I feel the need to make a confession, lest people get a wrong idea about me. While I try to steer clear of stereotypes and being stuffed in a box, there is one label I cannot avoid no matter how much I try. Wife? Yes. Mom? Yes. I gladly take those labels and wear them as a badge of honor.
This one though, is a little uh… embarrassing? No, that’s not the right word. I’ll think of it later.
I’m a soccer mom.
Been one for about 5 or 6 years now. I’ve got it bad too. The umbrella. Insulated snack bags. Travel chairs. The Honda Odyssey minivan. Spring and Fall weekends blocked out for games and tournaments.
And the funny thing about being a soccer mom is that it kinda chooses you. Your kid takes a shining to soccer or whatever sport of their choosing. You don’t (or shouldn’t) make that choice. Then they want to commit to it and you want to support them. And that is how it happens.
You cannot be just “sorta” a soccer mom either. It’s all or nothing. You take them to practices. You do your bit on the volunteer rotations for snack and such. You plan your meals and evenings and weekends around this stuff. For all the money you pay for it, you really can do no less.
But I love it. I love sitting and cheering on my kids, whether it is soccer or basketball or whatever. (I am still holding my breath for one child to ask about roller derby… if only.) I love the lessons they learn playing. Sportsmanship. Being a team player. Being aggressive yet kind. Perseverance. It’s worth it to me.
While I am indeed a soccer mom, I am probably the weird one. I don’t stick around for practices. (Four other kids vying for attention doesn’t make sitting and watching a possibility.) I have more kids than anyone else on the team. We don’t do Sunday morning games. I’m not a super chatty with the other parents because I really don’t know the sport that well, nor am I a community “lifer”. We also homeschool, so that automatically makes us outcasts in a sense. The other parents don’t know what to do with that.
Then there are the questions that never get answered. Can I cheer loudly? Should I just be quiet? Is it wrong if I don’t take a lot of pictures? How do you get a pic right at the time they score a goal without your phone dying? Where is “our side” of the parent section? How do I encourage, yet offer a word of advice without provoking hurt feelings? It’s a lot to juggle.
But yes, good or bad, I am a soccer mom. I’m glad to say the words, to get them out there. It isn’t a role that consumes me, and it is a part of my life that will eventually come to an end. I guess I should just enjoy the label while I have then, huh?