Becoming a Hockey Mom.
by Meredith O'Brien
I was supposed to be in my Zen place, pushing away all extraneous thoughts. It was a yoga class, after all. But instead of chilling out, I was all worked up. Why? Two hockey moms in my class had told me that if my 8-year-old kid is interested in playing hockey, I’d better get used to the idea that his schedule and hockey would rule in my house.
“But what about the fact that I have two other children who both play soccer and have games and practices of their own?” I said, my voice getting higher as my face reddened. “And I’m trying to have a career here.”
The women shrugged. One said, “Something’s got to give.”
“That,” I stammered, “always winds up being me.”
“Enjoy it,” the other said sympathetically. “This time goes by so quickly.”
I don’t want the fact that my kid is interested in playing a recreational sport, just for fun – not for the purposes of becoming an Olympian or netting a college scholarship – to suck all the oxygen out of the family and leave me, the person who works from home and is therefore considered “available” for child care/transportation issues, resentful. “What am I getting myself into?” I asked myself.
Then I read a column called, “My 13 simple rules for hockey parents everywhere” by an ESPN writer. Included among his “rules” was the admonition that hockey practices were not to be missed under any circumstances. He used the example of a PROFESSIONAL hockey player who was hit by an SUV and still played hockey that night as role modeling good hockey behavior. I wanted to scream, “My kid’s 8. He’s a kid! It’s an afterschool game, not something that’s really important, like his education! Or his health. Get some perspective.”