Soccer Mom Militia

Scan 1So this past summer I thought it would be a good idea to enroll my son in soccer. He loved playing in the yard and was really quite good at it so I thought it would boost his self esteem. I knew by this time that he had some anxiety, but thought since he loved playing soccer that it might be okay. Alright, so I know what you are all thinking…why would this be any different from swimming? Well, I guess I thought if we removed the whole water aspect it would be okay. It wasn’t. And now I had a whole slew of soccer moms to compete with.We arrive for the first game of the season. My son starts to have a meltdown. I encourage and motivate him in every way that I know how. I’m prepared this time…I know now that this is not a behaviour issue and that patience is essential. I stay with him during the practice portion and feel the eyes of other moms piercing through my back as I stand in front of the whole line up of proud parents.

The game starts, my son  is on the field. I avoid eye contact hoping that it might help him from running off the field. He’s running…he’s kicking the ball… he scores a goal!!! I’m thrilled. I look down the field and there is my son balling his eyes out. He comes running off because he didn’t like the way all the kids were running together around him. He refuses to play the rest of the game. A mother comes over and informs me that all the players are supposed to sit on the bench on the other side of the field. Are you for real? Who was she? The ‘soccer mom police’?

I wanted to just throw in the towel and quit soccer. My gut told me that this was the right thing to do, that my son was just not ready for this. So many other moms I ran into insisted that I couldn’t ‘let him quit’ because it would send the message that if things were hard it was okay to not finish them. I so wish that I hadn’t listened. I pushed for six weeks. I let my son bring his own soccer ball, only to overhear a mother say, ‘why does that boy need to bring his own ball all the time?’ I ran along the sidelines while enduring the grumbles and complaints of parents who were as I call them ‘hard core spectators’. My son just plain hated everything about the sport. After six weeks he begged me not to make him go and I gave in. The breaking point for me was when he said, ‘Mom, if I go today and I still don’t like it, can I please not have to go anymore?’

So we went for our last week and as usual I sat on the ‘wrong side’ of the field across from all the moms glaring at me wondering why I had to be sitting on that side when clearly that was for the players. I told them that we wouldn’t be returning only to have another mom ask me if I had at least brought the snack for my week yet. You’re right… how dare I do what’s right for my child. And heaven forbid I forget the snacks.


Soccer Mom Militia — 5 Comments

  1. I like how your son dealt with the situation. I mean others would have been crying and kicking.
    I’m hopping over from Bloggymoms, stalking you in facebook and twitter.
    I’d love to be stalked as well.

    • Thanks for your kind words. Patience is something that I’ve worked very hard at and still struggle with. But in this case managed to keep my cool!

  2. Wow. It amazes me how judgmental and condescending some of the other soccer moms were towards you and your son. When people behave that way, it is often a sign of insecurity rooted in the need to put others down to feel good about themselves.
    I too had severe anxiety as a child. From age 5-7, I’d cry every school morning from the time I got up until about an hour into class.
    At your son’s age, anxiety is something he does not know how to stave off. But in time and with lots of motherly (+ fatherly & brotherly) patience and support, he can grow to overcome it. My advice: ignore the haters and continue to do what you know is the right thing to do for your son. Stay encouraged.