As a man having witnessed the miracle of childbirth first hand, I can tell you that all the times I thought I was working really hard and feeling exhausted I would consider to be comical compared to what I witnessed.
Seriously. A joke.
What was I worried about having to ride a bike for 30 seconds to push 1400 watts against 9% body weight resistance? Or having to get on the line and skate down and back?
They literally do that 3-4 times every contraction, with a minute or two of rest. Continuously. For hours.
FOR F*&%ING HOURS!
Are you kidding me???
And then they need to actually have the child pulled out of them.
I must seriously confess, I did not have this level of appreciation for every mother before having witnessed this. I definitely respected women and I thought I understood what they did. But, not to this extent. Not before seeing it like that. God bless you all.
But I definitely do now.
One thing that popped into my head was to let my mom know that I was so thankful for what she did for me. I appreciated that on an entirely different level now.
What we do as young athletes is get up early for practice. Often, we were completely out of it until we got onto the ice.
What’s crazy is that we probably would get up 30 minutes before that practice. But our parents would usually be up at least 30 mins prior to that, getting things ready.
Dad would be prepping the equipment to put it on. Mom would be making breakfast. This is 5am. On Saturday morning.
They made it easy for us as kids to just show up. They did all the hard work.
On The Way
This is where the mom role really starts to stand out.
On the way to games, dads are typically more stressed than moms because of the external pressure of the performance that correlates to what others think of them.
Mom, however, is focussed on giving her son/daughter the most encouragement she can. This is what gives us good feelings entering into competition when we are kids. This is so subtly one of the biggest differentiators in a child’s performance. If we are happy and feel encouraged, there is a significantly greater chance that we will perform well. Great job mom, for providing that emotional support.
This is the part that most parents get confused about. How do they show support for their child?
I’ll tell you this straight up: If you’re the parent that is yelling at the officials and the coaches and blaming everyone else’s kid, be prepared that your child will feel that repercussion.
That’s not a threat. That’s more a guarantee.
Often, what starts out as good intention turns into blame. When really, the only thing that should matter is cheering for your son/daughter and their team. Yes it’s ok to cheer loudly for a great play or a goal for. No it’s not going to turn out in your favour if you yell at the coach to use your son/daughter more.
Here’s where moms can make a difference. They just show love. They just cheer for their kids and their friends to do well. If they score, great! If they get scored on, oh well let’s get it back!
When they do this, the kids and the parents feel a sense of friendship towards one another, and it builds a great team atmosphere, from the players to the parents. The parents are just as much a part of the team as anyone. And if they know their role, they will be a great asset to the team.
This is how supportive moms make a positive impact.
The thing we look for after each game is some feedback. Whether we like what we hear or not, we still want it. Usually, dads are a little more willing to offer some analysis, but sometimes it can be taken the wrong way and there might be some resistance. But either way, we are still happy that dad has watched.
But from our moms, we know we can find that safe zone.
If we had a great game, they will let us know with a hug. If we had a terrible game, they will let us know that it will all be fine with that same hug.
If you want to know how many hugs I got after a game as a kid, we would have to do some research on how many games my mom was in attendance for and that would be the number.
Truth be told, she didn’t miss any until I moved away from home and still then, she saw every one of them that was available to watch online or on tv. And even after those ones, without exception, I would get a message saying, “good game son! I love you.”
I don’t know what to say about that, honestly, other than thank you mom.
How could I NOT have been a pro hockey player with that level of support?!
What it Meant
Honestly guys, I am much more a product of how I was parented than the hard work I did to get here.
Seriously, they sacrificed so much for me to do this.
They made it easy because of all the hard work they did when no one was watching, and when everyone was watching.
But, man, my mom…. She really kicks ass.
I mean seriously, if you’re getting texts after all of your games even with a 6-hour time difference to say, “good game! I love you.” … You are winning. In life. Not just hockey. In life.
That’s my mom. She’s the best.