Family of Champions
People say to me all the time, “I don’t know how you do it.” My answer always is the same, “I don’t know either but we do!”
I have four children and all four are competitive cheerleaders, ages 12, 10, 8 and 4. Between ages and abilities they are spread across Levels 1-5, and three of them are on at least two teams. In addition to cheer, my boys also play football and then wrestle for the other 8 months of the year, and my 4 year old little diva-in-the-making takes performing and dance classes. During competition season, every weekend we don’t have a cheer competition, we are at a wrestling tournament. Last year for Nationals, our 12 year old filled in for her brother on his Y3 team so he could attend the Wrestling State meet. We are a VERY busy family and with our schedule comes sacrifices.
I live for my smart phone. It allows me to catch up on emails while waiting in line to pick the kids up from school. It allows me to have my schedule at my fingertips at all times, and one of my most frequent sayings is “If it’s not in my calendar, it doesn’t exist.” I upgraded my phone so I could have a 16mb camera with a HD video camera to cut down on things I need to carry around. At every competition and tournament I carry several backup battery charges. This way I never have to look for somewhere to plug my phone in.
Again there are sacrifices. Is my house spotless? Nope. Do I make dinner every night? Hardly ever, because no one would be home to eat it! Do my kids eat in the car? All the time. Do I miss my husband during the week? For sure! Is my Christmas tree still up? Yes it is, because it got put up 3 days before Christmas and my kids love seeing the lights. Have I missed tournaments, recitals, competitions? Unfortunately yes, however, my husband or myself are at every function our kids have and I also volunteer at the kids’ elementary school. Did I mention we both work?
I have found out recently, the best thing is to ask for help. I hate asking for help. It goes against my nature. I want to be in control, but being in control doesn’t mean doing everything on my own and it took me melting down to realize that. I came home one night having chest pain because I was upset; upset because I hadn’t seen my husband or been home before 8pm in months. This made me realize I needed help, and so many people were willing to step in and help. I had to take people up on offers to bring my child(ren) home if it meant I got to be home at 6pm instead of 9pm. I have to say, it made a HUGE difference! I am much happier.
At our gym, we have 7 teams and I have kids on 6 of them. I LOVE it! Getting to watch my kids participate in a sport they love makes the long days, the crazy schedules, the endless loads of cheer/wrestling clothes worth it. Listening to them encourage each other as one gets a new skill, or masters a skill they have been working on, is priceless. The coolest thing to me, is they all get it. They all get how hard it is, what it means to push yourself to the point of feeling sick, to get up again and again after landing on your knees while learning a standing tuck, the shin splints when learning a punch front, the elbows to the face, the bloody noses, the sore muscles and finally the feeling of all the work paying off!
Our family will always continue to have crazy schedules as long as our children work as hard at school as they do at the sports they love. They all know that school is their work, and that it comes first. We expect a lot because our kids want a lot. We push, but they push themselves harder. We make them take breaks when we can, so they can do “normal kid stuff”. After all, while they are high level athletes, they are just kids and that’s something we all need to remember.http://www.heartofcheer.com/cheerleaders/family-champions/BlogCheerleadersParentscheer family,cheerleading,multiple cheerleaders