I’m a soccer mom. My sister-in-law? A football mom. My neighbor across the street is a lacrosse mom, and my son’s preschool teacher is a cheer mom.
You know what we all have in common? The tie that binds here is that all of us are bat-shit, screw-loose, certifiably crazy. WE ARE WACKO. We have lost our minds. You are probably reading this while sitting at a gymnastics class separated by a glass partition, watching your little lovely learn to somersault. You are wacko too. You don’t believe me? Here are five telltale signs that sports moms are crazy.
1. The Cost: Extracurricular sports are EXPENSIVE. Not only do you have to pay for coaching, lessons, referees, and tournament fees, you also get saddled with uniform and gear expenses. “What do you mean I have to buy a $70 soccer bag in the team colors that can only be purchased from one vendor that is three hours away, and then I have to get little Johnny’s name embroidered on it too?” Shit. Hence the crazy. Because it’s ridiculous… AND WE STILL DO IT. “OK Johnny, get in the car. If we leave now maybe we’ll get there before they close.”
2. The Time Commitment: My kid’s team practices twice a week and plays a game once a week. I’ve spent many a night shoving animal crackers and fruit snacks at a wound-up toddler while he hypnotizes himself with surprise egg videos on a cold soccer sideline. As the minutes tick by, I think of all the things I’d rather be doing (read: anything else) or should be doing (read: laundry).
3. The Travel: Next week we are leaving town for a tournament. That’s right. The crew of 5, who hasn’t gone on a family vacation in 10 years, travels to soccer tournaments. That in itself is a sign of being unhinged. Ever try to put three children to bed in one room? No? You’re really missing out.
4. The People: The fastest way to expose someone’s inner lunatic is to criticize their kid. Even if the criticism is correct, even if the criticism is in the form of a judge or a paid official, some people just can’t handle the truth. I have witnessed, firsthand, grown men fighting with teenage referees; adults getting into fistfights on the sidelines where police involvement becomes necessary; even an entire group of parents heckling a 10-year-old goalie to the point of tears. I’m proud that these aren’t people I associate with, but they are out there. These parents are spoken of as the unicorn of sports parents, a mythical beast that only exists in the occasional viral video, but they are far more common than that. Being a sports parent means you drink the Kool-Aid, but those people are the ones who spike it with poison.
5. The Injuries: Kids get hurt just sitting in the house. Shit, my 4-year-old injured himself while eating raspberries (tricky fruit right there). Once you expose them to many hours of repetitive motion and contact, they are going to sustain injuries. Putting our kids in harm’s way, over and over again, just proves we are half-baked. Why? Why would we put our kids in structured jeopardy time and time again?
Because they love it. They really, wholeheartedly love it. And their love for the game is what starts our lunacy. It begins with cute little cleats, or a new leotard with glittery accents, or a coach who thinks Tommy is “a natural” and in that instant we become Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch. We are in: Mind, body, wallet, time. It’s a damn done deal. And you don’t even see it until you’re sitting in the scalding hot sun with a 4-week-old baby, watching a tournament, and you think, “No sane person would do this.” And you’re right. Sports moms are loco-bananas.
Pass me the Kool-Aid.
Related post: The Single Rule for Kid’s Sports: Don’t Be An Asshole