We all know her. She drives a minivan, usually loaded with soccer balls and water bottles, and probably a sports-related bumper sticker or two on the trunk. She has a tote bag, a ponytail, and hasn’t met a sneaker she didn’t like. She’s the “Soccer Mom.”
I remember looking at her type growing up and thinking, “I am never going to be THAT.” But fast-forward 20 years and here I sit, in my folding chair and sunglasses, on the sidelines. And guess what? It’s way, way better than it’s cracked up to be. Seriously, it’s cool to be a soccer mom – just look at Victoria Beckham.
Let me break it down for you:
Sure, there’s a bit of stereotype surrounding these vehicles but let me give you three little words — Remote. Control. Doors. They will change your life. We can literally roll right out the door with the ball and go. Nowhere to sit at the game? No problem. Pop that trunk and suddenly you have a tailgate party with room for three. Younger siblings get bored? Most modern minivans come standard with TVs and DVD players. #Winning.
2. Yoga Pants
Soccer games give us a perfectly acceptable excuse to wear them around town. After all, it’s exercise. Exercise through osmosis — that counts, right?
3. Family Time
Sure, I may begrudge having to wake up early every single weekend, but something magical happens when the Saturday morning games are over. We find ourselves out together as a family, which typically leads to even MORE quality time spent together. We leave the field and go out to lunch, go to the farm, or go over to a friend’s house. The whole family is already out, so the good times just keep on rolling!
4. Life Lessons
Win, lose, or tie — we get to be there. For every victory, we can rejoice with our kids, and for every loss, we’re there to give hugs. We see their first real trophies and their sense of accomplishment at making a goal. We teach them the importance of teamwork, trust, standing by their commitments, responsibility, hard work, and endurance — all in a fun setting.
5. Good Night Sleep
Every night after soccer practice, my kids sleep GREAT. Nothing that a couple of hours running around in the fresh air wouldn’t do. And the best part? I didn’t have to chase them because soccer practice is like …
6. Day Care
Obviously, it’s not actually daycare, nor do I expect the coaches to act as free babysitters. But what else do you call an hour of quiet time each week while my daughter practices? I call it a break. Furthermore, during that time I have made …
We aren’t in first grade anymore, where making friends is as easy as playing next to someone in the sandbox. After many seasons on the same team, I have made some of my greatest friends on the sidelines. We chat about our kids, school, trade parenting tips, and get advice on whatever we’re having problems with. After the many years of soccer practices, games, trophy parties and get-togethers, some of the parents have become almost like family. The only other people I see as regularly are my neighbors!
8. Healthy Food
It doesn’t matter what healthy snack the soccer mom in charge brings, my kids gobble it right up. No whining, no complaining — the fruits and vegetables get eaten. That’s at least one serving I don’t have to worry about.
9. We Have a Guaranteed Out
You know all those jewelry/Tupperware/purse parties we all get invited to on a regular basis? We have a perpetual Get Out of Jail Free card. “Ohhh — when was that party again? Sorry — there’s a game that morning.” “Thursday? Can’t make it, soccer practice.” Bullet dodged.
Long story short, whether or not I have a giant bag of soccer balls in my trunk, I’m a soccer mom and proud of it. My kids know that whatever sport they choose, or whatever path they follow, we’ll be there, cheering them on from the sidelines.