I’ve turned into a soccer mom, and I’m not sure I like it

soccer-ball.jpg

I don’t enjoy labels, pigeon-holing, and stereotyping in general, but after ten years of motherhood, I’m pretty sure I’ve become what they call a “soccer mom.” 

My children attend two different schools (that’s two sets of dropping off and picking up, two PTAs, two sets of fund-raisers…).  Two are playing soccer this fall (that’s two different sets of practices and games).  Two are taking piano lessons.  One’s a cub scout, and another will be soon (did I mention I’m the “den mother”?).  And I’m just getting started on all of this business.  Imagine how much worse it will be in five more years.  By then my four children will attend at least three different schools, and I don’t even want to think about how many activities they’ll be involved in, even if I keep it to a bare minimum. 

I know I signed up for this when I started having babies, and I mostly don’t mind shuttling them around, especially to activities that I deem worthwhile.  It’s the “hurry up, grab a granola bar for dinner, where are your shin guards?” that I don’t enjoy.  Also, I don’t really want to be called a “soccer mom.”  Is that just me?  When you hear that label, what do you think of?  Does anyone else think it’s not entirely positive? 

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11 thoughts on “I’ve turned into a soccer mom, and I’m not sure I like it

  1. kira

    I think sometimes the phrase “soccer mom” implies that they are a little stupid. Like that’s all their good for…running kids around. I’m sure some people don’t think of it in those terms, but still…I think some people do.

    Reply
  2. Sarah

    I’m tired just reading this! You need to come up with your own title, then you should trademark it and make up business cards. You know, something like “Liz: Chief Executive Household Mathmetician”! Then you can enter a card for all of those free lunches!

    Reply
  3. Andrea

    Oh, it reminds me of Phoebe on Friends where she says I wanna be a soccer mom (driving a Volvo). She actually meant it. I prefer Head of the Entertainment committee, ha! That’s generally what I am. I am a bit more limiting in what I let my kids do because I see my friends who are overscheduled with their kids and they don’t look too happy a good portion of the time. I like to be able to switch my schedule easily. I don’t want to go to Winco, we head to the park, etc. I do have the girls in swim lessons, but it’s together and I did it on purpose!
    One nice thing about your kids being in the three schools is that they will all be in school!
    Yeah I don’t think it’s a positive thing, usually some derision is involved. My brother called my vehicle a Mommy missile, which seemed less than nice too. What is so bad about being a Mom? I hope this made sense, I am really tired.

    Reply
  4. Vicki

    You are one busy mom–and like you say, it will only get busier. It’s sure a fun time of your life though. I miss those hectic days.

    Reply
  5. danielle

    At least by the time all the kids are in a hundred activities, maybe the oldest will be able to drive? Yikes though. I often have discussions with my mother in law about all the years she spent in their suburban just driving kids around all day. Exhausting. She used to keep a set of those cardboard drawers (this was before the tupperware ones) with extra clothes, diapers, snacks, and toys so they didn’t have to go home in between everything. I have to say, I am not looking forward to this aspect of motherhood…I mean all the driving. Ironically I remember being a little stressed out about it when I was a little kid too. I think that is why I gave up dance. It was just too much stress with the always, “where are my shoes? hurry get in the car”. On the other hand, it’s probably good for boys to have soccer to kind of get out some of their energy. Anyway, I think you are doing a great job. Hang in there!

    Reply
  6. robinbl

    I think “soccer mom” has the negative connotation because it implies that your kids’ schedules rule your life–you tend to let yourself and your interests be overrun by everyone else’s needs. Still–I think it’s great that you can provide those opportunities for your children. No, we don’t want to overschedule them so much that they never have any free time, but they are learning valuable skills that will (hopefully) benefit them for a lifetime. I think as long as you only have stuff going on 2-3 days a week, it’s not that bad. By the way, I never asked you–how are your kids like the different schools thing? Any problems? (Besides your business level?)

    Reply
  7. liz Post author

    Kira, what you were thinking it meant was even worse than what I was thinking!

    Sarah, thanks for inventing a title for me — definitely need business cards. Great idea.

    Andrea, head of entertainment committee is so true. I don’t feel like my kids are overscheduled. For me, piano is kind of mandatory, as are swimming lessons (not ongoing, but they do need to learn to swim), and for us cub scouts is necessary too. I’m willing to let kids do one additional activity, if they want to. That’s kind of my limit. It may sound like a lot, but it pales in comparison to what a lot of people do.

    Vicki and Mom, thanks for the support from the real experts in this area.

    Danielle, I don’t even want to think about these kids starting to drive — it will give me nighmares. Interesting perspective that the running around is stressful to kids too. Good to keep that in mind. I definitely think we have to self-limit these days, when so many activities are available, and there is a certain amount of pressure to keep up.

    Robin, I think it’s worth it too, within reason. I definitely don’t feel like it’s running my life — yet. The two different schools is actually going fine, largely because we have a carpool that involves Ben getting picked up every single morning. He gets bussed to the junior high (two minutes away) in the afternoon, so it’s not too bad, really. Ben loves his teacher, and it seems to be appropriately challenging so far, so we’ll see…

    Reply
  8. sillyjillybean

    I like Taylor’s title for you. But the thing you forgot to add to your blurb was the fact that yes, you do drive a minivan. You are the whole package!

    Society lends us to feel like we need to be a participant in these superficial activities to help our children feel “loved.” That’s not what love is about. Love comes from tender cuddles, snuggles with a good book, lesson in the kitchen, giggling on the front lawn, family prayer, getting tucked in at night, scolded for fighting with your brother, and most importantly, by saying it.

    Reply
  9. Matt

    I think the term “soccer mom” was coined by one of Bill Clinton’s campaign strategists to describe a certain micro-trend. I believe that these so called “soccer moms” voted overwhelmingly for Clinton both times.

    Reply

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