart desires. Especially if you have more than one child. You're going to need it. Unless you can magically store all the practice, scrimmage, and game dates/times/locations in your brain. Yeah ... I didn't think so.
- Pack a practice/game "just in case" bag. Snacks just in case younger siblings (or yourself) get hungry. A book or magazine just in case you get bored. Sunblock and sunglasses just in case it's sunny out. An umbrella just in case it rains. Hand warmers just in case it's freezing. Now, obviously you do not need to pack all of these at the same time, but you get the point. Better to be overly prepared, than under-prepared.
- Enjoy every moment. Football season can be draining, but before you know it, your little quarterback won't be so little anymore. They'll be catching the bus with their teammates to their high school games. They'll be able to drive themselves to and from practices. So, take it all in mama. Take hundreds of pictures, share them on social media, wear their team colors, ring your cowbell loud and proud, cheer at the top of your lungs. This won't last forever!
RELATED CONTENT: 10 signs you're probably married to a football coach
Vanessa Mejia is the mother of three football-playing boys, ages 14, 13 and 10, and lives in northern Virginia. Her boys also play basketball, soccer and track and field. Her husband coaches football in the Fairfax County Youth Football League. She shares Team Mom ideas, tips and tricks along with other facets of her family’s life away from the football field. Read more of her work at confessionsofasportsmama.blogspot.com