via Discover Challenge: Tough Questions
As parents of five children, we face the dilemma of family priorities.
My older set of twins has recently begun wrestling, which is a big sport here. I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to ask when meets would happen. I just assumed that matches would be Saturdays (after all we live in a densely Catholic area).
Remember what you learned in school about the word assume? It makes an ass out of u and me.
Imagine my dismay to discover a few weeks into the season (in a sport that my children like) to realize that the matches are on Sunday. Not in the middle of the afternoon, which would be practical but starting first thing in the morning at 0830.
Problem alert: We go to church every weekend. Our service starts at 0845. Followed by Sunday school at 0915.
I am NOT comfortable with the idea of missing church for sports. I don’t mind them missing on the rare occasion (because I’m trying to flexible and stretch) but every Sunday, it’s not happening. The whole discussion makes my stomach ache. I really struggled with this.
I turned to query my friends on Facebook. My religious LDS friends said,”no go.” My Catholic friends said, “go to an alternative mass, like Saturday night.” My secular friends just said, “choose one over the other, but you can’t do both.” My priest (who is also on FB) said, “I’m glad the church is a priority, my kids went late to sports.” (We’re Episcopalian, so our priests have children).
In our lives, we have made a few things a priority based on our values; church, family, boy scouts, physical activity. Sports ranks dead last. It’s probably an unpopular stance, but it’s what we believe.
I weighed the benefits my sons get from wrestling: physical activity, mentorship, coaching, socialization with other kids…
and from church: appropriate behavior, faith in God, values, spiritual development, answers to profound questions, friendships, socialization.
Bottom line. My sons are six years old. They don’t need to be at a wrestling meet every Sunday. We are fortunate that my husband’s job at a university provides college costs for our children (and we can use our Montgomery GI money). We will hopefully never have to chase athletic scholarships as we won’t have to rely on them for college tuition. I want my children to love athletics, but I’m not willing to sacrifice our spiritual lives for sports. Church wins out.
Now I just have to tell the coach…
How do you handle this issue in your home?