Hello, my name is Jessica Trufant. I suffer from “ENRAGED SPORTS-MOMMY SYNDROME.”
To put it more delicately, I will call my condition “overly passionate.” When it comes to my kids and their sports, I am not entirely sure how my total loss of self-control came about. One minute I was just your typical mother watching her daughter play soccer and the next minute I was told I needed to control myself and simmer down. Here is how it all started:
I signed my oldest daughter Karmyn up for a YMCA soccer team. I expected great things from her. I expected her to play at an elite soccer level. I envisioned her running down the field at full-tilt, dribbling the ball like Pele, scoring the winning goal and becoming the team hero… Let me set the scene. It’s Karmyn’s first soccer game, and I am juiced. She is dressed in her lime green YMCA t-shirt with her turtleneck underneath, black sweatpants and the cutest Adidas soccer shoes. The cuter the shoes, the better she will play, right? My mom has the video camera set up because Marcus is out of town. We are determined to document this moment like were are filming a real professional soccer game. The anticipation is building; we can’t wait for our little Pele to hit the field.
The whistle blows to start the game… Karmyn doesn’t move. As a matter of fact, she starts crying as soon as the whistle sounds. All of the other kids are running by her with smiles, eager to conquer the ball and score a goal. My daughter just stands there crying.
I feel something start to fester inside me.
I give her a little “positive mommy” encouragement. “Come on, baby! Don’t cry! You’re a rockstar! You can do it!”
Karmyn looks at me and continues to cry.
Okay, maybe I need to be a little more stern with her. So with a little more bass in my voice, (yet still calm) I say, “Karmyn, RUN!” Low and behold, Karmyn starts to run! As she runs up and down the field, not even aware of the ball and the other kids around her, she is grabbing her collar as if it was a coping mechanism and starts crying hysterically. She looks miserable! I look around at the other parents and give the fake “oh, my kid’s a stinker” look and I force a chuckle. I watch as Karmyn goes into a huddle where kids are all trying to steal the ball and she is STILL crying hysterically and kicking at the ball, and missing. That festering “s0mething” starts to creep into my chest.
The kids continue to go after the ball while their parents are lovingly cheering them on. The other kids are having a blast and what is my daughter doing? I guess Karmyn decides she needs a break and sits on the field and plays in the dirt… IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME! That festering “something” made its way up my chest, to my throat and then BOOM! The enraged sports-mommy was born. I start barking at Karmyn to get up, get her head in the game and focus. I am waving my hands frantically and my outdoor voice turns into a stadium-full-of-people voice.
Karmyn starts to cry, even harder.
“WHY IN THE HECK ARE YOU CRYING?! YOU’RE NOT HURT! GET UP, NOW!” I have officially turned into the psycho-mom that needs “sports-mom anger management.” My mom looks at me like I’m crazy and thinks Karmyn’s lack of participation is hysterical. Funny?? Is my mom nuts?? Is she seeing what I’m seeing? I don’t see a PELE on the field, I see a CRY BABY!
Okay, I need to calm down.
I stop yelling at Karmyn, but I continue to talk out loud to myself. I have to let what I was feeling out, so I’m just gonna keep my voice low while I curse. What the hell is going on? Why is she still crying? Why is she such a baby? Go get the damn ball! She is never coming back to play soccer ever again!
Now, remember my mom is videotaping, so my entire rant is ALL ON CAMERA! I don’t think I will ever show Karmyn the video because I think she will disown me. As I continue to lose my shit on camera quietly, my mom finally says,
“SHE IS THREE YEARS OLD, JESSICA! CALM DOWN!”
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Karmyn was only three-years-old at the time. She was playing on a recreation team with other three-years-old children; they didn’t even have legit uniforms. But, I didn’t care. I wanted her to get out of her three-year-old emotions and play some real soccer! Well folks, that never happened. Karmyn continued to cry, begged to take breaks every three minutes and wanted to go home. I was able to keep my rage around a level 4, but inside I had thoughts of taking all the soccer balls and kicking them as hard as I could out of the park.
Can any mother relate? I mean, it sounds harsh, but darn it, stop crying! Karmyn wasn’t hurt, she wasn’t cold, she just hated soccer. She didn’t even have to score a darn goal, running without tears would have been a win for me. Karmyn finished the season, and she eventually warmed up to the idea of playing, but soccer just wasn’t her three-year-old cup of tea.
We did not return the next season. Ha!
I unconditionally support and encourage my kids in whatever they do, but sometimes I have a sports rage-management moment. Over time and repetitions of me holding my hand over my mouth, I have slowly learned to control my mouth more. I still have times where I feel like I’m torturing myself by attending their games, but I know they are little humans who might not be perfect in sports, but they are always perfect to me.