Sunday, 3 June 2012

Proud to be a Sports Parent

Well, tomorrow the Sporty Girls will be racing in the ACT schools cross country championships ( if the weather holds out).

The girls are nervous and excited…and so is their mum!

I understand that you may be wondering what I have to be nervous and excited about. It is true that it is not me racing…it’s my daughters. But nervous excitement is what I am feeling.

I could do the ‘done thing’ here and  complain about the wind messing up my hair, making my latte cold or getting mud on my fashionable Italian leather boots….but that is not me, and not how I feel. Thanks to the east coast low it will undoubtedly be cold, windy and probably raining. But I will be there supporting my girls….and enjoying it!

I have been thinking about why I feel this way before my children’s races…..

It’s not because I am living my dreams through my children. I had a very fulfilling and exciting childhood with my own successes and failures…which I am content with. I never even entertained the notion of competing at the state-championships in sport.

It’s not because I base by self-worth on the success of my children. Off course I want them to be happy, but I am also happy with the achievements I have made in my own life, and the achievements I have yet to make. I do not need the success of my children to make me feel worthy!

Am I emotionally invested in the girls events? Of course I am. I am their mum…Their biggest supporter. I have friends who are staunch supports of football clubs and I know they feel emotionally invested, nervous and excited before he games too.

I also felt this way when the girls were performing in the school Christmas concert or when my daughter sat her NAPLAN, or when my daughter had a suspected appendicitis…so it’s not just sports that make me feel nervous for the kids,

I have read so many negative things about youth sports parents on the internet. From people claiming youth sports brings out the worst in adults to parents being the worst part about youth sport. I am not naive enough to think that youth sport is all butterflies and rainbows, but I know a lot of parents involved with  children’s sport. By a far majority these parents are supportive and sensible.

I have seen  crazy sports parents, but I think it is unfair that all parents of kids involved in or excelling at sport are tarred with the same brush.

Don’t worry, I have some perspective too. I realise that  the girls are not ‘racing for Sheep Stations’ tomorrow. A brave little girl in my daughters class is in the grip of a life and death battle against rare cancer called neuroblastoma. I can only imagine the fear and anxiety that her family is going through. I know that they are doing everything they can to save her life and they are truly inspirational.

I know that tomorrow is just another race. I also know that this cross country race is very important to my girls and they will be giving it all they have……

So I have reached the point where I no longer feel embarrassed to admit feeling excited and nervous before my kids sporting events. I will love them just the same no matter what the result. I will be there to cheer them on for as long as they want to continue. I will share the successes and disappointments with them. I will be waiting at the finish line to hold them, and congratulate them……. because I am their Mum…


  1. Good on you for embracing your girl's important milestones like this. I think you're doing a fantastic job of standing by them and offering support... whilst enjoying their achievements too.
    I hope to one day do the same for my boys also. I guess for every 'crazy' sports parent, there are dozens who are loving and encouraging like yourself... and that's a really positive thing.
    Good luck to your gorgeous girls, hope they have heaps of fun and feel happy that they're done their very best, whatever the results may be xo

  2. Beautiful.
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow.
    :-) x

  3. I wish we lived closer, we could have such a nice time over lunch. I appreciate your honesty and know exactly where you are coming from. I am not ashamed to admit that I have shed a tear or two when my kids have done well and have been known to also shed one when they have fallen short of their goals. I know that suffering disappointment is part of growing as a person but being sad and also happy are real emotions.

    I don't think being an emotional parent is the same as being a crazy parent. I am ok with being emotional from time to time. Its real.

    I love your writings!

  4. Exactly! It's so important to enjoy doing stuff with our kids and you are lucky to have discovered early on how to do this. Yay! Go girls!