When a woman finds out she’s expecting she immediately starts dreaming of the things her child will become. It starts happening even before the baby is born. She doesn’t have to know if the baby is a boy or girl. The dreaming just starts. My husband and I had plans for our kids. We dreamed many dreams for each of them. We knew they wouldn’t be or do all of them, but we still had our own plans. Now, my children are older. They have dreams and plans of their own. I don’t hold it against them. Instead, I try to do my best to help them reach their goals. My husband coaches many of their teams and I keep the stats, the score book, or whatever else I need to do. We always try to be as involved as possible.
We like to say that our twins grew up in the gym. Their big brother wanted to play basketball from the first time he touched a basketball. Last year my daughter said something about her friend going to a gym. I said that her friend didn’t play sports and neither did anyone in her family. My daughter’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “Then what do they do with all their time?” I laughed at her question because she just has no concept of all the different life choices that can shape all of us. Her twin brother can dribble better than half the boys on his big brother’s team. It’s just something he’s been doing since he could.
That’s not to say that I’ve forced my kids into sports. Between the three they’ve tried ballet, gymnastics, singing, guitar, drama, and so many more things. But, once the dust settled, while they may still have interest in other things, they still love sports. And, that makes me a SPORTS MOM. I’ve admitted it loud and proud. I spend my evenings and weekends in gyms or at the field.
There are many interesting things about being a sports mom.
One is the level of crazy involved. The first type is the mom who thinks her child is the best athlete ever. She is positive that whatever team her child is playing for or sport her child is playing would never even happen if her child wasn’t there. No team can win without her son or daughter. The other end of the spectrum is the mom who has no idea what is happening on the court. She may have her nose in a book, or is on her phone the whole game and never bothers to talk to the coach or to even stop at practice. There are various sports mom levels in between. Some moms are the sweetest people I’ve ever met and then the game starts and they are yelling and screaming like it’s a professional game. Others like to coach from their seats. I try to remember that being a sports mom means that while I am yelling and being a crazed fan – other kids are watching and listening.
Another thing is the the amount of time and life involved in getting kids where they need to be. As a working sports mom I spend a full day at the office and then rush to get my kids to their practices or to attend games. The time commitment grows with each child. I thought dragging the twins, with their play pen, bottles, toys, etc to each game was a real pain. I find that getting someone to volleyball, and getting another someone to baseball, and then having yet another someone who needs to be at basketball way more difficult than taking toddler twins anywhere. I often feel like I spend my life in the car. I don’t want any of my kids to feel like I spent more time at one of their siblings activities than I did theirs. I also make my oldest go to the twins’ games. I am entertained when he complains about it being ‘boring’ or he’s ‘too tired’ . I have said to him “Do you have any idea how many hours your brother and sister have spent in the gym watching you play basketball over the last 10 years?” He looked at me with a sheepish look.
I try not to worry about the time that disappears while we are at the gym or going to and from practices or games. I know that in a few years no one will be asking me to go anywhere. Instead, I will be calling my kids asking if they want to come visit. When I’m rushing back to the office after a game to work until 2am instead of just skipping a basketball game or a volleyball game – I try to remember that this season will only last for a short time. I may be tired, frayed, and feel like I’m losing it, but my kids will remember that I took the time to come to their games. I cheered, I helped with the book, I chatted with their coaches, and I made every effort to be involved in what was important to them.