Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What Sports Taught Me About Motherhood

When I was growing up, sports were a big part of my life.  My dad was a coach, my brother played sports, and I played sports.  Year round, there was always someone coaching or playing something.  When I graduated high school, I knew I was not athletically talented enough to play sports in college, so I assumed I was leaving that part of my life behind.  Then, several years later, I became a mom.  I have now realized that there are many sports mantras and concepts that can also be applied to motherhood.


For example, “no pain, no gain” is a phrase associated with athletes suffering through workouts or strenuous training to improve their skills and physical capabilities.  How does it apply to motherhood??  Well, how about pregnancy and labor for starters? Have you ever watched your child walk into elementary school for the first time?  Have you ever dried the tears of your heartbroken tween?  Experiences like these are painful for moms, but necessary as we watch our children grow.

Years ago, Nike popularized the phrase “Just Do It!”  I used that mantra many times when faced with cleaning up diaper blowouts, vomit, or a disastrous playroom!

There is also the aspect of competitiveness.  As moms, we sometimes compete with each other - outwardly or silently - to be better, more creative, more perfect than the others.  We also compete with ourselves to do everything just right.  We are harsh with ourselves when we make mistakes.

Moms spend a lot of energy working on strategy as well.  It begins with planning a birthing strategy.  Then, we must decide on a sleep training strategy, discipline strategies, education strategies, and even scheduling strategies.  Having a good strategy is key to successful motherhood.

Sports require endurance.  So does motherhood.  From the moment you conceive, you are forever a mom - in it for the long haul.  Sometimes, you will want to give up and “throw in the towel,” but that is not an option.

Timeouts are, however, an option - occasionally.  We put our children in timeout in an effort to redirect behavior and, once in a while, we need to give ourselves a timeout, too.  

The sports I played were all team sports and there was a definite sense of camaraderie among teammates.  Mothers have that, too.  If you are lucky, you will find other moms who commiserate with each other and support one another through thick and thin.

Hopefully, teamwork is another sports concept mothers can employ.  My team includes my husband, my parents, my in-laws, and my friends.  Motherhood would be so much harder without them.


I once thought I was leaving my life of athletics behind.  I know now that those years of sports, games, and competition taught me many valuable lessons and concepts that have prepared me for the sport of motherhood.  I may not get the trophy for “Most Valuable Player,” but I hope my team is victorious in the end!  

37 comments:

Janine Huldie said...

I was so not a sports person and was truly the girly girl. That said, you made a slew of good points here and looks like as a a mom I did become a sports person after all, too!! :)

The Dose of Reality said...

Man, this is so true. I was a sporty girl, and everything you said here totally applies, especially that endurance part! Well done! :)-Ashley

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Motherhood, itself, is a sport! ;-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks, Ashley!

donofalltrades said...

Don't forget the penalty boxes, lol. Loved this. I coach the kids in their sports and totally try to use the time to teach the kids life lessons as well as how to play the game they're playing.

Meredith said...

Great analogies. Although, I like sports OK, but am by no means a sports "fan" except when my Dad is around and we watch the Cowboys play. That's about it for me and sports these days, but I'm sure when my boys get a little older, it might be a different story!

Roshni Aamom said...

I like the mantra of 'Just do it' when you have to deal with all kinds of yucky stuff!! :D

Mary Ann McNulty said...

Great read. I agree, teamwork makes a difference :)

Tamara Bowman said...

This is really clever. Love the "Just do it" reference. So many times have I had to take a deep breath and apply that mantra. And the pain one..
I registered Scarlet for kindergarten today. Whoa.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Yes - definitely penalties! Sports are definitely an opportunity for some great life lessons.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Even though I always played sports, my girls have little interest.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

That's a great one!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks so much!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Yeah - that might have been a painful one! Whoa for sure!

Tarana said...

I've never been much of a sports person, but loved the motherhood perspective!

Dana said...

I never thought to draw these parallels, but they are dead on. Endurance for sure. And I haven't figured out how to increase my endurance, other than drinking too much coffee.

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Tarana!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Unfortunately, I haven't figured that out either!

Jennifer said...

I love this post, Lisa! I can totally relate. My mom was a coach and coached our teams, too. Motherhood is very similar to athletics, particularly the no pain, no gain. I wrote a post a while back about the "dangers" of motherhood. It seems that I am hurt almost daily, whether it be an inadvertent head butt or a frisbee to the nose.

Janine Huldie said...

I actually wrote similar feelings for this post and hope that my girls also know how much I love them and grow up to know this and believe in it. And I feel so similar where my own parents are concerned and just can't believe how much I find myself feeling so blessed and lucky to have had them as parents in this life and also hope my kids feel similar once they are grown up for both Kevin and I, too!! so, yes can very much relate to what you wrote here tonight and thanks as always for linking up with us :)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Janine! I don't think kids can truly understand how loved and blessed they are until they are grownups. I have to remind myself of that sometimes when mine are whining/complaining - someday, they will appreciate me! :-)

Kelly Mckenzie said...

To me - your whole piece was summed up in that lovely tribute to your parents.

Tamara Bowman said...

What a cool FTSF! And I get it about not being able to explain the love. When something feels so powerful, words just don't do it. I have words and photos..and sometimes, often, it's not enough.
I feel pretty surprised by responsibility and hard work. I think I thought it would be easier for me to just become some sort of superstar. Like the world would just know it and propel me there.
I was clearly a dreamer.
Times are tough, but family love is beyond my wildest dreams.

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

The fact is, there is no explaining the love. It takes us to places (rightfully so) that we'd never have imagined. Ever. To your daughter being closer to 21 than you are, I prefer not to do the math, as well,,um, yah and I know you'll understand.

It's utterly amazing how these tiny people rule our worlds, in the best of ways, huh?

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Kelly! My mom reads all my posts and shares some with my dad. :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

There's nothing wrong with being a dreamer. I know I thought it would just happen - all the $$, happiness, etc. I'm still hoping/dreaming that my blog will make me rich and famous someday! :-)

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

It certainly is - utterly amazing! (And, I never really liked math anyway!)

Tarana said...

Finances are the probably the worst part of being a grown-up! It's kind of disappointing how much money and time you actually need to make your childhood fantasies come true. And you described love for our children so perfectly with the food analogy! #FTSF

MamaRabia said...

Such a great comparison! I think you totally deserve an MVP award! Or maybe the MVM (Most Valuable Mom)!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Ah yes! The injuries of motherhood. That is definitely part of the "game."

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks Rabia!

Michelle Nahom said...

Great comparison! Strategy seems like it's a part of my daily life! I'm with Rabia...MVM!

Chris Carter said...

BRILLIANT!!! All of these are just so true. Such great insight Lisa. You are SO right!

Kristi - Finding Ninee said...

Too right!!! And I'd completely forgotten about birth plans, sleep strategy plans (mine was pretty much NEVER let him cry until I couldn't handle it and sat outside his door while he cried for 20 minutes and went and got him anyway). He got it though. And I like Rabia's comment - MVM!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thanks!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

Thank you Chris!

Lisa @ The Golden Spoons said...

We all deserve an MVM! :-)

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