I am a soccer mom (also known as – Growing Up)

I am a soccer mom.  See that woman standing on the edge of the field yelling at the kids.  Turns out, that’s me.  I know you’re not supposed to, and I hated it when my father did exactly the same thing, but I can’t seem to help myself.  If I was playing, I am positive we could beat those 7 year olds.

But the question I have for myself is not whether I should or shouldn’t be sharing my (mostly) encouraging thoughts of soccer wisdom with the entire field.  It’s how did I get to this point in the first place?  How is it I drive a people mover carting my kids around from drama to piano to soccer to scouts, deep in the suburbs?  How did I end up fretting over NAPLAN and baking cakes in the middle of the day?  What happened to my suits and my determination to rule the world?

Once upon a time, in the distant past, I had this corporate career.  I worked hard at it and although (let’s face it), I didn’t love it so much, I was pretty successful at it.  I rather enjoyed the cash it provided to buy new clothes and shoes and endless quantities of cocktails.  And somewhere in there I got married and went travelling and saw the world.  And then, it’s like I fell asleep and woke up a decade later wondering what the hell had happened to my thirties…

Oh yes, that’s right.  I had kids.  And, although they are now 7 and 8, I think I’ve only really just emerged from that first stage of parenthood I like to call “complete bewilderment”.

I’ve only just started to see some daylight between my own self and my off-spring.  They don’t need me as much, except for more important things like nutrition and cuddles.  But I don’t need to wipe bums anymore, spend hours pureeing food, play endless games of (mindless) snap.  I don’t need to be watching their every move with hawk eyed vigilance, just in case they accidentally pick up a spider or fall down the stairs.

And, as it turns out, I am not even really responsible for their future happiness, the idea of which has long held me in a state of tortured anxiety.  I’ve only just realised that I don’t have to walk their path for them, pointing out every possible rock they may trip over or opportunity they may miss if they spend all their time on YouTube.  I have to let them fall and stumble and be themselves.  I have to let them shape their own dreams and follow the moonlit trail towards them.  Do I have to applaud?  Yes willingly.  Commiserate.  Certainly.  Occasionally take away their privileges.  Sure.  But it is not my journey.  It is theirs.  And that is a liberating thought.

Except…

Where does that leave me in my life?  What am I supposed to do if I am not living their lives for them?  Luckily, I am reminded by their dreams that I have my own.  And although my values have changed and my understanding of success is under constant renovation, I am free to follow those dreams.  If I dare.

And because I don’t have those 25 year old eyes anymore that equate success to owning a fast car and, oh, you know, being Prime Minister or something, I can have something better.  Balance.  I can be a soccer mom.  And I can run a business.  And be on the school P & C and organise the scout fair.  And I can also write.

If I dare.

Soccer kick

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