Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Trouble With T-Ball

The boys were dressed, breakfast dishes were clean, and a load of darks was already spinning in the washing machine.  I opened the garage door, and a flood of feet rushed towards the van, ready to go. I glanced down at my watch.  Two whole minutes before we absolutely had to be on the road to W's preschool. I decided I could definitely spend one of them standing in the kitchen, scrolling through Facebook.

A little way down my news feed, I saw a link my friend Laura shared: An Open Letter from Introverts.

I'm not sure why I clicked on the post.  I may have been thinking of my husband, a classic introvert who, somehow, easily finds his way into a conversation with anyone.  Or maybe I just wanted to squeeze in a few more seconds of peace.  Whatever the reason, it quickly became apparent that the post was about me. 

“Errr…Book Club is on Mondays? Um. Ok I can’t make it. Ever. 
Why? Because it’s on Monday.”

When I read that line, I laughed so hard, E and W yelled into the house to ask what was going on.

Oh nothing, I wanted to say.  I just read a stunningly accurate description of my personality!

Because when it comes to our T-Ball practices, our "Mondays," I am having a terrible time.

I actually love watching baseball.  And I love seeing my sons have fun.  What I don't love - what, in fact, I hate - is that T-Ball practice is two weeknights, every week, for 10 weeks.

I have had meltdowns (yes, plural), during which I have cried and told my husband, my mom, and myself that I can't do it.

Because it's a weeknight.  

(TWO weeknights, actually.)

(But still, I know I am ridiculous.)

If practice was held on a Wednesday mid-afternoon or a Saturday morning, as some of the coaches have chosen, I would have no problem spending an hour and a half on the ball field.  It would not even register as a "thing."

But evening practices?  They throw off our dinner, bath, and bed schedules, and while my kids couldn't care less about those, I DO! 

I worry about them becoming overtired, especially my youngest, who has dropped his nap and needs an early bedtime to be his normal, cheerful self.  

But if I'm completely honest with myself, I hate these evening practices because they throw off my time for ME!  And as selfish as it sounds, I NEED that time.

It seems odd to think of myself as an introvert, even after identifying with every point in the article.  I've always considered myself a middle-of-the-roader: someone who feels energized by spending time with others, but also needs a lot of quiet time to recover.  It's a weird dynamic really, but it's who I've always been.

Since becoming a mom, though, and especially since we started homeschooling, I have tipped more and more towards the introverted side of the spectrum.  My socializing is done during the times that I would normally be with my kids - whether they are there or not - so weeknights are almost certainly out of the question.  Chatting on the phone happens in the car, and superficial conversation is reserved for strangers.  I rarely contact anyone to make plans for girl time, unless it's someone I've known for decades.  

My husband falls in the loophole.  We do go on the occasional evening date, and he gets to listen to my rambling thoughts, even after it's dark outside.  (Lucky him!)  But more often than not, we spend the majority of our nights sitting silently, and perfectly contentedly, side by side.

That quiet time is what keeps me sane.  

Because during the day, someone is always talking.

Someone always needs help.

Someone is always there.

And most of the time, I love it that way.  Despite the occasional day that goes on for decades, I'm thankful for the time I'm able to spend with my children, and I am very aware that life will not always be this way.

But for now, daytime is my extroverted time, and in the evenings, I slide to the other end of the scale.  It works.  Except for T-Ball nights, when, by the time everyone is clean and the upstairs lights are off, an hour of my much loved quiet time has burned away, and I freak out. 

I realize that it is completely nuts to get upset about a couple weeknight practices for a couple months of the year.  That, and the fact my sons truly enjoy T-Ball, have only made me feel worse about my attitude.  But reading the "Letter" helped me see that I'm not the only one who has trouble giving up my evenings.  And, I figure, if I can laugh about it, I'm on the way to recovery.  (Which is good, because night practices are only going to become more common as the boys get older.)

There are two full months of T-Ball to go, so I have plenty of time to try rearranging our schedule on practice days.  I'll find the extra quiet time to recharge, somewhere.  It's important I do.  After all, I'm going to need that energy when I cheer for my boys and their team on the T-Ball field.


  1. Love this, Stacey! I felt the same way about swimming lessons every Saturday morning for 2 months (but I was trying to avoid Monday night ones actually!). I know I'm going to have to come out of my comfort zone more and more as the kids get older and do these things for my kids...but it's really hard for me! On the plus side, I always thought I was just a bit of a weirdo hermit who loved to hang out at home. Being an introvert sounds better! :) Hope you have a great day!

    1. Ha! No, I'm definitely a weirdo hermit, but I'm glad to know I'm not the only one! :-) I think it's going to be a hard road ahead for both of us, but we can do it! (I hope!!!) I'm so glad you can relate!

  2. I love your blogs because, especially this one, reminds me so much of myself! It means we are normal! ;) love it and yes it only gets worse as they get older...3 kids..3 different teams...practice different days. But its what we do right? Keep on bloggin'...u r so good at it!

    1. Thank you so much, Melissa! You are so kind! And yes…I am definitely dreading the "3 kids on 3 different teams" stage! Tell me I can survive it!!

  3. Well you know I totally understand! LOL! Since I work two night a week my nights off are very special to me and I hate giving them up. And when I'm not working I'm usually up until the wee hours of the night just because it's quiet and I can have time to just sit and be my introverted self. :)