Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Soccer Mom's

I can talk about this because I was a soccer mom for more than 20 years. I went into retirement just this last soccer season when Little One hung up her cleats for the last time.

I have a friend who has a 5 year old who is just venturing into the world of team sports. She was asking me about team snacks, because word on the streets had freaked her out.

"Did you ever have to bring team snacks to your kids teams?"


"Well, like what? Because I am hearing that I need to pack the equivalent of a small lunch for each kid on the team, including the coach, and also include a small gift of a pencil, stickers, or eraser. Is that really how it is?!" 

We talked at length about what on earth could motivate parents to do this sort of stuff? When did soccer snack turn into "soccer buffet?" And why?

We decided in all of our down to earth wisdom that parents are so afraid of appearing to not be good enough at their job of supporting their little Loves, that even soccer snack day has turned into an event to prove their skill level. "Seeeee, I AM a good mom!"

When did parenting become a competition? It must have been a long time ago because I can remember back in the day being only too aware that others were doing "it" better and more insightfully and strongly and gently (depending on the day) than I was able to do it. And it felt downright shitty!

If I could tell a young mama anything, it would be.....spend oodles of time with your Littles, days upon days sharing the world with them, don't rush (they don't know how and it only leads to frustration for everyone,) gently and quietly be consistent, pick your battles, allow room for many mistakes (yours and theirs,) remember that you are their first teacher, the journey is not about us being in "control of our kid" but of us teaching them the way, look at the world through their eyes, keep it simple, their misbehaviors are not about you, its not personal, they are figuring out who they want to be and how they want to get there, raising kids is a lonnnnnggg process, its not done in fits and starts and there are no flashes in the pan with being a parent, you are in it for the long haul, sweet young mama, be gentle with yourself, pace yourself.... and most of all, a bag of orange slices and a granola bar is more than enough for a soccer snack.

None of us know what the future holds for our sweet little ones. I am here to tell you that soccer snacks, though they seem huge right now, are the least of our concerns. 



Anonymous said...

From the times my kids were little I was a single parent and felt like I didn't measure up to other moms. Most of the moms at my kids school were stay at home and everything thing they did was amazing. I didn't even have the time to make packaged cupcakes or cookies. The other moms made elaborate cakes that they must have spent hours on. I just ran into the store and bought whatever was on sale because I also couldn't afford much.
I look back and actually don't feel at all bad. I spent a lot of time with my kids. We did arts and crafts and went to the playground. Nobody remembers the elaborate cakes but my kids remember spending time together.

Lolly said...

Watching my two grand littles everyday is starting to wear on me and I so needed to read this today. Thank you Annette. I love your wisdom.

Mary said...

So true. ..parenting is going crazy. I am an orange slices in a baggie type of mom. I refuse to make myself crazier in some weird parenting competition

Athena said...

Such wisdom, Annette

SoberMomWrites said...

This is brilliant advice. The hubs and I never bought into any of this crap. Probably because we were a little older.

I never professed to be Martha Stewart and I think sometimes kids need some "bad" snacks too (yay Twinkies) so while the kids loved me the other moms...not so much.

I also never filled their calendars with sports and classes and lessons. They could each pick one sport and one other "thing" and over the years each did. We were never stressed; ate a healthy dinner at home most nights; and actually ENJOYED our time together. In fact, it allowed each child to be cheered on by their siblings because we were seldom "double booked".

I think you and are a alike...having grown up in dysfunction, we know what's really important to kids...and it ain't soccer snacks that look like Messi.


Momofanaddict2 said...

Amen to that!!

Tori said...

Beautiful post Annette. I wish I could go back and tell my younger mommy self so many of these things.

Syd said...

You are an amazing person and mother.