Sitting at my desk I watch the digital clock on my laptop flip that final number that signifies the end of my working week.
No more “no pulling my hair back into a tight bun” or rushing to the train station. And school’s out, so no more crunch’n’sip, sandwich wars or uneven braids. I officially have two whole days of sleeping in and doing what I want.
And then the alarm goes off. What is this? I’m sure it’s Saturday! And why is my daughter currently launching herself at me from the doorway in her swimmers, goggles in hand?
I’m a touch confused and disoriented (most likely with a child-sized concussion), and perhaps a little dusty after a late night. Then reality hits me as hard as that mouthful of ice I swallowed when I convinced myself that I could snowboard. SATURDAY SPORT.
Don’t get me wrong, nothing makes me happier than to see my daughter hitting the field/beach/pool and participating in life. She loves it, it’s good for her and she’s making some amazing friends.
But getting up and getting there, that’s where it gets tough.
Still, I've been doing it for a while now and I reckon I have the whole thing pretty down-pat. It’s all in the prep - and usually that's a checklist. Some things can be organised the night before, others you execute on the day, but ALL will make the Saturday morning sport circuit just another part of your family routine. Hand on heart.
1. Wash the woes away.
Jump in the shower, get the water warm and apply your favourite shower gel (because mum's gotta feel indulged to function, OK?). Close your eyes (totally dangerous if you’re sleepy), inhale and imagine…coconuts, lazy beaches, tropical rains, Justin Bieber... Do this until ‘SNAP’, the hot water betrays you and leaves you with a bitter cold that will heighten your senses and have you on full alert, especially when you get out.
2. Get caffeinated.
Fire up the Nespresso, boil the jug, twirl that tisane – whatever your vice, make yourself a large cup-a-ya-fave and kick-start that nervous system. Let’s face it, nothing is getting you through the 8th inning of junior cricket without a dose of caffeine or a herbal infusion. And if you’re onto your second dose and everyone needs to leave NOW so that you get a park, two life-saving words – Keep Cup.
3. The supply to apply.
This is crucial. The kids, with their soft, pure skin should not be out in the light of day without a good sunscreen, especially when they’re playing sport.
I swear by Banana Boat Dry Balance Sunscreen Spray. It’s SPF 50+, made to absorb excess moisture (hello, sweat!) and isn’t greasy (catching cricket balls for days!). Just make sure you follow the application instructions: apply 20 minutes before going outside, apply generously (one teaspoon per limb I'm told), and reapply at least every two hours, or after swimming, sweating or towel drying. I always keep a hat and sunnies on hand for my daughter too.
4. Love the lycra.
No, you’re not the one playing today but we all know that 95 percent of the reason that we purchase activewear is because they are basically a socially acceptable form of pyjamas. If you’re going to be watching a bunch of kids run around a field like a herd of cattle you may as well be comfy doing it.
5. Get shady.
A necessity for protecting your eyes from those high balls being kicked into the sun? Sure. The perfect disguise for when you accidentally nod off on the sidelines? Absolutely! Pull up a fold out chair, don the shades and just sit back. While still semi-conscious, make a point of muttering a few praises, even hold your mobile in your hand as if taking photos.
6. Food, glorious, food.
NEVER forget the snacks. Best prepared the night before, snacks are an absolutely must-have. If you’re fancy and have a bento box, pack a variety of foods, but my favourite thing to use is one of those large ice cube trays. I make up one with finger foods like cheese, blueberries, sundried tomatoes and grapes.
I then make up another that is pulled out to emotionally comfort me through the game – cheese and bacon balls, spearmint leaves and Maltesers. This one will not only make you some friends but will always run out fast so make sure you bring the rest of the packets with you.
I firmly believe that everything I have listed above offers a fool-proof solution for not being thrust into the Saturday sport saga, but rather makes you feel sorted and pretty darn satisfied with yourself.
Now, maybe a glass of vino before I pack my ice cube trays…and it's game, set and match.
What's your Saturday sport (survival) ritual? Share below!
This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Banana Boat.
Having fun in the sun starts with a good sun protection routine, which is why Banana Boat has teamed up with Mamamia to share this series of tips and advice for Australian families. We want to arm Australian families with the facts to ensure they are practising a fun and safe regime. To learn more, go to Bananaboat.com.au, and download our free, interactive Book, ‘Colin Splodge and the Sizzledodge. It’s an engaging tool, brought to you by Banana Boat, for Australian Families to learn more about sun safety.