Whether your kids play ‘rec’ or travel, being a baseball mom can have its own set of rules. It can be fun and exhilarating, it can also be why your fingernails are chewed down to nubs. There are certain things that only baseball mamas can relate to. If you’re new to this baseball mom life, understanding a few key aspects of it all can help you keep your sanity, and your nails, in tact.
15 Things Every Baseball Mom Needs To Know
KISS YOUR WEEKENDS GOODBYE
Baseball games are generally played in the evenings and on weekends. Typically players arrive an hour or so before game time, and stay about 20 minutes after. Let’s not forget the game itself can run to 2 hours plus. Oh, and there’s the pizza party afterwards. If the team travels to other cities, add that time in there too. Lastly, if the team is competitive, there is a good chance they’ll participate in tournaments, which are anywhere between 3-6 games over the course of the weekend. Sometimes more! Groceries, housecleaning, baby showers, and any type of pre-planned lounging will have to wait.
CONSIDER GETTING A 2ND JOB
Youth baseball is big business! League fees, team dues, uniforms — all costly. What’s even more expensive? Equipment! Your child will need a helmet, a bat, cleats, and baseball bags. Catchers will usually be required to have their own gear in addition to everything else. Your kiddo may ask for accessories like necklaces, sports bracelets, sleeves, sunglasses, and more. We’re at several hundred dollars already, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg moms. If your kid plays Travel Ball, there are tournament fees and travel expenses. Some teams fundraise for much of these, some don’t. Definitely something to consider when signing up or trying out.
YOUR CAR WILL BECOME A PORTABLE LOCKER ROOM
Do you keep your car in pristine condition? You may want to reconsider that now that you’re a Baseball Mom. Even if your children are careful, the orange dirt stuck to their unis and muddy grass in their cleats isn’t necessarily so. Generally kids aren’t cautious and just toss their stuff into the trunk and plop their bottoms on your shiny leather seats. And woe is you if they have to change into or out of their uniforms in the car. Organization and discipline is key, but patience and a little leniency may come more in handy. Baby steps, mamas!
YOUR WARDROBE WILL CHANGE
For me, what started as a small section in the corner of a drawer has become 2 large drawers overflowing with sports moms t-shirts and tank tops. Mostly ‘Baseball Mom’, and yes, worn year round! I have team shirts, bling shirts, and tank tops with clever slogans. V-necks, crew necks, scoop necks, all the necks! Let’s not get started on my baseball cap collection. Soon you’ll find yourself sportin’ your baseball mom gear all over town, loud and proud!
YOU’RE NOT THE COACH
We’ve had good coaches, and not so good coaches in our years of baseball, soccer, and football. For the most part the experiences have been positive, but sometimes we’ve had to question a decision or comment here and there. Coaches are typically volunteer parents who take the time out of their schedules to develop the team. It’s hard work, and most do it out of love for their kid, and usually for yours too. Some competitive teams actually pay an experienced coach (more fees for parents), and trust them to guide and develop the team. The one thing we can easily forget is that coaches are merely human. They can err, and sometimes even lose their cool. Whether it’s a bad decision or a lost temper, it’s never o.k. for parents to interject in a game or at practice. Not only will this embarrass your kid, but it will not sit well with team leadership, and even some other parents. If it’s a situation that bothers you so much that you can’t keep quiet, a private and open-minded conversation off the field is typically best. If it prolongs, then consider finding another team after the season commitment is over.
YOU’RE ALSO NOT THE UMPIRE
…nor is the coaching staff, or the opposing team’s parents. Umpires will be quick to give any parent or coach the boot if they get mouthy, that is at their discretion. I’ve seen it time and time again! So, when (not ‘if’, but ‘when’) the umpire makes a bad call, best practice is to keep your lip zipped until you’re out of his earshot. Then you can rip him to shreds verbally at the pizza place later! Just kidding….sort of!
YOU’LL NEVER USE THE WORD ‘CUP’ IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN
In baseball mom world, a ‘cup’ is that thing that protects your son’s privates. There I said it–now you will never think of it as a drinking receptacle again.
EVERY AT-BAT IS A MINI HEART-ATTACK
Because even the best hitter strikes out every once in a while, you will never truly be calm while your son is at-bat. You never know if the umpire’s strike zone is high or low, or who knows what. I just know that I hold my breath until he’s on base, or back in the dugout!
YOU WILL LOSE FRIENDS
The more involved your child becomes in baseball, or any sport for that matter, the less time us moms will have for a social life. I elaborated on this subject a few months ago here, you may find this to be true for yourself as well. With free time sucked up by baseball and other sports, you’ll soon notice that your social circle is comprised mostly of parents on your kid’s teams.
YOU WILL GAIN FAMILY
While you may postpone some non-sports friendships, you will gain a family. Practically every waking moment is spent with like-minded baseball families. It’s almost impossible to avoid the inevitable bond that forms when you think alike and spend so much time together! They get how crazy our lives are, and are there for you, and you for them as needed. We have developed wonderful friendships that last long after the season’s end. Even if our kids aren’t on the same team anymore, we have too much in common to ever fully disconnect. It’s a beautiful thing!
PINTEREST IS YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND
So you’re not crafty? You don’t bake? No worries, there are thousands of bloggers posting their creations on Pinterest! You can follow directions to master that cute post game snack or baseball themed Easter basket in no time.
Who made those adorable baseball cupcakes? I DID!
How did you get the grass stains out of that uniform? PINTEREST!
You’ll soon find yourself scrolling through the site searching for all sorts of crafty ideas for your kid’s teammates, their rooms, all sorts of things. Hey, you may just discover a talent you didn’t know you had!
YOU WILL MASTER TIME JUGGLING
This one really hits home! Baseball moms are master time jugglers. You’re expected to drop kid A off at practice, so you can get kid B to his game on time. You will have to rely on your baseball parent friends to get kid A to kid B’s game after practice, all while your trying to keep kid C and maybe even D, from eating dirt from the field. Your husband is racing from work to make it to the game by the 2nd inning, and hopefully brought some cash for yet another snack bar family dinner on the bleachers. Some of us even throw full-time jobs in the mix, this is where relying on your baseball mom friends really comes in handy! The fam relies on Mom to manage their schedules, get them to the field in a clean uniform, fed, stretched and ready to go.
There is so much that goes into being a Baseball Mom, this list can easily be 100 items long!
Living the baseball mom life is not easy. Truth is, you may run yourself ragged, you will lose sleep, and you will sacrifice a lot. But for every hardship, there is a reward. Watching our kids pour their hearts into their passion is worth it all. Us Baseball Moms wouldn’t have it any other way because we love our ball players, and they love the game.
What is your favorite part of being a Baseball Mom?