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gymnastics or family life fun

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gimchick

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Are there any parents that feel like gymnastics take you and your child away from other family members financially and emotionally sometime? I mean you have to travel sometimes without your spouse or other children if any applies to you. Your time at the gym either watching, dropping off, or picking up the girls does not allow much time for homelife other than quick meals, homework, and bathing. I am at the point of calling it quits sometime because I am so tired, overwhelmed and I need a break, mentally, financially, and just time away from the gym and travelling. suggestion, advice, are welcomed......
 
Oh yes, I identify with you completely! We are 1 hour's drive away from my daughter's gym and we seem to spend so much time in the car. It is also costing a lot due to the fuel price increases. I have 3 other children and I do feel that they suffer with less attention from me, less potential outings/ friends over etc.

We are on the point of giving it all up as she is definitely not going to the Olympics!! Is that the only thing though - if a child does not have the potential to go really far in a sport - should you just give it up for convenience etc? I really dont know the answer.

I am worried that she might be sorry at a later point in time...
 

Bay Valley

Member
Jan 2, 2008
104
Bay City, MI
I am in the same situation. We live about 1 hr 20 minutes from our gym and practice 4 days a week. It does help that I just have to drive days a week thanks to a carpool. We have several people at our gym that do this even the ones that live minutes from the gym so they can spend more time with family and save money. Do you get any vacation time after the season is over? We do and it is well needed by than. We can also take 2 weeks vacation in the summer if we want.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I think many of us are in the same boat. As long as my DD's are happy and want to stay in gymnastics, we will try to make it work. Their brother is now playing traveling soccer. We run ALL the time. We are lucky that we "only" live 15 mins from the gym. We do take our family vacations over the summer and spend any free weekends (meet-or-game-free) just hanging out doing very little. We sometimes go out to dinner as a family after practice, even though the kids end up staying up later on a school night, it's good to just sit and relax, not have to cook and enjoy a meal together.
 

mariposa

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I can only imagine how hard it must be to have to balance out gymnastics with family life/school, etc. My DD only goes 2 times a week right now and the idea of 3 nights a week seems life forever to me. We don't even have to deal with school since we homeschool and I have to say that as much as I love my DD, I don't know if I would be as supportive if she were in school. I can't imagine that much time away from her, I don't think I could do it. And the idea of her missing sitting down and having dinner 3 nights a week (with the family) pains me as well. Her dad works a lot and the evenings are when they really connect and get that special time together. I guess he will have to take a nap when he gets home and wait up for her. He gets home very hungry and has worked all day outside, so he can't wait. LOL.

Maybe I am naive since we haven't been already sucked into the gymnastics world yet, LOL, but what happens if you miss practice sometimes? Take a 2 week vacation once in a while? Does the gym discourage it or is it not allowed? Miss practice once a month for a break?

-If they don't have gym on Saturdays, maybe make it a family night at home night? Play board games, etc, just relax, order pizza and talk? Or at least once a month miss gym practice and have family night? Some way to connect and have fun?

-And for you, could you try to find ways to carpool with other families? I can imagine that for working parents as well it must be stressful. You come home to relax and can't because you are off to take kids here and there.

I think that all the parents/kids that do school/work, etc and gym are amazing. I don't think I could do it. I just need down time and so does my DD. She is a wreck without it and I am as well. We are so used to our pretty laid back life with homeschooling and me staying home, maybe we aren't cut out for the gym world. So many successful gym kids/families seem to be good at multi-tasking, being on the run and they all seem to do fine.

General question, do most gyms leave Saturdays as a non practice day? I know that during meet season, there are weekends that they have a meet, but it doesn't seem (at our gym at least) that there are more then 2 meets a month and seems more like 1 a month is the norm during meet season.

To the OP, I hope you can find some time to just relax and not be stressed.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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what happens if you miss practice sometimes? Take a 2 week vacation once in a while? Does the gym discourage it or is it not allowed? Miss practice once a month for a break?

- General question, do most gyms leave Saturdays as a non practice day? I know that during meet season, there are weekends that they have a meet, but it doesn't seem (at our gym at least) that there are more then 2 meets a month and seems more like 1 a month is the norm during meet season.

