It was soccer mom night. If you’ve been following us, then you know that AG started soccer this year, mostly for funnies but also because she’s got a killer kick and runs really fast.
Too bad not a single person on her team ever saw either of those things.
I never thought I’d be one of those crazy soccer moms who cared what my kiddo was doing out on the field. Even after her first practice, I wasn’t worried because all of the kids seemed to be chasing butterflies, sitting on the ground, and ignoring their coach equally. But after the 2nd, 3rd, 4th practice all of the kids got on board and my little free-spirit was still doing things like this:
I found myself getting extremely frustrated with her ignoring her coach, refusing to participate, and doing yoga in the middle of the game where she was likely to get a cleat to the face. I kept threatening her, bribing her, and talking through what was going to happen at practice with her like,
ME: “Who are you going to listen to?”
HER: “Coach Scott.”
ME: “Are you going to run away?”
ME: “Where do you kick the ball?”
HER: “The goal.”
… You get the idea.
But at her second to last practice she started her usual shpeal of running in circles chasing sunshine, when another little boy started following her lead. That lasted all of 5 minutes before his mom marched onto the field and gave him a stern talking to.
The rest of the practice this little boys mama and another mother whispered and made faces at AG while she continued to do her own thing. After practice they came up to me and asked how old she was and then went about their own whispered conversation about her age as they walked away from me.
I started to feel really embarrassed and even talked with the coaches about AG’s behavior after practice.
I quickly went from embarrassed to angry. Thankfully it was at the END of a practice so I didn’t have to sit there for the rest of the hour trying to bite my tongue and hold back from saying something I’d eventually regret later.
But it did get me thinking …
Why the heck was I so upset with her for not participating in practice? Was it because I cared whether or not she learned the proper way to juggle a soccer ball at 2 years old? Or was it because I was so worried about what all of the other parents were going to say or think about her?
Mom-shaming shouldn’t even be a thing. The fact that I was able to go to my daughters sporting event with anything less than joy in my heart (and in the atmosphere) really stinks.
Parenting is hard, and we should be lifting each other up, not worrying about what other parents are going to think about our toddlers (or our) decisions.
Having one less-than-nice parent on her soccer team helped me to realize that it’s not those parents opinions of my child that matter. If she has fun, builds friendships, and learns to be respectful of her coaches (
not sure she learned all of these either) then who cares how good she is or what little Johnnie’s mom thinks about her.
So although I do think that kids should only get trophies for being the best. I also think that an introductory 6-week practice program where 2-6 year olds only play games against their own teammates isn’t the time or place for all of that mom-shaming and negativity.
Curious about participation trophy day? Well, it happened. (Have you forgotten how I feel about participation trophies? Check out my original post here)
Considering the passive-aggressive soccer-momming that happened last week, yesterday was the best of all days for it to be participation trophy day. AG’s performance at practice HANDS DOWN Solidified my thoughts on kids getting trophies for showing up vs working hard.
But it also allowed me to give a silent “na-na-na-na-boo-boo” to the other parents (who took this league very seriously) when AG walked up and got the same trophy as the other kids.
Like I was saying about yesterday being the perfect representation of kids doing nada and getting the same trophy … Here was my girl yesterday:
And here she is with the SAME EXACT Trophy that all of the other kids got:
Clearly she shares my opinion on participation trophies.
Just kidding. She’s actually obsessed with it and carried it around all evening saying “my trophy”.
So thanks ultra-serious-soccer-mom for caring so much about my toddlers performance on the soccer field! You helped me to realize that I was being way too hard on her and that I needed to lighten up + enjoy her perfect smile that could only result from spinning in circles.
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