The idiom “soccer mom” has taken on an almost iconic distinction in communities everywhere. This trendy pseudonym for mothers with minivans decorated with caricature decals of family members, pets and sports club affiliation emblems on the rear window has morphed into a cultural phenomenon. These mommies both working and stay-at-home, squeeze chauffeuring future big-league prospects in between trips to Costco, yoga and other important family errands. In our ever-evolving pop culture, celebrities proudly wear the label with distinction, making it fashionable to be referred to as such. The term has always been one of endearment, representing mothers who take on the tasks of getting their kids (and friends of their kids) to and from games and practices dressed appropriately and correctly; with the right shirts the right shorts and the right socks. They juggle time-sensitive drop-offs and pickups with snack duty all while making sure their child is not the one who forgets their water bottle. Any misstep will cause your offspring to tear into you like a raccoon dissecting a bag of unattended trash.
That’s right, the “SM” classification comes with quite a long job description with a personal chef, Lyft driver, and a stylist at the very top. The main duties are a microcosm of what moms, dads, grandparents, older siblings, extended family members, and neighbors provide on a regular basis without acknowledgment. They hardly ever get a day off, simply due to the number of practices required per activity. This reality implores the hypothesis; there just might be 48 hours in a day. I’m sure some reading this will think “sounds like an expose’ on my real job!” Well folks, soccer moms, in most cases, function in this capacity as an extension of their primary vocation, motherhood. This doesn’t mean our children don’t carry a heavy load participating in these activities. Let’s face it most sports are time-consuming and often feel a lot like washing the dishes; a chore we avoid but have to do. However, playing is what kids do and have done for decades, at a rate propelling the recreational sports business into a $15 billion dollar industry, that isn’t slowing down one bit.
Now I would be irresponsible leaving out the dads who work all day to provide the financial means for families to enjoy these extracurricular activities. Or super dads, who work and still rush home to coach, usually with no time to change clothes. Or the super-duper dads who coach multiple sports, sit on multiple boards and grill a mean T-bone. WAIT, this Op-Ed is dedicated specifically to those motorized matriarchs who keep it together day after day after day after day. So maybe around Father’s Day, I’ll write about soccer dads who are usually referred to as “coach” LOL. Now, if you’re not of the female persuasion who’s given birth but can personally claim these accolades, then you should hold your head high and give yourself a pat on the back. Soccer moms are unique renaissance women who coach, cook, clean, check homework, work full and part-time jobs and when needed provide a shoulder to cry on. They are grandmas, aunties and older siblings who fill this role and can’t be left out, providing an undeniable asset to any family dynamic.
In the 21st century, it's cool to be recognized as a bonafide soccer mom, accessorized with bejeweled t-shirts, yoga pants, and self inscribed moniker carry bags. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making the label trendy as long as we know what being a guardian of gamesmanship really represents. In our society, we often take for granted the privileges and blessings bestowed upon us. Not everyone who wants children has them, not every kid is able or wants to play sports. Just know that being a soccer mom may not be appreciated now but later in life when your children become parents they will remember the times, smile and say wow my mom did all that! Some might say, what would we do without sports? But I say, what would we do without the love and support of soccer moms and surrogates who make the experience of playing sports that much better!