My girls practice M-Th, 5-8 and Sat 9-12. The new rule (this month) is that if you have a meet, you don't come to Sat practice, but it used to be if you had a meet on Sun, you still went on Sat. The only times that my DD's miss practice is if they are sick (fever, vomiting) or if there is a school event (show or concert). During the summer, they don't have Sat practices. We schedule our vacations during the weeks that the gym is closed. The only other week that my older DD missed is when she was away at gymnastics camp. Some of the girls on my DDs' team miss once a week or a few times a month. Only twice have girls been "punished" (scratched from a meet) due to missing too many days the week prior. As for my kids, this is a commitment and they are not going to skip practice just b/c they don't feel like going.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
I have to say Gymnastics is not the only sport that takes up this much time. I know my future is pretty dim for spending time as a "Normal" family. DS plays Ice hockey and at his young age is at the rink 3 days a week for 1.5 hours time. He will begin traveling for games this fall so that will take even more time. DD is at the gym two nights a week now which will go to 3 this summer. DH travels for work during the week so our time together is very limited. I have to say I am worried that in the future we will be running in different directions for the kids sports. Many of our friends think we are nuts for letting the kids participate in such sports. I look at it as they are "Club" Sports. Any time you do things like this it is different than the local req programs. You pay more for the activity and you are dedicating more to the sport too. I don't know how long we will be able to keep up the pace but as long as the kids want to do them DH and I will try our best to accomidate them. I just wish one of them would have choosen a lower price sport. At last they can't say we played favorites when it comes to that. LOL
 

mom2kazkids

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Feb 16, 2008
452
With DD having finished level 3 and moving on to level 4, I can say that I am already feeling the rush out the door to the gym momments. This month she increased hours from W-F 5-8 to M-W-F 5-8 so that she can get the hang of practice 3 nights a week and homework while she is in first grade. My DH works 2nd shift every other week, rotating with day shift. Soo when he is on 2nd shift my DS have to come along. This Monday he brought his homework and a portable DVD player to the gym, and tonight it was swim lessons at the Y 10 minutes away from the gym. With the price of gas I really do not want to run home to run back to the gym to get DD. Since school does not get out until 3:30pm and I also work until that time I have started to try to use the crock pot more for meals when DH is working and there is practice.

This summer I will be able to tweak my work schedule as her practices move to daytime hours and I really am not able to get her into daycare after practice. At least I know that or evenings will be less intense this summer.
 
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gimchick

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We are in school 8: 15 - 3:15 and we have gym approximately 20 + hours per week. Missing is highly discouraged unless illness prevails, vacations have to be taken on days that the gym is closed. After gym we are too tired to vacation anywhere, we just want to relax and end up just sitting around enjoying ourselves, which is great !!!. But, I sort of miss the nights that we sit down and eat dinner as a family and it is all so sad that my dd knows nothing else but gymnastics and I have to continue to be creative on my end--- keeping her in the loop that family is important. I just don't know.......... i thank everyone for ideas that they have posted and for sharing their situations SOMETIMES I FEEL THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE, I am at a gym where the parents are jumping off of bridges for gymnastics, and I don't share the same feelings and I am gald to be here....
 

Mom to two gymnast

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Feb 8, 2008
18
We too, have scheduling issues. I have four very active children. Luckily my boys are in sports that aren't year-round, even though they play multiple seasons (baseball, football, soccer). My youngest daughter is in T-ball again this year. She wanted to play softball but my husband is the T-ball coach so it was gymnastics and T-ball or softball (games woul dhave been on gymnastics practice nights).

My girls go to gymnastics unless they are ill, injured or there is something important that comes up (vacation, big school function--for example space camp trip next weekend). Our view is that we spend so much money on gymnastics that we need to be committed to it as much as we can. My girls know that if they are going to do gymnastics, this is how it is. In 6 1/2 years I have never had them complain about it...to them there is no other option. Practice is a priority until they decide to not do it anymore.

Heck, I was in charge of a Girl Scout event last Friday and my DH picked up my oldest from practice and brought her out late to the event.

I don't know, maybe if our financial situation was different I would feel differently, for us this is a large financial commitment that we cut other expenses to pay for so our girls need to be 100% committed and they are.

