It’s an issue that many parents deal with when it comes to having multiple children play baseball or softball in different age groups at different locations.
And it is an issue that multiple families in the area endure with some children playing at the Windsor Gay Youth Complex in Summit and others at Edgewood Park in McComb.
The balance of trying to figure out which parent is going to be where and at what time is really only half the battle. Parents also have some of their everyday activities sprinkled in around shuttling the kids to and from practice and games and making sure that homework is done.
For Chris and Emily Wells, trying to get everything in line with three children playing has been a bit of a tough task but certain factors and individuals have helped. The three Wells children are 8-year-old Jackson, 6-year-old Finn and 5-year-old Avery.
“My husband usually takes the boys and I normally take my daughter,” Emily said.
Chris is the head coach of Jackson’s team and one factor that helps in their favor is the ability to play Finn in an older league. Avery plays softball at Edgewood.
Emily admits that when this started it was a bit intimidating, trying to figure out how to accommodate each child. But she says that grandparents, aunts, uncles and close friends have made it a bit easier.
Chris adds that his main goal is for his children to grow up having fun but he says the planning around baseball and softball season, isn’t always the easiest.
“The logistics are a nightmare,” he said. “But it is good that we can tag team and that helps out.”
An individual who is very familiar with the Wells’ situation is Chris Williams, who is an assistant on the same team.
Like the Wells family, Chris and his wife Allison also have three children who all play baseball or softball.
Their oldest — 13-year-old Emilie — is on the varsity softball team at North Pike High School where Allison is an assistant coach.
Their middle child is 10-year-old Ellyn their and youngest is 7-year-old Tate who also play ball on the same team as Jackson and Finn Wells.
Chris Williams is also very thankful to have a special group of individuals help out with making sure the children get to and from practice and games.
He said that advice he would give to a couple who is just starting out down this path is to rely on family and make close friends.
“Always try to pick friends that you know and trust and trust your kids with and they trust their kids with you so that you are not going at it alone.”
Allison admits that when the baseball and softball seasons wrap, there is a time when the family has to make an adjustment back to normal life.
“Honestly it feels like it doesn’t end. It feels like we go from one thing to the next,” she said. “To be honest when we don’t have some type of ball game, we don’t know what to do. It is our norm. But we do get excited when we get time off on the weekend.”
Another family trying to find that balance with three children playing ball is the Houston family. Jason and Kelly Houston are the parents of 11-year-old Ahlyana, nine-year-old Zander and 5-year-old Myles.
But what makes the Houston’s situation a bit more of a struggle is the fact that Jason works off-shore, thus not only keeping him from watching his children play ball for a large portion of the season but also in helping Kelly transport the children and be there supporting them during games.
“Me and my Dad work off shore so it is kind of split between all of us to gets kids here and there,” he said. “(We rely on) some friends here and there and some coaches sometimes.”
Kelly is also the coach of Ahlyana’s team so when she is busy doing that and Jason is home, he normally handling the younger two.
She adds that organization is key for the whole situation.
“Every where we have to keep ball uniforms organized, washed and cleaned, and supper planned.” Kelly said.
Like Chris Williams, Kelly also had some advice for couples who may be going through the same situation: “Don’t stress the small stuff,” she said. “Always get prepared the night before, because something could go wrong the day of and you could forget something. And also get a really good app on your phone that is a calendar and reminds you to do stuff.”