Boy Mama Confession: I Let Them Play Ball In the House


I grew up on Indiana basketball. I would watch it on the floor of our family room on our Zenith TV with my pajamas and pom-poms thinking they needed my cheers to win.  Team sports have been part of my childhood and adulthood as I’ve participated and cheered on various teams through the years.  Now I see the passion my own boys have for competition.  Some have more of a drive than others, but all of them have at least average ability and at least one competitive bone in their body (Isaac’s entire skeletal system).

We’ve lived in a baby-proof, toddler proof, and now mostly kid-proof home that holds very few breakables, lived in furniture, floors that we’d love to replace, and decor that wouldn’t be featured in any magazine, but it’s HOME. We live in it hard.  It’s nothing for a soccer ball to smack the wall or to wake up to the noise of the backboard that resides in our family room that we pretend is our basement. Even when they aren’t on an official team, sports are being played daily in our home. Unlike Carol Brady, I do let them play ball in the house.



It’s not always my preference, but I have to reside that we live in Indiana (where the wind chill is currently -1) and I have 4 boys who need to be active.

Mostly it hasn’t been my house that has made me cringe when they all start playing sports together. Or even the noise.

It’s the CONFLICT. 

It’s the tears over losing. The fights over fouls or wrong-doings.  The “I quits” that make everyone else angry. The refereeing required by Brad and I to keep it from becoming an ugly brawl.

It just didn’t seem worth it for anyone.

However, over the past week we are making beautiful huge strides both off the court and on the court. I’ve witnessed calm talking it out huddles, pointing out strengths in the other teams, games that have lasted over an hour versus a few minutes, and joyful boys who are loving being a TEAM.

I could cry Hallelujah tears right now onto this computer keyboard. 

To see your boys making memories that they will carry with them in as a team instead of as enemies is a gift.  They will most likely have each other long after they have us, and oh how my heart desires them to be teammates long after they’ve grown out of living room basketball!

Certainly there are many more important things than basketball, but if they can transfer conflict resolution, problem solving, self-control and encouragement over into our family-life, at their school, and with others, it’s so incredibly worth it all.  I don’t think anyone in this home would trade it a centerpiece vase in our living room that would eventually need glued back together.

Teammates are being made inside these doors, and I’m not about to blow the game at half time. 

>>>>Another Boy Mama Confession: Fish Are Not My Friends

2 thoughts on "Boy Mama Confession: I Let Them Play Ball In the House"

  1. Crystal says:

    Fantastic! I totally hear you. I let my kids do lots of things in the house that make my mom freak, but she had 30 acres to raise her kids on, and I don’t!

  2. Covington Grandma says:

    Jen, I love this post. It is one of your classics! I hope it can help other mothers realize that material things aren’t as important as having a home to grow up in that builds memories and relationships that last forever.

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