Parenting.........I think it has to be the hardest job around, especially with teens in the house.
If you have read my blog before, you've probably read about how much time, energy, and money our family (esp Pigeon Man and I) put into the sports the girls all play. It has been a huge part of our family life, our social life, and our financial life.
Earlier this month we made the decision to pull our oldest daughter - The Queen - from her basketball team related to her grades and her entitled attitude. I don't want to humiliate her by posting the details here, and will say upfront that she was NOT failing anything....but her grades had taken a decided DROP from where they were 1st semester (for which she had earned an academic letter). After many tears, arguments and such, she realized we meant what we said and accepted her consequence. She worked diligently to bring her grades back up, make up work, etc - it only took 2 weeks. During this time, however, Pigeon Man and I had some difficult discussions about where the priorities were in our family. We are behind on a couple major bills, the cars both need work, as does our home. Several small things as well - like cookware, dishes, utensils - that need to be replaced, added to, upgraded, etc....
So, we pulled all the girls from their basketball teams, citing financial reasons. Through the tears and disappointment, we hope there will be lessons learned, for us and for them. Once I stepped back and looked objectively, I realized that our priorities as parents were not where they should be. Several times in the process of making this decision i had doubts and wondered if we were doing the right thing. My hubby stayed strong and convicted and I followed his lead. In the end, I believe we have made the right decision and am proud that I was able to stand behind him on this one.
Many of you are probably thinking....."It's just basketball, why is it so hard?"......
As parents, my hubby and I have also shared the philosophy that keeping teens busy is the key to keeping them safe - away from bad influences, away from drugs...etc. What's the saying about idle hands? I have to admit, I had huge fears that by taking them off the team, I was asking for trouble.
Also, they LOVE basketball....and the Athlete & the Underdog LOVE softball. From that standpoint, we are taking away healthy activities that they LOVE.....it's very hard to do, especially when our poor financial decisions are not in any way their fault.
Since all of this occurred earlier this month, the kid's coach is now sponsoring them for a basketball tournament this weekend, he said he needed them to play....so we allowed it and are very appreciative for his sponsorship. The Queen has asked that if she can earn the money to go to the tournament in Reno on Memorial Day weekend, if she can go (the team is providing a room for those without parents attending staffed by one of the moms). She will also bring me grade check sheets every week. We've agreed to let her if she can earn $150 ( she won't earn it from us) ....we look forward to seeing her ambition - which has previously been absent. The Underdog has been invited to play on one of the Allstars teams for softball - at a cost of $600. My husband said "no" to that one tonight. She was also invited to play with another club basketball team - $35 for the uniform + $30 for each tournament- very reasonable, but we said "no." The Athlete was invited to play on a club softball team - at a cost of $700. We have said "no."
At the very sound advice of one of my good friends - Mrs Darling over at Dishpan Dribble (my former neighbor), I am looking for a youth group for the girls, and a church for the rest of us. I was a devout member of Grandview Baptist (LOVED that place!!!) when we lived in Oregon, but have not hooked up with a church here in California. Natasha's diabetes makes it a little difficult - not difficult really, just takes more work. Also, we spend very little money on clothes for Daddy and I - we'll definitely need to spruce up the wardrobe for church. I would also like to get the younger 3 involved in Awana.
Have you made any difficult decisions lately?