It’s about juggling with 3 Calgary minor soccer players in the house
By April Cruz
Households that have several children contend with busy schedules on any given day. Now consider the juggling of a family with three children, all between the ages of nine and twelve, who play Calgary minor soccer.
It’s tough but possible as Jamie Tartamella will attest. She’s a mother of three children actively playing soccer all year round.
Her daughter, Francesca, is currenlty an under 10 player but plays up in U12.
Dominic, her son is currently wrapping up his season of U12.
The youngest, Anthony, is under eight but heading into the indoor season with the U10′s.
When asked how the summer went for the family, Jamie laughed.
“I don’t remember, it was a blur,” she said. “There was something every night so it was fun. It is fun to have those things to look forward to at the end of the day.”
A hard part for this devoted mother was making it out to as many of her kid’s games. There would be evenings with game time conflicts. She would have to miss someone’s match.
“It’s hard to have to miss some of the kids stuff,” she shared. “Anthony had his little buddy on his team, and his mom took him to the majority of his games because there were always conflicts with his, so I probably missed most of his stuff compared to the other two.”
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The bonus to their situation is that dad is coaching Anthony’s team. If he didn’t get time with mom, he’d definitely get it with dad.
Rob Tartamella coaches several teams at the Foothills Soccer Club. It helps to have a dad this involved when there’s three Calgary minor soccer players in the house.
There were moments when the soccer stars seemed to align and the whole family was in the same place at the same time.
“We ended with the Red Deer Classic tournament. All three (of our) teams went so it was fun. They didn’t conflict. They worked around Rob’s schedule so he could coach six and half hours of soccer one day,” she said.
The evenings when all three had to be at three different places were naturally a challenge. That’s when the social network in the soccer community comes in to play.
“You just have to phone your soccer mom friends to help drive your kids to where they need to be,” said Jamie.
Carpooling is the norm, especially during the busy summer months.
This demand on a parent’s time is not without consequence. The time a husband and wife can spend together is naturally impacted.
“We never see each other,” Jamie added.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel however.
“Indoor soccer. It’ll probably be easier than outdoor was because we had a lot of conflicts. It seemed that the U12′s played certain nights all summer so maybe indoor it’ll be different,” she said. “Hopefully that works out and we don’t have too many eight in the morning games. They feel awful, it’s the weekend! It’s the one day!” Jamie shared laughing.
Regardless of the organized soccer chaos, Jamie believes the benefits of their children playing soccer are worth it.
“The exercise first of all, the friendship and learning to play a team sport,” she said. “All their friends are soccer friends. At school they have kids they sort of hang out with but it’s their soccer friends that they connect and relate with. I think it’s the sport that draws them together.”
The three Calgary minor soccer players are big eaters, adding a trip to the grocery store to their mother’s list.
“I am at the grocery store every day. Just picking up the necessities,” said Jamie. “My daughter lives on pasta, Dominic is more about the meats and that one just eats anything ’cause he’s an animal,” she said pointing to her youngest son doing summersaults in the grass. “His nickname is ‘Animal’.”
The family has become practical over the years with reusing shoes when possible. Providing their feet fit in to the soccer shoes of their sibling, they would get handed down and used until they were run into the ground.
“This year, Francesca wore Dom’s old outdoors. It worked out but by the middle of the season, she wore the studs down so much that she couldn’t stand up so I had to buy her a new pair,” she shared.
As well, another cost savings the family is happy to utilise is a ‘third child discount’. With the Foothills Soccer Club, a discount is given on club fees for your third child.
“We’ll get a little break with him (Animal), so this year we’re going to have a little bit of savings,” said Jamie.
With three Calgary minor soccer players in the house, it’s safe to assume where that savings will go. More pasta and steak.