Monday, September 17, 2012

Thoughts on Being a Soccer Mom

I am not. Yes, I have two daughters who play soccer right now, but I am not a "soccer mom" according to the criteria that I have witnessed over the last couple of weeks. A soccer mom is one who is ruthlessly screaming from the sidelines and telling the coach and all of the other kids on the team what they should or should not be doing. It's crazy. I think some of those moms just need to sign up for their own soccer team so they can go out and be the star instead of expecting their child to be. Okay, that was pretty mean. Sorry, but I just feel so bad for some of these kids. During one of the games, it was getting really bad. In fact, one of the girls came running over to Cory (who is the coach) crying her eyes out because all of the moms were screaming and telling her what to do. At one point, I got so sick of it that I yelled out as loud as I could, "Way to go Stars! Just have fun out there, that's all that matters." Yep, I was pretty much kicked out of the "soccer mom" club after that comment. Oh well. During the game on Saturday, one of the mom's little boys did the unspeakable. The other team, who was also not very good, had just scored their first goal of the game (so the score was 0-1). The little boy starts cheering and clapping and then yells "Good job Ladybugs" His mom, and all the others, almost had a heart attack. She turns to her son and tells him to stop cheering for the other team. He then said, "Why mom? They just scored and they did a good job. Why shouldn't we cheer for them too?" As the other moms explained why he should NEVER cheer for the other team, I just smiled. I have thought about this many times over the last couple of days. His words have gone through my head over and over. I think that all too often, as women, we think that we are in a competition. A competition for being the best mom, being the most creative, having the best house, the cutest clothes, the best ideas. At least I know that I have been found guilty of these thoughts. As embarrassing as it is to admit, there have even been times where I have been guilty of not cheering on somebody else who "scored a goal" because of feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and of course, the origin of all those feelings...pride. I hate when that side comes out in me. Cory is so much like that little boy. He cheers on others victories so humbly and easily. He is sincerely happy when others do something amazing. I love that about him and I hate that I am not always that way myself. There are times when I am, and then there are other times...times when I have to compare myself and wonder what is wrong with me or why I can't do or be as good as them. It is good to want to be and do better, but not when those feelings come from comparing yourself to somebody else and realizing that you have come up short once again. Lately, Cory and I have been listening to a lot of general conference addresses, especially those by Elder Holland (our favorite speaker). These words have been on my mind ever since I heard them last week.... "And try not to compare your children, even if you think you are skillful at it. You may say most positively that “Susan is pretty and Sandra is bright,” but all Susan will remember is that she isn’t bright and Sandra that she isn’t pretty. Praise each child individually for what that child is, and help him or her escape our culture’s obsession with comparing, competing, and never feeling we are “enough.” Such a great thing to remember not only as a mother of girls, but also as a woman with a lot of amazing friends and family members. It is so easy to get caught in the negative and discouraging web of comparing and competing. In fact, our whole society is centered around these the business world, economy, and sports arenas. But.....I don't want to let my heart and mind to get caught in this obsession. One of the things that I love about running is that it is my race. I am not competing against the person running ahead of me. Most of the time I use their pace to help improve my own. While I was coming up to the last two miles of a half marathon I did last year, I started to slow down and wanted to walk so badly, but these two men that I was running near talked me out of it. They pushed me onward and gave me the encouragement that I needed. Isn't this the way life should be? At the end of a half or full marathon, all the finishers get a medal. Yes, it is nice to get a good time and to improve your time with each race you do, but, in the end, all that matters is that you finished. Along the way, crowds and crowds of people cheer you onward and celebrate you and your race. It doesn't matter who you are, what size you are, how big your house is, or anything else. You are a runner, and because of that you deserve to be cheered and celebrated. Why isn't it the same with life? We are all here to run our own race. Some of us may be better at the hills, some may have a longer stride, but we need to encourage and cheer each other onward because in the end all that we'll care about is that not only did we finish, but we helped and encouraged a lot of others to finish as well. So, I am committing to being a better cheerleader. Each of us have our own strengths and our weaknesses but we are all on the same team. Each of us here to be part of the great plan of our Heavenly Father. Each of us with our own role to fulfill, none more important than another...just different. We are enough and we don't have to feel like we aren't just because the person next to us just scored a goal. And the best part? Knowing that our team will win in the end. Even if we occasionally miss a goal or even if it seems like the adversary is gaining the the end, good will win, and that in itself, gives me even greater reason to keep on cheering.


All Fun Family said...

Wow, those soccer moms sound vicious! It's so hard to not make comparisons, especially when you're placed in an environment of women who seem to have it all.

I felt like that when I moved into our new ward. As I have gotten to know those women better, I have tried to open my heart to get to know them better and as I have gotten to know them better, I have discovered that we have much more in common than I thought. We all have strengths and weaknesses and were all just doing our best to get to the same, ultimate goal.

Nonetheless, it is still hard to be in the right frame of mind and remember those things, especially when there are vicious "soccer moms" out there who actually are competitive about life.

thegilbreathfam said...

Holy cow....I had no idea about the soccer moms on your girls team! wow. And to teach that cute, impressionable little boy that cheering for others is wrong!! He even taught you a life lesson...which you shared with us and that has trickled onto me. Thanks for sharing and hope the season is fun for the girls and Cory!

Blog Archive