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Old 10-19-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984

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If you're just moving here, one thing you need to know is that 95% of Northern Virginia is suburbia. If you despise suburbia, you might want to reconsider moving here. Seriously, go to DC. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just being honest. People move to suburbia, spend their days sneering at suburbanites, then wonder why they don't find it easy to make friends.

Here's my suggestion if you're new in town and you're trying to make friends: Think twice before making snide remarks about kids playing soccer. And don't pick on their moms, those ladies are overworked people just trying to support their kids in an year when budget cuts mean no money for sports.

Maybe it was the hip thing to make fun of kid's sports where you used to live. But here, maligning soccer moms is likely to backfire on you. The reaction you'll get is likely to be: What did they ever do to you to deserve being turned into your personal punching bag?

Northern Virginia is one place you can expect to meet a lot of people who have kids that play football, baseball, soccer, la crosse, etc. It's what we do here.

Now I know that a lot of people think that if they see something in a sit com, it must be true. I know television claims all the moms look alike and when we're not at the games we've got nothing better to do but bake cupcakes from scratch in our Burburry outfits, get manicures and brag about "little Bobby's grades and his ability to speak 3 languages." But here in Nova most of us know these parent personally and we know the cliches are ridiculous.

to be continued... I've got a lot to say on this subject
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
Here's the truth about parents who go to their kids' games. Most of these parents work full time in addition to taking care of a houseful of children--each of whom has activities that require extensive parental support. Not that we're complaining, that's part of being a parent (or a grandparent). In our spare time we go to booster meetings and help in fundraisers because that's part of being a parent of an athlete, too. When budgets get cut it's the parents who end up carrying most of the load.

I saw a sit com that claimed parents compete for the privilege of baking muffins for the team snack bar. Hahahahahahaha, in what universe do people act like that? Most of us are overburdened and exhausted--we'd love to have someone else run the snack bar.

We make sacrifices because we think our kids are important. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining about making a sacrifice. Here's what I'm complaining about: I'm tired of carrying a heavy load and being the person who shows up and the person who helps out and then being sneered at for something petty like our clothes are "tacky."

Try carrying the load that we carry and see if you're a fashion plate.

We shop at Kohl's and WalMart so we can have extra money to send the kids to band camp. Is that a reason to sneer at us? Why do our clothes offend you, anyway? Seriously--why do you care what I wear to my grandkids' football game?
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
...and while I'm on the subject....

Yes it's true, mostly we wear (gasp!) jeans and the team sweatshirts... hello, a football game is an athletic event, not a fashion show.

Wearing the team logo supports the team emotionally and financially. That's right, we buy those caps and t-shirts and ponchos because it pays for equipment, not because we want to offend your fashion sense. And yes, if you go to all the games and load equipment in the car, that sweatshirt is not going to be perfect.

Especially when you sit in the cold chilly rain, like I did on Friday night. I couldn't believe I came home, turned to this forum for a little good cheer--and found out I was being put down because moms like us have clothes and hair that are apparently tacky. Hey it's cool, you have the right to sneer at me if you want. But I have the right to stand up for myself.

Yes, I suppose wearing the team sweatshirt and a rain poncho over that while I sat in the cold rain cheering on the kids was tacky. But you know what? I was THERE. That's what matters

And it's not like I'm so special. That's the sort of thing many parents do here in Northern Virginia. Maybe even most parents. We show up to cheer on our kids, even in the rain. We run the refreshment stand, help with equipment, take the kids out for burgers afterwards, etc. etc. Who has time to make a fashion statement?

People sneer at team moms for being shallow. Frankly, I think sneering at me for wearing a team sweatshirt is shallow. Why should you care what clothes I wear? When I read that the stickers on my car are "obnoxious," all I can think is, "why is it any business of yours what stickers I put on my car?" My car has a sticker that says 3 words: "Potomac Falls Panthers." Oh shame on me for having such an offensive bumper sticker. How terrible that I support my kids and grandkid's activities. Obviously I should die.

Last edited by normie; 10-19-2009 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
I know I should just laugh it off. But I'm tired of laughing it off. I'm tired of people seeing me as some sort of two-dimensional sterotype.

I've been doing this for two generations now (first my kids, now the grandkids). Between all these kids I've been a team mom for every game there is. (Also band, drama, and the school newspaper. Those require plenty of parental support, too.) It doesn't matter what activity your kids get interested in, the bottom line is the parents end up doing a lot of work. And there always seems to be someone putting down moms who support their kid's activities because they "all look alike"... like we are the Children of the Corn!

Now get real--you make it sound like a kid comes home, announces he/she wants to play la crosse, and then *poof!* mom magically becomes blonde and svelte and gets an identical "pefect" haircut. Yah right. Those Stepford Wife characters exist on tv sitcoms. In the real world, moms look like moms.

I've got news for you, if your kid joins a team you still look the same. Team parents span numerous ethnic, racial, economic, religious and social groups. We're tall, short, fat, thin. Most of us wear sweatshirts, but a lot of people balance a game between work commitments, so you'll see business attire, too. I hear we're all supposed to have identical Kate Gosselin haircuts. Now puh-leeze.... Kate Gosselin has nice hair (I guess) but that doesn't mean everyone wants her haircut.

