Confessions of a Sports Mom :: The Good, the Bad and the Real


I am a sports mom. 

I have been:

A tee-ball mom

A soccer mom

A dance mom

A cheer mom

A taekwondo mom

A basketball mom

A football mom

A boxing mom

A volleyball mom

A gymnastics mom

A wrestling mom

When we had kids, we made it known that we wanted them to be active. Whether they decided on a hobby, a club, sports, or whatever it may have been, we wanted them to do more than go to school and come home. I was not an athlete, but I always wanted my kids to be one.

Our guys did lean towards more athletic activities for the most part. Our boys have stayed with football and basketball. Our older daughter chose cheer and dance–yes, both of these are sports. In my opinion, they are in fact contact sports. Our little one has danced for a bit, and now she wants to try soccer. 

I was not prepared.

confessions of a sports momI learned being a sports mom is so much more than bringing snacks and cheering on the sidelines.

The time commitment associated with sports is high. There are hours of practice. Being a sports mom involves a lot of waiting and driving around and washing so . . . much . . . laundry. 

There are a lot of emotions tied to winning and losing. You feel for your athlete. You share in their joy and pain. In a single game, you will feel more emotions than you can name and leave feeling great but emotionally drained. 

I wasn’t prepared for the frustration I would feel at refs, coaches, other parents, and even my players at times. And on the same hand, I wasn’t prepared for the joy and pride I would feel watching my kids participate.

Competition is difficult. I wasn’t ready for this. 

Athletes stink, like literally smell. I was not ready for this. I’ll discuss laundry tips another time. Many times we would arrive home and my words were, “Great job kid. Now please shower.”

Side story: I have on several occasions told my boys that they would be walking home from practice if they left their cleats in my car one more time. Yes, this was an exaggerated threat, but until you smell the stench of football gear left in a closed space overnight, you just won’t understand. 

I wasn’t prepared to become a sports mom

I didn’t plan on loving being a sports mom as much as I do. 

Our kids had the freedom to try different sports. We wanted them to find their niche and their passion. We wanted them to want to participate in their sport. Our one rule was if you start it, you finish it. To be transparent, having our children participate in sports did come with a financial commitment. We paid for the full season. It was an investment, and our children were responsible for their part of that investment.

We have had to navigate ups and downs in sports. We’ve experienced wins and losses, injuries, ineligibility due to grades, disappointments, excitement, frustration, anticipation, anger, joy, and so much more.

Sports have taught our kids so many things. And being a sports mom has taught me so many things.

I love the passion our kids have. 

I love the discipline that our kids are learning. 

I love the bonds our kids have formed. And that I have formed with other sports moms. 

I love the joy on our kid’s faces when they are in their element. 

I love the lessons learned, even from losing. 

I love cheering for my kids and their teammates. 

Our kids are getting older and youth sports have ended for some and will end for others in the coming years. Passions change, goals change, and sports change into other endeavors. 

But becoming a sports mom has been a joy of mine, and it has been a pleasure that I will forever be grateful for.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of ABQ Mom, its executive team, other contributors to the site, its sponsors or partners, or any organizations the aforementioned might be affiliated with.

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Tonya is a wife and a mom of 4, ranging from college to kindergarten. Having lived in New Mexico long enough to say she’s from here, Tonya finds beauty in the New Mexican community and enjoys soaking it in with her family. Tonya has worked outside of the home in the end-of-life field for the past 13 years and has taught online graduate classes on grief and bereavement for the past year. Doing this work has allowed Tonya to appreciate each day she’s given and is a motivation to live life to its fullest. Her kids keep her busy as a sports mom and most weekends she can be seen (or heard) in the stands of a basketball or football game. Having kids in different developmental stages has taught Tonya a great deal about motherhood, and no matter how old or young your kids are she feels it’s important to know that moms matter. Follow Tonya on Instagram.


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