I have seen "those moms" and while we are 100% committed, for us it is still all about having fun!! There are a few parents that look at me like I have two heads when the girls come out for a drink and I ask them if they are having fun. My 10 yo actually gets frustrated with teh girls who don't take it seriously during practice and screw around. She doesn't understand why those girls are even there if all they are doing is goofing off.
 

mariposa

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We are in school 8: 15 - 3:15 and we have gym approximately 20 + hours per week. Missing is highly discouraged unless illness prevails, vacations have to be taken on days that the gym is closed. After gym we are too tired to vacation anywhere, we just want to relax and end up just sitting around enjoying ourselves, which is great !!!. But, I sort of miss the nights that we sit down and eat dinner as a family and it is all so sad that my dd knows nothing else but gymnastics and I have to continue to be creative on my end--- keeping her in the loop that family is important. I just don't know.......... i thank everyone for ideas that they have posted and for sharing their situations SOMETIMES I FEEL THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE, I am at a gym where the parents are jumping off of bridges for gymnastics, and I don't share the same feelings and I am gald to be here....
i am sure that many families feel the way you feel. though some also thrive in the situation. i can totally see how you would feel the way you do. just thinking about having that kind of daily schedule makes me stress and you are living it.

though as i have said, i come from a totally different mindset on things and that makes things hard for me sometimes as well. not only at the gym (and here), but in my own circles. i am on the other side of the fence in both situations. i know my daughter loves gym and that it is expensive, but to me, it isn't her job. there were days when i worked that i wanted to call in and play hookie and hang out with my family, but since it WAS my job, i couldn't. gymnastics is my DDs hobby and it is fun, it isn't her job. (i know my views won't be popular here, but i am used to that.)

one thing i often tell myself when facing other problems is to repeat to myself, "this too shall pass" and "one day, this will all be just a mix of wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful memories"

i still think that you guys need to find some time, even if small, to make special, simple family moments. i hope you can figure out some ways to do that.
 

blondegymnastxo

New Member
Mar 30, 2008
45
U.S.A
I am not a parent im just the 13yr. old gymnast so i really dont know what thats like. I no it takes a lot of time out of your day cause you probably have other things that u really need to get done. So it's probably hard on you as parents, but u also have to remember that it takes a huge toll on the gymnasts life also. Being in school for 8 hrs. then going to gym and training for 4hrs. then coming home a doing like 2 hours of H.W then finally getting to bed at like midnight- then waking up at 6:00 to finish H.W. After that you get to spend another day doing it all again. (it never changes) O yeah and lets not forget trying to keep up with grades and studying for exams. Also, on top of all that extra school activities and project after project after project that our teachers keep giving us. I have always said that i would love to make my class live my life for a week and see what i do every day. And if i have to miss out on hanging with my friends i just think heyy you're not missing out on anything cause you will be with your second family (your friends from gym) doing the thing all of you love todo... GYMNASTICS!!! So yeah sure i feel bad for the parents and the cost of everything that you have to pay for but ..... it's going to pay off in the long run.
 

blondegymnastxo

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Mar 30, 2008
45
U.S.A
I am not a parent im just the 13yr. old gymnast so i really dont know what thats like. I no it takes a lot of time out of your day cause you probably have other things that u really need to get done. So it's probably hard on you as parents, but u also have to remember that it takes a huge toll on the gymnasts life also. Being in school for 8 hrs. then going to gym and training for 4hrs. then coming home a doing like 2 hours of H.W then finally getting to bed at like midnight- then waking up at 6:00 to finish H.W. After that you get to spend another day doing it all again. (it never changes) O yeah and lets not forget trying to keep up with grades and studying for exams. Also, on top of all that extra school activities and project after project after project that our teachers keep giving us. I have always said that i would love to make my class live my life for a week and see what i do every day. And if i have to miss out on hanging with my friends i just think heyy you're not missing out on anything cause you will be with your second family (your friends from gym) doing the thing all of you love todo... GYMNASTICS!!! So yeah sure i feel bad for the parents and the cost of everything that you have to pay for but ..... it's going to pay off in the long run.
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
i applaud any mother willing to sacrifice things for their daughters gymnastics. as a daughter whose mother won't sacrifice anything for my dreams, i just want to say how much what you do is so important.

my mother would not let me join team. she didn't want to drive me, she didn't want the hassle and because she made that decision, i have had a hard time forgiving her, since it has been my dream since i was around 7 years old.

it made me feel like i wasn't important enough to be given the time of day about something i had wanted my entire life.

i just want some of those moms out there to know that what they do is so important and so amazing. i thank you all for actually believing in your kids even though they might not make it to the olympics. that's not what gymnastics is about. i just wish my family had realized that before it was to late.
 
