I've been a high school football mama for about two and a half weeks now. Although we haven't even played our first game yet, I've learned a lot, and thought I'd share it with you all.
1. If you're not 15 minutes early, you're late.
Practice may be scheduled to start at 3 p.m., but if you're not on that field, with your helmet and pads on by 2:45 p.m., you're late. And coach will call you out on it!
2. They will be tired.
The only time No. 1 has napped since he was a toddler, is when he had the flu last winter. I can't tell you how many times I've witnessed him fall asleep with the lights on!
3. They will eat you out of house and home.
A gallon of milk ain't got nothing on my boy! His typical post-practice meal consists of two bowls of cereal, two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a protein shake. Oh, and then he eats dinner...
4. They will stink.
High school sweat is in a league of its own! (Click here for my tips on cleaning equipment.)
5. They wash their own uniforms.
Yes mama, you read right! I learned this at our parent meeting last week. Game uniforms do not come home, so they will take turns washing them after each game. That's one less funky thing for them to bring into your house! #WINNING
6. It takes a village.
Before school starts, they practice six days a week - almost always during the work day. Unless your child lives within walking distance or you work from home, you will definitely need to get with your fellow football mamas ASAP to set up a carpool. I don't know what I'd do without my tribe!
7. Coaches still need our help.
When I dropped No. 1 off for picture day, I happened to bump into one of his coaches and decided to ask him if they could use any help. His response, "Yes, please! We can always use help!" Even the head varsity coach echoed what he said. From passing out jerseys, to serving pre-game meals, to filming games, to taking tickets, to fundraising...they still need AND WANT us, mamas!
While high school football is definitely a big change from youth, I'm excited (and a bit nervous, I won't even lie!) for the season to begin.
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Vanessa Mejia is the mother of three football-playing boys, ages 14, 13 and 10, and lives in northern Virginia. Her boys also play basketball, soccer and track and field. Her husband coaches football in the Fairfax County Youth Football League. She shares Team Mom ideas, tips and tricks along with other facets of her family’s life away from the football field. Read more of her work at confessionsofasportsmama.blogspot.com