When I'd been a soccer mom for little more than a week, I naturally came to the conclusion I knew every ever loving thing about being a soccer mom. Ahem. Not quite. Here are 7 things I learned in my first week of being a soccer mom.
I urged my husband to sign our kids up for soccer when they were six because I thought it was important for them to learn the basics of playing sports and most importantly, how to be members of a team. I didn’t expect to be the one who learned stuff but color me surprised.
I learned stuff.
Things I learned in my first week of being a soccer mom
1. Leave extra early
If you’re perpetually late for every other thing in your life, make sure your kids get to their games and practices on time. The coach is (most likely) a working parent who is juggling his or her schedule to be available for your kids. Do them the courtesy of getting your small human to where they’re supposed to be on time.Confession: we were late to our kids’ first soccer game. Actually we were right on time but the coach’s instructions at the first practice were “be 15 minutes early.” See also follow the coach's instructions.
The kids need to arrive early to their game to receive the coach’s instructions and go through their warm up drills. You also do not need to stress the coach out by making them worry that they won’t have enough players because your kid prances onto the field at the eleventh hour.
Not cool. Lesson learned.
2. It’s all about the chair
Getting a soccer mom chair is a rite of passage. And yes, eyeing the other soccer moms’ chairs and comparing them to your soccer mom chair is totally normal.
Invest a few bucks in a good chair. We have a “loveseat” style chair with attached umbrellas and drink holders. And yes, we’re totally okay with being a suburban cliché.
3. Shut up and clap
I absolutely LOVE this 2-minute drill video clip with Jason Taylor:
I love this guy. Sorry Jason, we root for the Detroit Lions in this house but I'll still shut up and clap for you.
I watched this video right before my kids’ first game and “shut up and clap” is the best mother fluffing advice for sports parents ever. Seriously, moms and dads. Shut up and clap. Shut. Up. And. Clap.
4. There’s a lot of stuff
Chairs, coolers, balls, extra clothes, bug spray, sunscreen…okay it might not sound like a lot of stuff but it is a lot of stuff.
You want to be the mom that has all the stuff. First aid kit? Extra water? Insect repellent? Baby wipes? Bandaids?
There is something rewarding in being that mom who anticipates every possible scenario. It’s also worthwhile to make new friends with people who will see you as someone they want to be aligned with in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Ha ha – kidding…but carry some extra waters and slap a good first aid kit in your glove box. At some point you’re going to be the mom in need so making an effort to be that well-stocked mom will tip the karmic scale in your favor.
5. Say “thank you” and “what can I do?”
Your kid’s soccer coach is a volunteer. They have a job and a family and a bazillion other things they want to and need to be doing besides teaching your little snowflake the basics of a sport. Tell them thank you after every practice and every game. They are giving their time and talents to your child and the least you can do is show them a little gratitude.
Ask what you can do every now and then. It might be as simple as sending an email or buying a case of water for the team. Your offer of help might be met with a “thanks, I’ve got it.” But always offer. It means more than you think.
6. It's all about the snacks
If it’s your turn to bring the snack, make it your mission in life not to forget. See also, make said snack awesome.
Check out Pinterest to give you some ideas for soccer snacks but you don’t have to go crafty mama crazy to be an awesome snack mom. Our most recent team snack was sliced green apples and chunks of cheddar cheese and the kids loved it. We also skewered orange slices and grapes on cake pop sticks from the cake decorating aisle at Walmart. But whatever you do, don’t forget the snacks.