Go ahead and call me a bad mom for counting it down, but it isn't just my Sunday afternoons I'll get back. Not just the weeknight we won't have to rush around trying to get homework done and something in her tummy in time for soccer practice.
In two weeks the giant bag of balls, pinnies, first aid kit, parent conduct forms and more will be vacated from its spot in the corner of my dining room. In two weeks my husband will stop dissecting every practice and every game.
In two weeks, I won't be a coach's wife anymore.
Let me back up a moment. I wouldn't trade in that pile of balls or those Sunday afternoons on the sidelines for anything. In her fourth year on the field, daughter has quite suddenly fallen in love with soccer, and I have no doubt in my mind it's because her father has given up HIS time year after year to try to turn a bunch of kids into soccer players.
But when your spouse volunteers to coach a kid's sport, you learn a lot about parenting. Or, I should say, you learn a lot about other parents.
You learn there are parents who think that volunteer coaches are really free babysitters.
You learn there are parents who don't think volunteer coaches have a right to get sick or get stuck at work.
You learn there are parents who are so hard on their kids that you wish you could just give the poor little monkey a hug.
You learn there are parents who can dish it out so long as they never have to sit in the hot seat.
You learn that you really can't stand some other parents.
And then you learn there are some pretty cool parents out there too.
You learn there are parents who will pull a coach aside and ask what their kids need to work on this week. And they'll actually work on it, one on one, at home!
You learn there are parents who will bake muffins so you aren't always the one buying Gatorade and lollipops for the team.
You learn there are parents who will always be there with a kind word for every single kid on the team, goal or no goal, win or lose.
You learn that you can learn a lot from what other parents do and don't do.
You learn that parents who volunteer don't just put in a few hours on game day and an hour on practice night. This consumes them for an entire season. And it consumes their family too.
And when the season's end is nearing, they are ready for it all to be over. At least until next year ... unless someone else is ready to volunteer?
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