Not a soccer mom #SOL23 6/31

Confession: I am a terrible soccer mom. I was a little shocked to discover this about myself, but it’s true nonetheless. I didn’t start out this way. I played soccer growing up. My dad coached; my mom watched; my sisters played – it was a family thing. So, when the kids were little, I dutifully signed them up for soccer and volunteered to help coach their teams, but eventually, I realized that I was more interested in the game than they were. Evidence:

Yes, that is my (younger) child. Yes, he is *inside* the ball bag. No, he did not want to play.

So, the kids stopped playing on teams and I stopped coaching. Life went on.

Both kids are pretty athletic (as I am not), and my older child never stopped playing the game with buddies, but he didn’t join a team again until this year. Then, he made the high school team, too. Suddenly, I have an app on my phone and there are uniforms and practices and games and tournaments and so so many emails. I know that this is part and parcel of youth sports, but it turns out, I’m a terrible soccer mom. Evidence:

I ignore a lot of the emails.

The app made me crazy, too, so I made my partner download it.

Which means I really should read the emails.

We are often late to practice. Sometimes it is my fault.

I do not know the names of all the boys on the team. (In fairness to me, my child does not like it when I ask him things like the names of the boys on the team, so I stopped.)

I definitely do not know the parents of the boys on the team.

I often take walks during the outdoor games. 

I often do crosswords during the indoor games.

I accidentally missed today’s semi-final because I was walking (In my defense, my son is injured and was not playing AND I had been told the game was starting later AND I didn’t know that the playoff games were shorter. Which I probably should have known. But whatever.)

The truth is that I’m a little surprised that I don’t want to be more involved, but I don’t. Maybe it’s because he didn’t play for so long or because when he started again this year, he asked me not to watch while he got used to playing again. Mostly, though, it’s because it’s his thing, not mine. One way or another, I’m not really a soccer mom, and I’m making my peace with that.

20 thoughts on “Not a soccer mom #SOL23 6/31

  1. This has inspired me to look at something that “I’m not” as well. I really like the way that this line uses polysyndeton and it feels like you have become the centre of a vortex just by downloading an app on your phone – phewph! So familiar whether it’s sports or anything else that apps are used for.
    “Suddenly, I have an app on my phone and there are uniforms and practices and games and tournaments and so so many emails.”
    And “making peace with that”…yup. That’s the goal. (pun intended 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is funny. I just attended my grandson’s first soccer game. He spent most of it sitting on the sidelines eating goldfish and when he decided to play, it lasted less than 3 seconds. I know because I was videoing it. He ran in, kicked the ball once, and ran off crying because it hurt his foot. My middle daughter tells me she played soccer in middle school. I have no memory of that.


  3. Oh my gosh, that picture of your child in the ball bag made me laugh out loud this morning! Here’s to being good at helping your kid do something “on their own”. I feel like “soccer mom” has become synonymous with a parent who over-manages their player’s gear/snacks/schedule/playing time/life, so CONGRATS on being a just right soccer mom, with the kid being the soccer player. They got this!


  4. I was intrigued by your title today and your first sentence made me laugh out loud! I always enjoy your writing Amanda. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Amanda,
    I see only positives i. all your shortfalls as a soccer mom. I bet the coaches appreciate your lack of engagement because they do t have to worry about radical outbursts and sideline coaching from you. And the kid can take responsibility for arriving to practice on time. I’m sure you know how awful so many parents are about their kids’ playing time, etc. these days. I’d say you’re the perfect soccer mom.


  6. I was so relieved when my children did not enjoy playing team sports! But then in grade 5 things changed. My daughter was on every possible team and that has continued into grade 6. I told her she has to choose one, two at the most next year. I enjoy watching her play, but I’m just not that into it. I’d rather walk too! So I totally understand you! What I don’t understand are the parents who are so enthusiastic about it! LOL


  7. I applaud you for being true to you! Also, you get them to and from. You’re doing great! Our girls started playing soccer last year and I thought I would hate it. I’m not a sports person at all. But surprisingly, I love watching them play.


  8. Oh, my. There were years when I loved the crew of parents we watched games with. There are some great stories about the night my older son got a yellow card in U13, and we all had to hold it together and not laugh, because it was the most unlikely thing to ever happen. There were years I did not love the crew of parents, and I walked more. I kind of like that your kid has made it clear that this is his.


  9. This is great. The picture is a classic. It seems like it should be a meme somehow. I agree with comments above. The world needs more non-soccer parents, if only to give the coaches and the refs a break. The fact that your son got back into it on his own and doesn’t need you there is a really good sign that he’s doing it for himself, not to please others. I was a bit too vocal at one of my daughter’s field hockey games and was politely reminded by my wife that “we don’t want to be those kind of parents,” in other words, “shut up!” I reformed.


  10. Love this honest post. Like you, I’m not an athlete, so attending all the sports events that come with having five sports-loving kids, was not always my idea of fun. Thanks for keeping it real!


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