HockeyNow’s Mike Toth recently wrote an article about beating hockey burnout. In it he wrote that there is a real danger in year-round hockey in exhausting a child and diminishing their interest in the game altogether. He also stressed that playing other sports in the off-season serves as valuable mental and physical development once they do return to the rink. Yet despite the risks of year-yound hockey, “some hockey parents are willing to push the envelope.” Toth writes that, “A commonly expressed fear … is that if their child doesn't focus on hockey 12 months of the year, they might get left behind.”
Despite the controversy, and the risk of burnout, year-round hockey is alive and well in many parts of Canada and many hockey moms are along for the ride. So what about hockey mom burnout? It may come as a surprise to our hockey playing kids, but there is such a thing as hockey mom burnout too!
Most hockey moms have barely exhaled following the completion of the regular season and are now already shuttling players around for spring hockey or 4-on-4. We don’t give it a second thought, but there is little downtime for year-round hockey moms. And every single hockey mom I know will say, “as long as s/he is passionate about hockey, I will do whatever it takes” despite the toll it will take on them (by “them,” I mean the hockey moms, of course!).
A fellow hockey mom I know, Sharon Enck (aka Puckgal), wrote an article providing advice for hockey moms to take care of themselves. It inspired me to consider a few other ways that hockey moms could counter hockey mom burnout. So next time you’re feeling overwhelmed and exhausted as a hockey mom, consider these options:
1. Keep a pillow in your car. Along with that trusty hockey blanket, you now have all you need for a cozy little afternoon nap during Junior’s one-hour practice. (Note: whatever you do, don’t invite your husband. Just don't.)
2. Go to bed early at least one of the two hockey tournament hotel nights. Enlist the support of another hockey mom and do a home-away sleepover for your player at the hotel. That way you both get one good night’s sleep! (Just make sure your room is not next to the party room!)
3. Get a pedicure at the mall next to the arena. There’s a whole hour before game time and the schedule is running late anyway. You didn’t want to be in that dressing room pre-game anyway, did you?! Despite the fact that you’ll look like a freak in flip flops in an arena in January, you and your feet will feel like a million bucks!
4. Go get a really weird and wonderful specialty coffee and use an alias name like Bella or Principessa to order it. Oh we all know, Timmies is the drink of champion hockey moms, but maybe this once you could get yourself a delectable caramelized honey hockey latte or a cinnamon dolce deke latte. And make it a double shot espresso one if it’s your turn to babysit the kids at the pool after the game!
5. Stay home. I know; this one is a tough one for hockey moms to follow through on. Hockey mom love watching their kids’ games and love the road trips, but if you’re harbouring thoughts of dumping your kid and equipment at the nearest street corner, strangling that referee, or pouring a double-double over the coach’s head, it’s probably a pretty good sign that you should send your spouse this time, or ask a fellow hockey mom to do you a favour.
It’s pretty seldom that a hockey moms will put herself first once in a while, yet I think it’s perfectly ok to do so. In fact, I encourage it. It will renew your love of minor hockey and ensure you don’t put your kid up for adoption.
Three cheers for the pampered hockey mom – she deserves a break once in a while.
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