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NYgymfan

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Parents can be tough to deal with sometimes. I've had my share of disagreements with mine, but one thing my mom and dad always say to me is "we are only doing this (or not letting you do this) because we think it's what is best for you and for the family." So even though sometimes it might seem like what they are doing is mean, usually they do it because they think they are doing the right thing.

So to cccam...I can understand being upset about not being able to be on the team. I'm sure I would be if I was in your shoes. But I doubt they did that just to be mean. Have you tried talking to them about it? Cuz sometimes I've been able to get my parents to change their mind once they realize how important it is to me and that I'm willing to do my part to help them make it work.
 

vmom

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Feb 15, 2008
130
This is an expensive, all consuming sport. I had no idea how much so until my daughter started competing. But, all the money, the driving, giving up a "real life" (for the both of us) is so worth it when I see her face after she's finally mastered a difficult skill, or stuck her routines, or the first time she ever took first place. She loves this sport and as long as she does I will do anything I can to keep her in it!
 
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gimchick

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i applaud any mother willing to sacrifice things for their daughters gymnastics. as a daughter whose mother won't sacrifice anything for my dreams, i just want to say how much what you do is so important.

my mother would not let me join team. she didn't want to drive me, she didn't want the hassle and because she made that decision, i have had a hard time forgiving her, since it has been my dream since i was around 7 years old.

it made me feel like i wasn't important enough to be given the time of day about something i had wanted my entire life.

i just want some of those moms out there to know that what they do is so important and so amazing. i thank you all for actually believing in your kids even though they might not make it to the olympics. that's not what gymnastics is about. i just wish my family had realized that before it was to late.
Thanks for your message, It helps with my stress level
 

Sterlingdad

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Mar 4, 2008
15
We've just been through that decision and it was difficult. It we wanted our gymnast to progress, we had to drive over an hour each way, 4 to 5 times a week. We've got 5 children and limited resources. Being away was taking its toll on my other children. Regardless of the rationale we use, giving one child that much time absolutely means other children are also making a sacrifice. We were missing family meals, vacations, sports that the other children wanted to play, and time to just relax and play with friends. So we decided to cut the elite gymnastics. She'll still go locally a couple times a week for a couple hours, maybe do AAU, but it will be for fun. She's sad. And upset. But I am home 6 nights a week to read to my other children now, too. And my son can play baseball and soccer. My other daughter can be in the play. They're all 10 and under, so more issues may arise in the future, but for right now we can be a family and let each pursue part of their dream. It was hard because I want the best and want to let my children try to be their best -- but we had to find a balance and establish parameters now, or things would be hopelessly complicated later.

We cannot know the effects of our decision. Hopefully we can look back and feel it was best for all the members of the family. I cannot presume to suggest to anyone else what to do, but the thread merely asked if others were feeling the same way. We did and it was miserable.
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Dec 8, 2007
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I don't even practice as much as some of you guys do but yes I definitely have to give up some things to go to gym. Like if my friend's having a sleepover from Friday to Saturday? I usually wouldn't sleepover because I have gym on saturday morning. I don't really do stuff on friday nights because I go to open gym. Yes thats my choice but I want to get better and all so I do go. My school friends always yell at me because I am always ditching them for gymnastics. And like i'm on the track team for my school but I don't practice track because I have gym during that time so I just go to the meets and hope for the best. lol. In high school next year my schedule is gonna be crazy. haha so wake up go to school cross country practice go right to gymnastics get home eat dinner do all my homework shower go to bed same thing the next day. haha well i don't have gym on wendesdays so thats like my day off. but all in all we all realize that anything we have to do for gym is WORTH IT!
 
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