But now I'm on Team Parent, and I understand the love that motivates us to sit on bleachers for hours on end to support your little fish. We all have phones to help us pass the time these days, but there are some other ways to survive the time by the pool.
Bring a Book1 of 7
As parents, our time for leisurely reading is greatly diminished. Time between heats is perfect for digging into a good book.
Make Friends2 of 7
Some of my best friends are fellow moms I met on the sidelines at soccer or baseball games. When my son chose not to play baseball this spring, I knew I would miss the conversations with these cool ladies, and I was right. Long meets go more quickly when you enjoy the company of the fellow parents.
Making friends with other parents will also inevitably lead to play dates for your kids outside of swim team, which means more free time for you.
Volunteer3 of 7
Swim meets rely on parent volunteers and pitching in will make time pass more quickly and will help you reach your daily step goal. Win-win! Parent volunteers are always needed at the snack counter, heat tents or for timing and running heat sheets to the scoring table.
Bring Your Work4 of 7
I've been known to write articles on the sidelines of my kids' sports, and I can't even tell you how many teachers I've seen grading papers while their children compete. Return emails, make business calls or do whatever extra work can be done. Sure, it's not as much fun as playing Candy Crush, but multi-tasking is what we parents do best. Plus, doing extra work on the bleachers will give you more time to relax when the meet's over!
Phone a Friend5 of 7
When your kid isn't swimming, step outside and catch up on your correspondence. My college and childhood friends and I rarely have time to talk on the phone because of these kids that take up all our time, so when I have the chance to chat with an old friend--or to call my mom back--I pounce on it.
Indulge in a Hobby6 of 7
Maybe you knit or enjoy crossword puzzles or sudoku. While your child is exercising muscles, you can take some time to exercise your brain. This gets more important as we age, and we aren't getting any younger, am I right?