Have you noticed that the new norm seems to be that moms are expected to WATCH our kids’ every activity?
When I was a kid, I don’t recall my mom watching the majority of my sports practices.
I do remember her arranging carpools, dropping me off, and picking me up when I was done. I also think she was an amazing mom.
I feel like there is this expectation that in order to be a good mom, you have to watch every practice, and you’ll even risk judgment if you happen to BE at the practice, but glance down at your phone.
I’m here to suggest that when your kids reach a certain age, you don’t need to watch their every sports practice or dance class. In fact, being a busy working mom, I have found that these hours when my kids are getting exercise are a golden time for me to get the exercise I so desperately need to feel good and remain sane.
At a recent soccer practice, while my son ran around and kicked a ball for 1.5 hours, I leashed up the dog and did 4.5 miles of laps around the park. At one point, two other moms from my son’s team who were training for a half marathon finished a run and began walking with me.
“I feel like a bad mom because I’m not sitting there watching my son’s practice,” one of them said casually.
And there it was, out in the open. That expectation. That fear of judgment.
I think the three of us that day were actually setting a great example for our children. We were showing them that fitness is important to us as well. We were showing them that our needs are also important.
As we did laps around that park, we caught snippets of the practice and snuck in a few waves at the boys. I looked at the parents sitting in camping chairs on the sidelines and just knew that another 1.5 hours of sitting still that day could drive me to my wit’s end.
On other days of the week, my children do dance and karate. In some struck of insane luck, these activities are RIGHT NEXT DOOR to each other and ¼ mile from my house. And in the same shopping center? A gym.
I joined that gym, and am so thrilled about those two times a week where all the schedules align, and I can drop each kid at their respective activity while I go and exercise myself. I call that my Golden Hour.
So I’m here to say as much as I enjoyed the movie Bad Moms, not watching every practice and class doesn’t make me a Bad Mom myself. I don’t miss a recital or a soccer game, and at those, I’m my kid’s number one fan.
But during the everyday routine of life with kids, I think it’s ok to put yourself, your personal fitness and sanity above that expectation to of being your child’s devoted spectator.