You don’t have to be the Soccer Mom!

I’ve worked with a number of moms who believe that it is their duty as moms to be the Soccer Mom–that is, to attend every single event in which their children participate.

For moms with a child who does multiple activities and/or multiple children, this means that afterschool and weekend hours rush by in a blur of tutus, baseballs, and art supplies.

This also means that these moms don’t get much (if any) time for themselves, to pursue their own passions or veg in front of the TV or spend time with their partner. As you’ve now heard me say many, many times, moms need this time to effectively recharge and replenish.

I don’t know where moms get the idea that in order to be good parents, they must show up for absolutely everything, all the time. It’s an extremely problematic notion—especially for moms whose work schedule prevents them from attending many events.

I love this piece from Lauren Apfel at Motherwell. She defends her decision not to attend every one of her kids’ events, and points out that it is absolutely not a reflection of her love for her children or her commitment to their activities. She does what I recommend my patients do—strategically chooses the events she attends based on how important she (and her kids) perceive them to be. Not all events are created equal. For example, my older son didn’t care if my husband and I attended his art show but was insistent that we see his Reader’s Theater play (and take his brother out of school so he could see it, too).

Moms, you don’t have to be the Soccer Mom! Consider just saying no to a few of your kids’ events. Ask a friend’s parent to take them, and use the time to do something for yourself. I promise your child will not suffer. And you will benefit!

Thoughts, comments, or experiences with this? Please share in the “comments” section below!

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I’m Ilyse Dobrow DiMarco, Ph.D., aka DrCBTMom. combines the expert advice of a self-help book with the warmth and readability of a mommy blog.
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