How I Became A Bad Sports Mom
So, here we are. And although I initially didn’t want to succumb to this, I admit that since I started (dare I say) embracing it, a weight feels as though it has been lifted. YES, I’M A BAD SPORTS MOM. There. Yup, I said it out loud for the whole world to hear so there’s no going back now. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever really was a ‘good’ sports Mom…..but two things I know for sure: 1) I love my kiddos and will show up for them in any weather, for any sport. 2) I simply have no energy and no interest left in being a ‘good’ sports Mom. Oh, I cheer for my kids! Believe me. I am rooting them on from the sidelines! But the rest of the sports Mom thing??? Ugh. No thank you.
See, I am married to a (former) Coach. And he loves soccer. And our kids love it, too. But me? I never played soccer growing up. And even though I married someone who played his whole life and then I birthed 2 children who essentially have played THEIR whole lives I still can’t tell you what offsides means. I mean, I KNOW (in theory) what it is. But if you ask me “was that kid offsides”? I’ll say “I have no idea”. <Insert shoulder shrug.> Because I really have zero clue. And 5 more years from now I won’t know either because I simply don’t care to remember that little nugget of info along with everything else in my ‘Mom brain’. (As you can imagine, this info HAS been shared with me many times over the years and yet, here we are……And I still can’t recall what the specifics are around it.)
And don’t ask me if this (new) season is the season we move to playing 9 v 9 or 30 or 45 minute halves because I don’t know. I will float along in my cloud of “whatever” because I don’t need to know these details. Do I? No, I don’t. I will cheer for my kid for however long the halves are and guess what? I am not even going to look at my watch to see if the game started on time or not. #WaitWhaaaaaat #YesIAmTHATCrazy All I do is look at my calendar and show up to (hopefully) the correct field on the correct day and the correct time. Game “time” stuff? Not my area.
And when my kids were younger…..
Please don’t ask me if it’s your turn for snacks or what I might be bringing for snack when it’s my turn. I am not the keeper of that info. I won’t even know WHEN it’s my turn until the actual day-of when I look at the calendar and realize it. Don’t worry, I WILL bring the snacks!! But don’t expect me to have a PLAN ahead of time and coordinate with you so that we don’t bring the same snack back-to-back for 2 games in a row because that aint happenin’. I will grab whatever is most convenient on the day of the game and surprise us all! As the preschool saying goes, “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” Ha!
Also, if your kid leaves something at the game or a practice and you start an all-team chat message on the sports-tracking-app, (which, by the way, the app will change for every sport your kid is enrolled in and every new season or new coach they get, so you better make a whole new folder on your phone to ‘collect’ all of them) please please PLEASE don’t start a tangent conversation within the chat with another parent or two…….save that crap for a text between you all because I don’t need to check my phone and see 127 notifications that started off with “Has anyone seen Jimmy’s water jug” but ends up being some inside joke from when all of you went to high school together or worked together at a previous job. My head hurts even thinking about it. Just.Don’t. No more 127 notifications. Please.
Furthermore, if you are my child, please don’t ask me what color uniform you are today because you are either blue…or white….or pink for breast cancer awareness and also on Mother’s day. This information is available to you on the schedule which YOU can access. And by the way, all of the pieces for each of these uniforms are supposed to be in the sports bag going to every single game because sometimes other teams are the same colors as we are and we have to change uniforms once we are at the fields——so don’t leave any of that shit at home. You don’t want to be the only kid on the field with the wrong shorts or the wrong socks on. Just saying. And if you are, DON’T ask me to go home and get your missing items. That’ll be a NOPE.
And now I need to tell you the very WORST part about being a sports Mom. It’s when your kid switches teams. And no matter the circumstance for switching (whether it be skill level, a coach stepping down, an internal club policy change, or the entire US soccer gods changing the age-rules for teams) the very WORST part about being a sports Mom is having to learn allllllllll the new names/family members/and who belongs to whom for each.new.team. Each one! Every year! For every sport!
Don’t get me wrong! When my daughter started soccer at the age of 4, I was EXCITED for her and I guess a little excited for us, as well! Over time, all of the parents on that team bonded with each other and formed lasting friendships. In fact, to this day, we are still friends with most of those families that we started with and I truly cherish those friendships. And because you spend multiple evenings a week and often multiple games on the weekend together, this group becomes your social circle. These are your friends now. And it’s fun! We had a lot of fun with these families for many, many years! However, eventually, teams change and kids move to other teams. To other clubs. And you have to learn all new people. And which kid belongs to them. And the siblings. And where the kids go to school (since this is not a school sponsored team). And where the parents work —or at a minimum, what they do. And that’s all fine and dandy. Until next season. Because guess what? It ALLLLLLL changes again. Sure, you have some people that stay the same but you’ll lose a portion of your team (or maybe YOU are the one that left) and the learning curve starts over. Again.
And holy moly…..We haven’t even discussed OTHER sports yet! What about when soccer ends and hockey begins? Or when soccer and softball overlap each other? Regardless, you have ANOTHER team to figure out the parental dynamics and who you like sitting next to and who you don’t. Which parent is the obnoxious one on the sidelines? Which one thinks their kid is better than all the other kids on the team? And repeat the cycle again and again for every year AND every sport your child plays. #ForeverAndEverAmen
I promise you, in those early years, I absolutely 100% put forth the effort. I did. I made notes in my phone during practices and games to help me learn the parents’ names, and the sibling names, and which kid belonged to which family and I genuinely ENJOYED it. But we are TWELVE years and TWO kids with MULTIPLE sports into this sports team ring-around-the-rosie and honestly, I simply don’t have it in me. This 44yr old Mom brain can’t absorb it.
So, to the families on our new team(s) each year/season please know that I wasn’t always this way. Even more important to know is that I will absolutely cheer for your kid (I’ll try to at least learn THEIR names) and I’ll always say hi and be pleasant with you!! It’s not that I don’t like you. In fact, if we are seated next to each other, I will gladly converse with you on/off throughout the game and chit-chat, laugh, etc. But please don’t hold it against me if I don’t know your name. Furthermore, please don’t hold it against me if I have ZERO intentions of really even learning your name. It’s not you. It’s me. My brain is goo. I can’t possibly retain a single bit, byte, morsel, crumb, or nano-whatever more in the “kid team sports” section of my brain. I just can’t. My heart wants to, but my mind doesn’t. It’s basically saying NOPE. Do not enter. It has closed the gates to any new sports-related information and that info is simply not allowed to take up any residence there.
So like I said….here we are. If you feel bad about not being able to keep up with all of this stuff as well, don’t stress! Take a deep breath and accept the stage of life where you are and let.it.go. I promise you’ll feel so relieved, Sheila……Or Sharon. Whatever your name is. Ooops. Welcome to the bad sports Mom club! I’ll be sitting right here next to you! #MyNameIsKarinAndImABadSportsMom
Want to be part of the Bad Sports Mom club? (Or even the Good Sports Mom Club?!?)
You’ll certainly need one or more of these for the sidelines:
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4) Camping chair — So that you can sit in style while watching!
Basic camp chair. https://amzn.to/2LXyUc3
Rocking camp chair. https://amzn.to/31Y600X
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If you liked this blog post, you might also like (and learn something!) from my post about the night in college I could have been raped.....or worse.