Saturday, 12 May 2012

Being a Soccer Mum

This year I have become a soccer Mum.

It has been interesting.

There are some really great things that have come out of the Little Man playing soccer and some stuff I could really do without.

So what does it involve being a Mum of an under 6 novice soccer player?  Well let me take you back to registration.

When two of his little pre-school friends told him that they were joining the same soccer team, the Little Man was immediately enamoured by the idea.  It was less about the soccer and more about playing with the two friends he misses from pre-school.  They go to three different schools.  In theory I thought it was a nice idea, but the logistics made my head spin and lets face it, he's not a very co-ordinated child and he had never even watched a soccer game let alone kicked a ball!

He spent a week asking me "Can I play soccer with my friends Mum, Puhleeeease". Over and over again.  This culminated on the Thursday with "So Mum when does Soccer start?".  The Workaholic and I discussed it.  We have a long standing deal that when his schools compulsory Saturday sport kicks in in third grade, that the Workaholic will be responsible for taking him, but at the moment he is still working Saturdays, so it was up to me.  I gave in and logged onto the clubs site and filled in the forms and paid my $196, knowing full well I would fork out much more.

The team in action.

At the first training session he was puffed out by the mid point and spent the last part sitting on the edge of a hockey goal.  I thought, "Oh No! This is not going to happen and I've just bought shorts, socks, shin pads and ordered a jacket and training shirt, personalised with his name.  There's a $100 bucks I'll not get back."

Anyway we persevered and I noticed he started to like the training and by the first game was raring to go.  By the third game he had found his place in the team and makes it his mission to get the ball back from the other team and pass it on to one of the goal scorers.  He LOVES it.  I hate it.  It helps that they have won every single game by miles.  Last weeks score was 30-1!  They were regraded this week but still won 10-4.  I've been chatting to other Mums on the opposing sides, it turns out we are one of the few clubs who have a Kick-start coach as part of the program.  The results are obvious.  Training sessions are 15 minute blocks of different drills.  It's fast paced and fun for these little guys.  They love it.

He is benefiting from it a lot.  His self esteem is sky rocketing.  His gross motor skills have improved and with it his confidence to have a go at new physical activities.  His school teacher and occupational therapist have noticed a marked improvement.  I'm really pleased about this aspect.  It's a real bonus I had not really considered.

Now here's my side.

I do not enjoy being a soccer Mum.

Firstly, training is on a Thursday afternoon 4.30 till 5.30.  Thursday is one of my child free study days, so the Munchkin is at pre-school, so it starts out a good day, then afternoon soccer chaos kicks in.  I go and pick up the Little Man from school at 2.45, jump back in the car and drive 15 minutes away to pick up my God Daughters from their school by 3pm.  We then come home for him to dress for training (consisting of me stressing out and him dawdling) and if possible do readers (not often, it feels like a miracle when we do them).  Then we go to training.  I sit in the cold with my Kindle, somehow, reading, watching the training and still keeping an eye on the playground where the girls play.  We then sprint to the car the minute the post training meeting is over, struggle with seat belts because two boosters and a car seat do not fit easily into a Subaru Outback (in case you were wondering) and brave the traffic to get to the Pre-school  to get the Munchkin.  Thursday has become MacDonald's night, for obvious reasons.

Then Saturday mornings, I have to get up the same time as week days to get him to meet his team by 8.10am for the 8.30am game.  We have the same dawdling and me stressing about getting dressed.  The weather is mental.  Every week it is a drama.  It's either so hot we are all standing on the sidelines in gumboots and t-shirts with our jackets and cardigans strewn across the wet grass on the sidelines or like today, it looked warm.  It was warm.  Until we got onto the field where there was an icy wind blasting us.  Not enough clothing on today and of course the Munchkin sat in a puddle of water.  This clothing issue sounds like such a small thing, but I am finding it infuriating!!

On top of this weather, I am dealing with a bored 2 1/2 year old.  I sit him on a picnic rug and bribe him with muffins or cakes or anything to keep him seated and quiet.  He still whines for the entire time and hangs off me like a limpet.  It is exasperating!  Last week he wound my cardigan around me so tightly, it ripped!  I'm always so relieved when it is over and we are in the car on the way home!!

Munchkin with cupcake bribe.

Today was extra stressful as I knew I had an assessment task waiting for me at home (which I am now ignoring to write this post...).

So are you a soccer Mum?  Is it like this for you?

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