I love this time of year! I hope you are enjoying the cool air and the excitement of the season. As we wrap up the series of getting to the heart and mind of a hockey Mom, I want to start by thanking all of those who took part in the interviews for their honesty and perspective. I’m hoping after reading some of their stories we can look around at Moms of players who play different positions than our kids do with an open mind. I hope we now realize that they have a whole other level of stress going on that we should take the time to understand. I learned so much from my interviews with these brave Moms and I hope you did too.
I learned that being a goalie Mom didn’t seem so bad once I spoke to the Mom of a referee. She taught me that from her perspective nobody is on the referee’s side, so it’s their job to support and encourage their sons or daughters and to hold their head up and stay confident in their decisions. It’s their job to be on their side when people are yelling at their kids while they are trying to do their best. This Mom found a way to see the good in the game and concentrate on all of the life lessons that come from it. This Mom taught me that watching them grow and learn is bigger than the sport.
When our defencemen’s Mom said, “I love seeing a defensemen score, don’t get me wrong, I like when my son scores the best, but one of my favourite moments in the game is when another defensemen scores.” I learned that as Moms we all love and are partial to the position our own children play. It made me realize that whatever team we are rooting for, we need to try and understand all the positions on the ice. I’ve learned that each position has its own challenges and all are equally important during a game. If we showed the same affection and understanding of each position, then the arena might be a more positive place to be.
When I interviewed a goalie Mom and she said, “I don’t watch stats at all. The only thing I measure is how happy she is while playing the game.” I wished I could have sat next to her for every game. Those words are words to live by regardless of what sport your child is playing.
Finally, I left this quote for the end because it struck a chord with me. When I asked the Mom whose child plays forward how she could have been a better hockey Mom, she said, “Her disappointments affected me more than they did her. I don’t know how I would have improved on that because it’s just how it felt. I wish I could have guarded my heart more, so it wasn’t so hard.” I think guarding our heart when it comes to our kids is next to impossible. That unconditional love takes over and we are about as vulnerable as we can get. So, I’ve decided, since it’s so hard to guard our own hearts throughout the season, perhaps we can look to our fellow hockey Moms to help us guard each others.
I’ve always felt that Christmas was a time to re-boot. A time to hold our family and friends close and be thankful for all we’ve been given throughout the year. As hockey Moms we go through a lot together and we need to remember that. The next time you’re at a tournament or carpooling with another Mom, take a moment of gratitude for these incredible women beside you. I can say from my own experience that some of these ladies started out standing with me in an arena and have since stood beside me at funerals, called me during tough times, and held my hand when I’ve needed it the most. As one of our hockey Mom’s told me in her interview, her greatest hope was to foster friendships these teammates would have for a lifetime. For all you hockey Moms out there, just so you know, you too have fostered friendships that will also last a lifetime because you’re a part of a team too.
From one hockey Mom to many others, Happy Holidays!
- Written by Allyson Tufts
Author, Speaker and Passionate Hockey Mom