Soccer moms. Why does everyone equate these words with minivans and crazy women? What most people don’t understand is the inner workings of a soccer mom, a hockey mom, a baseball mom, etc. So let me tell you.

As moms, we are built-in cheerleaders for our kids, protectors and God help us -chauffeurs. I think the chauffeur piece is what is missing from the “What to Expect When You Are Expecting” book. There should be a prologue that states, “13 years following birth you may have to travel distances up to three hours (one way) for a ninety-minute soccer game on weekends when you would rather be home in the comfort of your own bed.” HA. I wonder if that would be a pregnancy deterrent?

The truth is, it is a wonderful feeling to see your kids excel at something they enjoy. Spending thousands of dollars per year for the joy of your child being on a team, not so much. That said, in really looking at it, there have been a lot of pluses. Being part of a team, learning to get along with others (“Mom, this kid is a toolshed”) and taking direction from a coach. LISTENING. Now that’s a good one. Note to self: tell the coach you need your son to clean his room. Perhaps he will listen when the coach tells him…

I never imagined in my life that in the middle of January on a cold, snowy day, I would be carpooling five sweaty, stinky teenage boys in my car, hanging my head out an open window for fresh air. Or sitting three hours from my home at an 8 am soccer game in the freezing rain of March on a cold, hard bleacher being breathed on (or should I say SCREAMED on) by a dad with horrifying breath that could kill a maggot. Definitely not in the warning of any pregnancy books I ever read.

The best part of being a soccer mom is the comfort in sheer numbers of other moms who have the same thoughts as me. Think about this. Most of us moms were just thirty years ago (a stone’s throw in time really lol) dancing on tables in bars at college. If someone told me then that flashing ahead thirty years, I would be freezing my a$$ off at a snowy March soccer tournament – that ended up being canceled after I drove three hours to get there (UGH) – I would have said, “Are you on crack?”

What a lot of people don’t know about us sports moms is we like wine. And lots of it. Strictly a coping mechanism. We LOVE the soccerplexes with bars! And yes, that is a legit thing. On breaks between games, you might find me grabbing a Pinot Grigio. And honestly, it cracks me up that you can actually GET different types of wine in the same location where soccer balls are the “staple.” Wine definitely helps on those long days of soccer tournaments. I often times would sip my wine and for a split second not hear, “Come on (whatever the kid’s name is)! Run faster, get to the ball,” or “Ref, you suck.” It was just momentary bliss in the chaos.

Years after my mom passed away, my dad told me that the reason she never let me take a sip of her Pepsi while at my soccer games was because she had a screwdriver in it. No, not Phillips or flat, but OJ and vodka. God love her. She was a genius!

So what have us soccer moms accomplished along this journey? Well, I can confidently say that I have mastered the “that was a crap call ref” glare, made some FANTASTIC friends and most importantly, spent quality time with both of my kids. One is playing college ball and the other one is on his way. They are happy and that’s all that matters.

No one needs to know about the jersey mishaps when I washed the wrong jersey and we had to dry the correct one on the way to a game with the car heater. Or the times that I completely lost my mind that my son had me stressed with his wait-til-the-last-minute to tell me he left his uniform or cleats at his dad’s house and we had to be at a field in 10 minutes. I will look back fondly on all of those long road trips to tournaments with hotel stays their teammates in my room till all hours playing video games, watching movies and eating “on the road snacks” that always seemed to find their way into my bed in the form of crumbs.

It’s all been an adventure. And as my youngest graduates from high school, I’m a little sad it’s almost over. But just so you know, we soccer moms will always remain friends. Wine drinking friends.

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Connie Bramer is an entrepreneur, mom, breast cancer survivor and author of “How Connie Got Her Rack Back,” her comical spin on the journey of cancer. Connie’s mission to help others through her own experiences drove her to found Get Your Rack Back Inc., a not for profit organization that provides financial assistance to cancer patients in Upstate NY. GYRB assists patients – men, women, and children with varying types of cancers – with gas and grocery gift cards as well as medical copay assistance. Connie has been featured in several magazines including Her Life New York and Womenz Straight Talk. As a cancer survivor, Connie was awarded the Hyatt’s prestigious Portrait of Understanding Award. In addition to her inspirational blog, gyrb. Connie also shares her everyday antics with a snarky sense of humor on her blog, The Humor Of It All.
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Larry Tyler

I love this. I raised my son alone and this brings back many memories.