The Dos and Don’ts of Being a Team Mom
Being a team mom is hard work.
You have to bake cupcakes you can’t eat and deal with annoying parents you can’t ignore.
It’s exhausting really.
But, just like everything else you do for your kids, it’s just one of those things designed to make their lives better while also making your own slightly more miserable.
In fairness, after many years on the sidelines of many teams, I’ve figured out how to be less miserable while spreading this particular type of joy.
Dos and Don’ts of Team Mom-ing
Do learn the game. Cheering for an interception at a basketball game is just not going to work. At least figure out the basics. And the lingo. And that you can’t scream while your kid is on the free throw line, or run alongside the football field while he’s heading for the end zone. I mean you can but he probably really, really, REALLY doesn't want you to.
Don’t commit if you can't commit. Teams rely on their team moms as much if not more than they rely on their head coaches, especially when the players are super young. They need a shoe tier, and a line leader, and an athletic cup finder for when they some how lose theirs between the bathroom and the field. And, if your kid is anything like my kid, he pretty much only goes out on the field in the first place if a snack is promised following. The team mom was my son’s favorite team member between the ages of 4 and 7 specifically because she was the bringer of the post-game snack. Don’t let those kids down by not being all in. If you can’t ensure that you’ll be around for the season, let a more enthusiastic mom do the job.
Do show your team spirit. Wear your team colors. Get a shirt with your kid’s number on it. But, keep it stylish. You know I know how quickly mesh pants and promotional shirts can wind you up on What NOT to Wear.
Don’t freak out over injuries. They’re serious, they should be treated with care and according to protocol. However, protocol does not include you running, top speed onto the field screaming, “MY BABY!” No matter how right it feels, it’s probably still going to be wrong, at least according to your kid.
Do be a good sport. Team moms are part of the team and, as such, have an even higher responsibility to demonstrate leadership, good sportsMOMship, and integrity than random sitting-in-the-stands mom. Even if you want to sweep an opposing coach’s leg or yell at the cray parents on the sidelines, you have to restrain yourself for the sake of the children. Feel free to text your bestie obscenities throughout if it makes you feel better. She can probably take it, the kids most definitely can’t.
Don’t worry if team mom-ing isn’t for you. Every mom doesn't need to be the team mom. Just like every mom doesn't need to join the PTA, or be the room parent, or volunteer to sew cheerleading uniforms from scratch (yep, some mom did this for us in high school, and while I am forever grateful, I would never, because I can’t and even if I could, I still just wouldn't). At some point you’ll have to pitch in somewhere, even if its just buying all of those stupid candy bars you were supposed to sell yourself, but it doesn't have to be on the sidelines. If sports aren't your niche, something else probably is and that’s cool too.