Yes I’m that soccer mom that you love to hate. I’m at every game yelling from the sidelines like I’m the coach. And you either love me, or you hate me. And either way….. I don’t care.
Soccer has become more and more competitive in recent years. And after years of being a volunteer coach I decided to put my son on a traveling soccer team. One where someone who is “more qualified” than me can teach him actual soccer skills. After all, my extensive knowledge barely goes beyond googling “coaching guide to 8 year old soccer” and immumalitng posts.
I thought that by putting him on a team with a coach who could teach him the skills that I couldn’t, would retract my need to coach from the sidelines. Apparently I lack the ability to remove the need to coach, and by coach I mean yell and demand from the sidelines, during a game.
So yes, that’s me. I’m “that mom”. I’m yelling and “coaching from the shadows of the parent regulated sidelines.” I go into every game with the idea that this will be that game where I am merely observing. That I will let the compulsiveness of “coaching” be left to the person who I am essentially paying, go.
But I don’t. I’m that mom.
So berate me, hate me, roll your eyes at me, lothe me, wish to slilence me….. but you won’t change me. Because I’m that mom. And I won’t apologize for it for the following reasons.
I’m ” that mom” that doesn’t brush my sons game off as a hobby. To him it’s life. And I support his choice to make it a part of our lives. He may not like hearing my voice yelling his name, but in decades from now he will always remember that I was there. Being present. Being involved, being a part of a tiny puzzle piece of his complicated life.
I’m “that mom” that doesn’t “baby” my son. The mom that refuses to coddle minor injuries because in life, I know my son needs to figure out how to pick himself up and brush himself off when times get tough. There’s no crying in soccer. Unless there is blood. So no, I don’t rush to his side when he gets hurt. I yell “you’re okay, walk it off”. Because he doesn’t need mommy…. he needs reality. Life doesn’t hug you when you’re sad. It demands that you get over the obstacles and keep on going.
I’m “that mom” that expects more. Sure I’ll give the common “good job” and “way to go” when it’s deserved. But I won’t sugar coat the truth. My expectations will always be high so when my son is struggling to contribute to the team, he’s going to know. Because constructive criticism is the building block to any goal.
I’m “that mom” that yells. I’ve never been the quiet type. That’s one of the reasons I was “recruited” to coach in the past. I’m assertive and demanding. And I don’t let my child change that. So yes, I yell, I may scream, I may embarrass myself or my child…. but it’s because I care. And because my child is one that is successful through stern direction, not “participation award” coaching.
I’m “that mom” who is in it 100%. While my child may not like how intense I am, he will never be able to say that I’m not involved. I don’t let Facebook, or emails, text messages, work phone calls, or any other distraction take my attention from “his moment”. I don’t just show up to games. I’m involved in them. And I’m highly disturbed by other moms that portray their kids involvement in a sport as a hindrance to their busy lives.
When he asks “mom did you see when……?” I will be able to say yes. Yes I did. I was there with you. I took pictures. I can’t be there to take your place, but I sure as hell can give my all from my place…….. the sidelines.
I know I’m no coach. I know I’m not always right. But I’m always there. So I’m “that mom”. That annoyingly loud, critical, extremely animated, intense and over-involved mom. And I won’t appologize for it.
So sit next to me and join me or sit far away and roll your eyes. Either way, I’m not going away. If I was some idiot who didn’t know the game I would sit in my place and say nothing. But I chose to learn as much as I could about a sport that my son loves, for him. Because that’s what moms do.
I’m “that mom”. The one at every game. The one with the loudest voice. The one who thinks their kid has potential and wants him to strive to meet the achievements I know he is capable of. And one day he will look back at these years and think of his Mom and know that I was there.
My mom did the same for me. And I can only hope he will be that dad one day. And I’ll be the loud obnoxious grandma then. It’s in our DNA.