"You mean like the time this summer during the sand soccer tournament when it was about 102 degrees and I actually cheered out loud when the other team made a goal because it meant we wouldn't be in the playoffs?" notes Deb, the mother of three boys. "I only realized I'd cheered out loud when the other parents looked at me strangely."
Just take it from Shauna, mom of four kids, who recently traveled to two separate games one hour from her house; her daughter playing on one field and the other one playing on a field twenty minutes away. "I wished I'd brought a flask full of Pinot Grigio. I made a mental note to do just that the next time I have to do this on a school night."
Kathy Buckworth, author of The Secret Life of Supermom notes these anti-soccer sentiments (or hockey, lacrosse, etc) are actually normal. There are basically two options, she says. "You can be a 'real' soccer mom and run spreadsheets for the snack schedule, create a website to track stats and bring folding lawn chairs, blankets, extra water bottles, sweaters, maybe even some pompoms to show your support for the game."
As for the other option? "Supermoms simply don't have the time to do all of the pre-work to get to the game. Be sure the kid has on the right shirt, shorts and shoes that technically can be used for soccer. It's enough…She's gathering her thoughts and thinking about what to make for dinner out of the soggy celery, leftover canned pasta and wrinkly tomato she has in her fridge."
Buckworth also uses the time to her advantage. She says, "I'm not religious except during playoffs when I pray to the athletic god Nike to let a) my child score a goal and b) that his team still loses. For a child under the age of 9, that's a total win as it's all about them, you know." She also manages to sneak in messages on her BlackBerry for productive time management.
"I never feel guilty about sneaking in BlackBerry time as I tell my kids (and this is true 99% of the time - 1% of the time I might be playing BrickBreaker, but whatever) that if I didn't have my BlackBerry I wouldn't be able to leave the home office to take them to their sports and other activities. Rather than seeing it as an electronic leash, I totally embrace it as a portable office. I can physically be in the moment with my children while virtually be keeping up with work."
Instead of checking messages, other moms stay occupied with two words: eye candy. Amy, mother of three children, confesses, "Some of my secret thoughts at games and such center around checking out the soccer dads. There are usually lots of dads but it takes some effort to find a hottie dad. Usually, between cheering and feeling the soccer passion, I like to scope out the field and I am occasionally rewarded with a hottie dad. Yeah!"
She emphasizes a set of criteria to her sideline ritual. "Muscular but not gymed out, excellent posture, not dressed to young, cool shades, killer smile and definitely alive. Even if a dad may qualify for physical traits of a hottie dad, he can easily be disqualified by negative cheering, Blackberry/cell phone activity, smoking, tobacco chewing or teen clothing choices. As I said, these dudes are elusive but when identified they can really fill those half times with eye candy for the married mom."
Whether you're occupying your time by cheering for the opposing team, working on your BlackBerry or scoping out the soccer dads, it's all good for mothers juggling it all. Buckworth adds, "My philosophy is that you can have it all, just not at the same time. If we have it together at the soccer field (kids are there on time,uniforms and shoes intact, snacks duly packed) chances are the house is a total mess and your other kid on the sidelines is teaching a toddler to say one of George Carlin's seven words. Keeping it real or keeping it together is such a personal thing."
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