Last spring my daughter dropped out of the karate dojo into the world of softball. At seven years old our recreational league was a great beginning. We were middle of the pack with a great first year coach who helped our team really love the game of softball.
As much as I thought I knew about the sport, in honor of World Softball Day on June 13th, here is a list of things I didn’t know before I became a softball mom.
- You are competitive no matter what you thought before starting your daughter’s softball life. I played soccer most of my childhood, fell into basketball in high school and even stayed on into college but it wasn’t until my seven year old stepped up to the plate that I knew what competition really meant. There is nothing more frustrating than watching a game you have a vested interest in where you can’t change the outcome. This obsession will have you up at night watching swing mechanics videos and watching endless hours of espn softball and baseball trying to get your daughter to ”do it like the big kids do it”. Your social media accounts will suddenly include softball footage and the latest softball merch for you and your daughter.
- You will feel guilty. Whether it’s about not having a good batting helmet or feeling the pressure to put in for private lessons, there will always be that thing that you feel like you should have done for your daughter. Coach choices and team sign ups will haunt you and the “what if game” is dangerous. At least at the 8u (under 8) and 10u (under 10) level it’s not life and death but I can see how over time this could take years off your life worrying!
- You will suddenly love the almost annoying fluorescent yellow color of the softball. You’d be surprised at how many softball yellow items moms can buy! I saw a softball colored bag yesterday at practice and even against my good judgement I thought it was cute and wondered where they’d gotten it!!!
- Suddenly you will want to take up French braiding as a hobby.Not only is this a practical thing to keep hair out of your daughters face, but being one of the crowd with softball braids will haunt you if your skills aren’t up to par!
- You will never eat dinner on practice nights at home. No matter how hard you try practices will inevitably be scheduled during dinner time. Last night I had planned to come home and make a quick spaghetti dinner. Then we realized we wouldn’t eat until 8pm. Fast food will become your friend!
As much as these situations might be a shock to the system, at least at our house, we’ve become a part of this great community of families with great girls who seem at this point a nice change of pace from the every day school friends my daughter plays with. Ninety nine percent of softball moms seem to embrace each other with a lot of love.
Truthfully though I feel like we all need that mom time while the kids are on the field to have conversations with actual adults that don’t involve work or school or responsibility.