You know that commercial they play during the Olympics? The one where they show mothers all across the world helping their little athletes get to and from practice and sitting at their games and icing their sore muscles? It’s so incredibly heart warming and inspiring. It brings a tear to my eye every time I see it. I think of how rewarding it must be for those mothers who spent all that time and money to see their children fulfill their dreams. Music swells. I cry and convince myself I am raising a future Olympian, which makes the time and energy I devote to their athletic endeavors seem worth it.
Soccer is a time suck, particularly in the spring. If you add up all the driving, games, and time I spend purchasing equipment and pregame snacks and post game snacks and Gatorade and coffee so that I can stay awake while driving, it’s a lot. I always swore I would never be one of those parents who over schedules her child, and I’m not.
What I didn’t realize when I “planned” my family was if you have three children, and each child is committed to one sport per season, you will never, ever have free time. I wish there was a math problem somewhere along the way that would have helped me figure this out.
Meghan has no job and 3 children. Each child plays soccer. If #1 has practice 4.5 hours and games 2 hours per week, #2 and #3 both have practice 1 hour per week and a 1 hour game every weekend, and Meghan spends approximately 40 minutes per practice and game sitting in traffic, how much time is Meghan devoting to a sport she doesn’t even understand?
I’ll give you a moment to solve that.
The answer is a lot, but as I looked in the rear view mirror on the way home from practice last week and saw #1′s ruddy cheeks and sweaty hair, I was filled with pride. I thought of that inspiring Olympic commercial and my future Olympian. And then I snapped out of it. Now my only wish is that one day there is a commercial highlighting the sacrifice a mother makes even when her kid turns out to be nothing more than an average athlete. It too will make me cry, but for a different reason.