We Can’t – Our Kids Play Hockey

Youth hockey can feel like it consumes your life. It changes the way your family eats, travels, communicates and vacations. 

With two hockey players in our lives, the sport became the answer to so many questions from friends and extended family.

“How come you never come over for dinner on the weekends?”

“We can’t. Our kids play hockey.”

“Why don’t you trade that clunky 

SUV for a Mustang?”

“We can’t. Our kids play hockey.”

“We’re headed to a resort for the 

holidays. Why don’t you join us?”

“We can’t. Our kids play hockey.”

I thought I had it tough with two kids, but Pennsylvania hockey mom Kim Wright owns the logistical nightmare title with four hockey-

playing boys, ranging in age from 6 to 14. And two of them are goalies!

“We are constantly running on all cylinders,” said Wright.  

Fortunately, the owner of  a Nothing Bundt Cakes franchise and her husband, who also runs his own business, have flexibility to control their schedules and adjust as necessary to get their boys where they need to be. 

“We still use extra hired help and our hockey family to make the magic all happen,” Wright admitted.

While all of us hockey parents take pride in our David Copperfield-like skills, not everyone appreciates a hockey family’s disappearing act during the long season. Like all of us, the major struggle for the Wright family is missing family and school events because of hockey.

“Over time, our circle of non-hockey friends has come to accept the, ‘We can’t, we have hockey’ excuse,” Wright said. “But it doesn’t mean they understand it or truly accept it as a legitimate reason for missing parties and other events.”  

It can turn into a hamster wheel when you also must adjust your work schedule because of hockey.

It’s not just scheduling nightmares posing challenges for families. The price can add up quickly. 

“Once my oldest started to play, how could I not say yes to each son afterwards when he showed an interest?” Wright said. 

Regardless of how many hockey-crazed players you are raising, you need to stick to a budget and not give in to the ‘latest and greatest / can’t live without it’ claims from your kids to find those financial victories.

“That can easily lead many families to go over their budgets,” said Wright. 

There are various tips to help keep your budget under control. 

Make sure your organization gives you a complete budget before the season starts. 

It’s impossible to budget without one. 

It cuts down on surprise costs later in the season too. Shop and swap with other hockey parents. Seek sponsors and raise funds. Don’t stop at those tempting fast food restaurants and pack food and snacks that are way healthier (and cheaper). 

We often justify the sacrifices over the course of a season by looking towards the memories made or lessons learned, but being a hockey parent also gives us superpowers. 

Think about it. Who else can stay calm in a double overtime championship game? Who else can work a full day, get kids fed in time to hit the road for two hockey tournaments at a rink hours away and get the supplies needed for science projects due on Monday? Who else can get team snacks, hockey bags packed, coffee orders for your hockey parent pals all before the puck drops? 

We can. Our kids play hockey. 

 

Issue: 
2023-09

Poll

Who is your favorite American player?
Auston Matthews
21%
Jason Robertson
6%
Tage Thompson
10%
Matthew Tkachuk
7%
Patrick Kane
24%
Other
32%
Total votes: 395