When I imagined myself as a mom, I envisioned watching my kids on warm summer Saturdays at the baseball fields. I played softball growing up and I really wanted my children to have that experience too. My kids played one season of baseball and quickly switched to other sports—including hockey.
I had all kinds of visions of what I thought hockey was like and how hockey players behaved. I thought it would be really expensive and a great way for my kid to get a serious injury. In the five years my youngest has been playing hockey, I’ve become so proud of his accomplishments and also how I’ve grown as a mom too. Hockey is a sport unlike anything else, and hockey moms are a group of people unlike anyone else.
The Hockey Smells and Gear
The smell of hockey is best described as an old smelly locker room covered in mildew. Not only do we get to smell hockey at the rink, we get to smell it in our car from the kids and hockey bags, and also at home in bedrooms, laundry rooms, and garages. Did you know there are over 18 pieces of equipment needed to play hockey? Everything from breezers to skates to mouthguards. That means organization is a key skill for hockey moms! I know which settings help get most of the stink out of uniforms (sanitize setting with steam boost) and how to pack all of those items into one huge rolling bag.
Learning To Be Loud
My oldest son loves playing soccer and basketball. In the ten years he has been playing sports, I think I’ve only cheered loudly maybe twice. It’s just not something I am good at doing. Of course I cheer when points are scored or he has a great play, but it is nothing like hockey cheering. Hockey moms will yell, cheer, coach, and loudly at all games—and for all players. The reason for this is simple. Our kids have helmets on and can only hear loud cheers when everyone comes together and cheers simultaneously. I knew I found my calling as a hockey mom during the first tournament game I watched my son play. It was really fun to cheer loudly along with the other moms!
Hockey Moms Unite
By far the biggest surprise of being a hockey mom is becoming friends with so many really great moms. I have met some wonderful moms in other sports, but none like the hockey moms in Des Moines. We have been lucky to travel to out of town tournaments and that means pizza parties by the pools and dinners out with teammates. This big group of friends has great kids to root for—on and off the ice. We cheer for each other’s kids, help them tie skates when needed, and feel the big emotions that come with winning and losing. We’re in this together and hockey is the only sport where I look forward to nights when we have practices and games. This means I get to hang out with my hockey family!
I have learned a lot about off-sides, icing, hockey stops, and face-offs. I am there to tape hockey sticks, tie skates, and provide first and second dinners on hockey nights. More importantly, I am there with a hug when games don’t go as hoped, words of encouragement when tryouts are rough, and high fives when new skills are acquired and goals are made. I love my life as a Hockey Mom!