I am parenting three pretty great people at the moment. My boys are ages 12 and 10, and their little sister is 6 years old. I think I’m in a phase where I might be so physically exhausted most days from running around, however, that I’m not exactly giving them my A game. So I decided to write them a letter to explain my current inadequacies and beg for their forgiveness while promising better days to come.

 

Forgive me for my lack of hustle, kids.

Forgive me for my lack of hustle, kids.

October, 2014

Dear Mr. Know-It-All, Mr. Mind Wanderer, and Miss Thang,

Do you remember what it was like when you were young and naive and didn’t put 2-and-2 together that not EVERY mom was as clueless as yours is in the kitchen? The days when frozen snacks like chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, and toaster strudels didn’t seem like a total cop out?

I made a fatal mistake in letting you sleep over at your friends’ houses. I recognize that now. Hindsight is always 20/20. I see that look in your eyes when you return home and try to mask your disappointment, fully cognizant of the fact you will not experience that level of culinary fulfillment until the next invitation is extended.

Cooking frustrates me. Why spend more than one hour on something that A. no one will like, or B. people will like so much that it disappears in 8 minutes flat? It’s like the precious artwork you bring home that you later find in the recycling bin. You pickin up what I’m putting down?

I also feel the need to address your nonstop extracurricular activities. I see the moms of your teammates stand outside in the bitter cold, as daylight is smothered by dusk, watching every practice drill. Me? I often find myself getting lost in cyberspace, taking multiple hits of Vine videos from the comfort of my van. Just like an addict, I sulk a little lower with every passing onlooker. DON’T JUDGE ME.

 

The mom who unplugged, while I watched Vine videos.

The mom who unplugged, while I watched Vine videos.

 

Plus I work a full-time job in insurance. I can’t even begin to explain to you what that means other than by saying it’s like standing in line waiting for the chance to eat your favorite cafeteria food (pizza, french toast sticks, nachos, you get the picture) but the line is 8 hours long. When I get home at the end of my shift, the couch is my favorite cafeteria food. And I am ready to consume it.

I figure I’ve got six to eight years ahead of me before you’re in college and I become the mom of all moms.

My care packages are going to blow your mind. I will have worn dad down by then about all financial matters. After all, he will have put up with me for nearly A QUARTER CENTURY by the time you’re in college.

Since I will no longer have to drive you to anything and can just show up before tip-off, the first pitch, whatever (assuming you’re still playing), I’m going to be that chill mom you always wished for. Balancing a drink in one hand and a hot dog in the other, you won’t even know I’m there.

I’m going to remember what it’s like to hang out with your dad again. You’re going to turn around one day to introduce us to your advisor, and we’ll be pinching each other in awkward places that will make you cringe.

Just you wait. Bonfires will still involve s’mores, but there will be stories that you’ve never heard us tell you before. I will tell you about dad giving me my first wine cooler in his parent’s basement. He will tell you about the book he always wanted to write detailing all of the dumb things I’ve said in total seriousness.

My tears of laughter will morph into tears of sorrow knowing that you are running a pace that I can’t keep up with, yet I am so proud of you for maintaining.

You may strip me of all my energy now, but there is no other way I’d want to spend it.

Love, Mom

Written by Heidi Woodard

I had the chance to talk about my latest post about how adults go crazy over a kid’s game on the Pat&JT Show this morning.

Talk about therapeutic!

And here’s the kicker: I received calls, tweets, and even an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn as a result. People are passionate about this topic. It seems as though we’ve all witnessed at least one rabid adult going completely ballistic at a youth sporting event.

Enjoy listening to the replays below. For those in/around Omaha, I’m on air every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8 a.m. on KQKQ Q98.5 FM. Tune in to listen and call in to 402-962-9898 if you have something you want to add to the conversation!

You’ll hear Jill (JT), me, and Whit, who was filling in for Pat today, in the segments below.

If you’d like to listen to the entire 7 a.m. podcast, you can access that here. Fair warning: I maaayy have found a way to bring the discussion back to my collegiate softball playing days at the 8:30 mark. I also said I was “an 18-year old collegiate senior.” I’ve never been good at math.

Written by Heidi Woodard

I inserted the word “Sunday” because it makes for a catchy title; however, make no mistake, adults are more than capable of embarrassing themselves and their children on any day of the week.

Been there. Done that.