I'm thinking back to the parents I huddled with during the Friday night game. We had long hair, short hair, afros. Some of us didn't have much hair at all. Do I need to go out and buy a Kate Gosselin wig so I'll be allowed to cheer on the team? Get real.

Last edited by normie; 10-19-2009 at 09:07 AM..
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Old 10-19-2009, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,250,526 times
Reputation: 18984
The next time you drive by a game and start to pass judgement, take a second look. Do these parents really look like they sit around grinding their own flour to bake muffins? No, they look like typical busy people who took a little time out of their schedules to care about their kids.

I guess I'll never understand why soccer mom bashing is "hip." Is it like gay bashing? Do the people who sneer the loudest do so because they're secretly terrified they might someday discover they're attracted to the idea of to being a soccer mom, too?

If so, come out of the closet! Join us! Show up for a game or two and guess what... you'll discover it feels neither foreign nor shallow. Now to be fair, sometimes you'll see a fool who's gotten overly competitive. But despite to the cliches, I don't see people like that very often. Over the years I have seen 1 or 2... but reality is most people are way too tired to act that way!

If you do happen to see a jerk, look around and realize 99% of the people aren't behaving like that. Go hang out with the rest of us. When you get to know the parents, you'll see that by far the majority of people promote good sportsmanship and are just there to relax and have a good time. Before you know it you'll be saying "What exactly was I so put off by?"

Ok, I'll step off my soap box now. Sorry for writing a book, but I'm tired of being bashed.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:26 AM
 
5,210 posts, read 8,805,870 times
Reputation: 5862
I'm not a "soccer mom" but I'm guilty of wearing "mom jeans" and having a "tacky" sticker on my minivan. Oh, and my hair is up in a ponytail (yikes!). I don't work outside the home and I've been bashed for that, too.

I can't imagine why someone would bash a parent for attending their child's sporting event. Isn't that what parents do? And I actually think it's hilarious that people would complain that parents don't dress up enough for these events. Mom jeans and a team sweatshirt sound about right to me, what the heck are you supposed to wear??

At any rate, I'm enjoying your rant..
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:31 AM
 
27 posts, read 67,774 times
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Well, I'm not sure of the genesis of this thread but I have to say that soccer/sports parents sacrifice tremendously to make the children's experiences special. Not sure why anyone would want to criticize those parents as a class -- doesn't make much sense to me.
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Old 10-19-2009, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Dudes in brown flip-flops
660 posts, read 1,464,163 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by normie View Post
If you're just moving here, one thing you need to know is that 95% of Northern Virginia is suburbia. If you despise suburbia, you might want to reconsider moving here. Seriously, go to DC. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just being honest. People move to suburbia, spend their days sneering at suburbanites, then wonder why they don't find it easy to make friends.
I agree with most of your posts on this subject, but with one caveat (which I will be focusing on, but I swear, Normie, what you said accurately describes a lot of Northern Virginia and a lot of people's complaints!) - 95% of Northern Virginia is not filled with soccer moms, or even sometimes with moms at all.

Sometimes on this forum I feel like Arlington and Alexandria are ignored. Whether it's because they are not viewed as Northern Virginia, or because the poster simply isn't that familiar with those areas, many statements such as "Northern Virginia is X" or "Northern Virginians are Y" are made. From my standpoint, those statements reflect life in Ashburn or Gainesville, but not in Arlington, or the Fairfax County section of Alexandria. Washingtonians are guilty of treating all of Northern Virginia, and sometimes even all of Virginia, as monolithic. Let's not do the same here.

Northern Virginia has soccer moms in Brambleton, frat-tastic "bros" in Clarendon, immigrant families in Baileys Crossroads, and a lot more. It's really interesting as a native to read about how transplants view the area, and how people in parts of Northern Virginia that I am less familiar with live. It's why I think it's really great, Normie, that you and your friends have decided to visit us inside-the-Beltway Northern Virginians!

So this post was decidedly off-topic, for which I apologize. It just really struck me when reading the first couple sentences how we all perceive Northern Virginia based on our towns. I, for one, have been surprised by how conservative many of the posts and posters are, because I live in a more liberal part of Northern Virginia. Similarly, many people who complain about soccer moms would be shocked to see that many parts of NoVA, like the Route 1 corridor or the Orange Line in Arlington, are soccer mom-free!
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:00 AM
 
125 posts, read 353,381 times
Reputation: 68
I think your kids and grandchildren are very lucky to have you, Normie. While many parents today are there for their kids during their sports/activities, not all do this. When grandparents are out there cheering them on it brings a special quality to it all. They'll never forget you being there-what a wonderful gift!
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Old 10-19-2009, 11:13 AM
 
1,250 posts, read 4,085,229 times
Reputation: 791
My mom is a proud soccer mom.

(Well technically a soccer/band/football/basketball/baseball/ballet mom [and grand-mom now], but you get the idea)
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