How I Became a Soccer Mom

by Lolli

I am the typical soccer mom. However, for the last several years I’ve stayed as far away as possible from team sports as I could.

Have you ever been called a Soccer Mom?

Let’s get a few things out in the open. I have 5 school-aged children and I drive a mini van. I often wear my hair pulled back in a ponytail or headband….especially in the mornings when I walk the younger kids across the street to the elementary school. Who has time to take a shower in the morning when there are lunches to make and book bags to pack and kids to keep focused?

When my older kids were little, I was eager to sign them up for as many classes and activities as I could. I wanted to give them plenty of opportunities to experience diversity, find something they loved, and be active. We enrolled in dance, soccer, gymnastics, cheerleading, tae-kwon-do, girl scouts, cub scouts, track, piano, trombone, violin…

You get the picture.

My kids’ team sports were running my life

We had so many activities that I spent nearly every afternoon in the car. I had no time to cook dinner and we seemed to always be eating on the go or late. I had to drag all of the kids to every practice because none of them were old enough to stay home alone or babysit.

There came a moment in the middle of driving across town for another practice that I said to myself, “This has to end! This is not what being a mom is all about!”

We finished that season and summer rolled around. The next fall I purposefully did not sign any of the kids up in any team sports or extra lessons. It was liberating. For the next few years, the kids only signed up for activities that were either hosted after school or in the neighborhood. We kept up with scouting and music lessons through the school, but happily stayed far away from the team sports.

Becoming team players….again

Until this fall none of my kids seemed to miss being involved in sports. Once school started again last month, 4 of my 5 kids (minus the teen) were begging to join teams.

I coughed up money for their team membership and money for their cleats and balls and shin guards. Now I’m coughing up even more money for extra gas as I drive back and forth between 4 practices a week and 3 games on Saturdays. That’s in addition to Scout night once a week.

The kids are thrilled, and as much as I really don’t love kids’ sports, I know that this is the right time for me to embrace my role as Soccer Mom.

Although spending life in the minivan and on the soccer field may not be my first choice, this is something I can do for my kids. The smiles and the shouts of “I made a goal, Mom!” are totally worth the sacrifice.

How do you feel about team sports for your kids?

Written by 5 Minutes for Mom managing editor Lolli. You can find me blogging at Better in Bulk and tweeting at @1momof5.



Email Author    |    Website About Lolli

Lolli is a busy mother of five kids, ranging in age from 8 to 16, photographer, and author of Better in Bulk. Her blog has a little bit of everything – parenting, life in a large family and photography with a central tie-in: Bringing moms together to learn, connect, and enjoy life. Connect with Lolli on Twitter (@1momof5) and on Facebook.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 AmabelG September 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I did the same thing. I have four children (ages 10-17) and each is involved in team sports and one in musical theater. I fully support my children’s sports team (football, volleyball and soccer) but as parents we have to be deliberate when making choices in the marketplace of teamsports and to avoid letting your kids be hyper involved. We can’t just go with the flow because we would be drowning in not just the sport itself but everything that goes with it.; driving, snack duty,fundraising, out of town tournaments etc. (With 4 kids that translates to at least 2 task/events to do everyday-even Sunday our supposed day of rest) Parents should be aware of coaching style, the rigors required by a particular sports team/club and the logistics in your own home. My children love their sports (limited to 1 team per child/per season) and get so much out of it. Parents are the ones to set the family’s priorities with regards to sports or any other matter. Not vice a versa. After all, the family should be the #1 Team where time and resources are best invested.

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2 Lolli September 22, 2011 at 12:44 pm

I love your last thought! The family IS the #1 team we all belong to! I am going to write that up on my family white board. :)

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3 Nancy September 22, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I love being a soccer (and baseball and now football) mom. The shuttling around can be a pain but since I only have 2 kids and my husband’s and my job are both flexible, we’re able to split up the duty when there is overlap so it’s not overly taxing. But I love getting to know the other parents, watching my kids try their hardest at something they love and celebrate the joys and comfort them in the defeats.

We also limit them to 1 sport per kid per season and that also helps keep the stress levels down. My oldest is getting to the point where he could participate in competitive sports but for now we’re sticking with rec – it’s cheaper, less time consuming and I think it’s more fun, especially for the kids who may not be natural athletes. I want my kids to play team sports because they enjoy it, not because they feel pressured to.

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4 Marianne September 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

I did the whole soccer mom thing over the summer, and “forgot” to sign her up for anything this fall. I actually got a bit selfish and signed myself up for hockey. My oldest just started kindergarten so, I figure that’s more then enough socialization ATM… We’ll revisit the team sports/activities things in the winter once the snows 4 feet deep…

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