 

No one needs to see mom get carried away. Slow your roll, mom.

No one needs to see mom get carried away. Slow your roll, mom.

 

I had written a post two Sundays ago giving advice to youth sports parents and coaches about the proper mentality and behavior that one should ideally possess and demonstrate in front of a group of kids. I wrote this reminder as much for me as I wrote it for others.

Since that post, I’ve started rounding up a team of people I respect to help me turn a dream into a reality. I wish I could reveal what exactly I’m planning to do, but it’s too premature at this point to give away any hints. For now, I am publicly going on record to say that I’m building something that is directly aimed at adults who want to support youth athletes the right way.

Until this very real idea of mine comes to fruition, I have a very facetious 10-Step Process for everyone who wants to show their “support” of youth athletes without getting arrested.

Here are the steps to follow to ensure your kid has a good time with their friends playing a game that they (hopefully) love:

Step 1: Offer words of encouragement
Before your drop off your kid at their respective sports field, track, gym, tennis court, pool, etc., turn to them and say “Good luck. Have fun. I can’t wait to watch you.”

Step 2: Let your child out of the car and say goodbye
Make sure your child has all of their necessary equipment, and then reassure them you will watch every move they make from a controlled, semi-isolated locale.

Step 3: Find your nearest sports bar, bowling alley, Best Buy, basically anywhere there’s a TV
Find a way to live remote your child’s game to wherever you are in a controlled, semi-isolated locale.

Step 4: Make sure no other parents from your child’s team or the opposing team your child’s team is playing are within earshot
Because, let’s be real, 80 percent of youth sports parents are completely incapable of shutting their mouth while the action unfolds.

Step 5: Have a pen and notepad in front of you
Anytime you find a reason to criticize your child’s team’s coach or fellow players, write down your thoughts. Be specific about how you would do things differently.

Step 6: Drop your notes into the suggestion box that is labeled “Let your voice be heard!”
Hint: Just like at the office, the suggestion box is used merely to make you feel like you’re heard. Don’t expect anyone to actually read your rants.

Step 7: Yell out as loudly as you can all of the things your son or daughter should be doing better
Really, don’t hold back. The louder you yell, the better they’ll do, because…remember…they can’t hear you as they’re are having fun with their friends in an entirely separate location while you are having a self-induced aneurysm.

Step 8: Stop, look around, and realize that no one is watching your celebration dances, listening to your cowbells, or impressed by your overwhelming desire to reprimand officials
Take the time to reevaluate your life’s goals.

Step 9: Try to gain some perspective about the age group you are watching
Use the moments you had previously spent making everything a little too much about you to think of ways to make everything a lot more about your child.

Step 10: Pick up your child and repeat Step 1
Turn to your child and say “I loved watching you. I hope you had fun.”

I can hear the naysayers now. “But, Heidi, what if my…errr…my child’s team loses?! I’m not going to sugar coat things and pat them on the back pretending like everything’s ok.”

In response to that very real concern, I would counter, “It IS ok. Life is one big game, is it not? Those who are most successful learn to win AND lose with dignity and composure. And, in the end, the most fulfilled never lose sight of the fact that every swing, stride, pass, catch, stroke, backhand, and shot we take is a real blessing. Nothing is guaranteed. It can all be taken away from us in a heartbeat.”

Again, I am writing this post as much for me as for others.

Written by Heidi Woodard

In my world, in my words

October 3, 2014 — 6 Comments

Are you a fan of what I have to offer in terms of content? Or perhaps the jury’s still out on whether I make you laugh…think…care…like I promised I would?

Hi.

Hi.

When I think of the bloggers and online personalities in general whom I like to follow, the thing that always stands out to me is how real they are. They know their niche and they don’t stray from it. When I see their posts arrive in my RSS feed, I know pretty much what to expect before linking into their world.

If you take the time out of your already time-pressed day to read my ramblings, I owe it to you to make every minute count. I hope you know I realize that.

For this reason, I’m asking you to vote on what topic(s) you enjoy reading the most about. Would you take a minute of your time so that I may better use your time?

My mind tends to move a mile a minute – about 50 percent of the time it’s on something really productive. The other 50 percent is dedicated to dreaming up big adventures.

Maternal Media is a productive adventure I began back in February 2012. Thank you for coming along for the ride.

Written by Heidi Woodard