Being A Theater Mom Is Better Than Being A Sports Mom

Theater kids.

My oldest kid is only 9, so I'm not claiming to be an expert dance mom, swim mom, soccer mom, basketball mom, baseball mom OR theater mom. But I have actually been all of those things - in the last year, even.  Lovebug hasn't fully decided which sport(s) he will play at the travel level next year (we have a no travel until third grade rule), so my only experience of a serious "Mom" commitment is dance.

But I already know this; I like being a dance mom and and a swim mom more than the others. 

We have never pushed our kids into any activities. We've always been, "Oh, this is happening, do you want to try it?" Ironflower has always wanted to try EVERYTHING; we've actually had to turn down a few things (like ice-skating and horseback riding) just so she could have free time. . . .and we could eat. 

Anyway, we're so not pushy, but we try to be supportive. Which means going to a lot of games and performances. And I'll be honest with you, watching my kids play soccer, basketball and baseball reminds me of being pregnant

I was happy to be pregnant and my pregnancies were all relatively smooth. But as happy as I was? I was filled with anxiety all the time. I couldn't see what was going on in there, let alone control it. Or predict what would happen when. And eventually I became horribly uncomfortable and couldn't sleep. 

I haven't gotten to the no sleeping point with sports yet, but I bet it happens if Lovebug plays travel basketball next year. Much as I love to watch my kids play sports, it fills me with a terrible anxiety. Maybe if I'd had some athletic gifts to pass on to them, I'd be able to handle it better, I don't know. 

Of course, I never swam competitively (or danced competitively, though I did dance) and I don't get the same anxiety while watching them.  I think it's mostly because the actions are already planned out - do the dance you've been practicing for months, do the stroke you've been practicing for years. Even if you don't win, you can feel like you've done well. Mistakes tend to be minor. Whereas a mistake during baseball can mean a concussion. Or the team being mad at you. Or a large bruise. Or losing the entire game. Or. . . .I don't think this list is helping my anxiety.

Kids playing basketball.
I like watching practice best. 

But even better than swim and dance is theater.

And not just because I was a theater geek in school. When they're in a play, they know EXACTLY what to expect and EXACTLY what they're supposed to do. They're not going to strike out or get hit in the face with a soccer ball or mess up a lift and split their chin open or miss the winning basket or slip during competition, all of which has happened to my kids. In the last year.

You know what happened during Theater Week this year? Some kid said one of Ironflower's lines during one performance. That's my kind of trauma.

So when I say "better", I'm not making judgments on your kids' activities or which activities require the most parent devotion or which ones have the best behaved parents. I'm saying that being a theater parent is much better for my emotional health than any of their other activities.

Which probably guarantees that my kids will get really into wrestling next year.

How do you feel when your kids perform and/or compete? Do you have a preference?

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