The life of a hockey dad. Having 3 boys in minor hockey, all under the age of 7, can be a juggling act at the best of times. But, when that time starts with a 5:45am wake up and the first pair of blades hitting the ice by 7am, and the last not until 10, it can be easy to feel that there are just too many balls in the air to handle. So, how do you make sure everyone gets
So, how do you make sure everyone gets fed, brushed, bathroomed and into the van with the right equipment, the right stick, the right jersey? Stop juggling and find a balance.
Tips for How to Get to The Rink On Time:
The night before….
- Pack each hockey bag. Jerseys to jocks, make sure it is all already in there. It is much easier to find that missing elbow pad in the calm of the night before than in the dark, rushed, sleepy hours of the morning.
- Hockey bags go by the front door, ready for the short trek to the van. Put them in the van the night before? Have you ever put on frozen skates first thing in the morning? Keep them inside and keep them warm.
Extra tips: Put a picture of the hockey player in the name tag/plastic pocket of his/her bag. This saves the guessing game/unzipping to check whose bag is whose in the parking lot or arena hallway.
- Putting out clothing the night before is a must. Socks to dry fit long sleeve, getting your kids in the habit of dressing themselves or, at the very least having the attire ready for you to help put on is a huge time saver.
- Putting out clothing the night before goes for the outer wear too! Line up jackets, with corresponding toque and mitts on top and the line, “Go get your stuff on!” becomes a much more doable command.
- Kids need fuel, but a household needs sleep too. Waking up those 30 minutes earlier to send kids off with a warm breakfast is an amazing endeavour, but not one we choose over hitting snooze 2 or 3 more times. Instead, we play breakfast trick or treat with the boys. You can out out breakfast the night before to save time, but the goal here is to get the good food into the tummy. When kids can “pick”, they will eat it. My boys are offered a choice of grain (granola bar, muffin etc.), fruit (banana, apple), and dairy (cheese string, yogurt tub). They hold out their individual lunch bags and have each choice thrown into the waiting sack. Add a juice and we are packed and ready to hit the door.
- Kids carry the sticks, the 7 year old wheels out his bag, one bag over your shoulder, one in your hand, keys in your teeth and kids armed with bags full of food fuel, warm clothes and the right equipment head out for a fun filled 4 hours at the rink.
Now…how to survive the morning at the rink keeping 2 entertained while paying attention to your star currently on the ice, all the while maneuvering bags of hockey gear waiting for their turn, keeping the 3 dressing rooms and 3 different rinks in some sort of order? That comes next time on the Life of a Balanced Hockey Dad.