I decided to write a piece for the new/future mom’s, that will earn the title of Hockey Mom, from my experiences and the ones that have been through or are currently in this awesome journey. I had the joy of getting some information from experienced hockey moms that have gone through every aspect of the game! It was fun to hear some of the other hockey moms answers to my questions. Some things about being a hockey mom are hilarious, like the hockey slang you hear come out of your child’s mouth. Other things are quite serious, like when your child falls and hits their head on the boards. I hope that if you are on the road to being a hockey mom or are already in the process that you can take at least one thing away from this piece.
Being a hockey mom is something special. Some may think that it is no different than other sport, myself and other hockey moms would disagree. One hockey mom says “Our tolerance for “stink” is much higher because we have the stinky kids but also the stinky gear with us in a small environment for a decent length of time”. Another mom said “ Mostly the smell. No other Mom gets to live 8 months out of the year with her house and vehicles smelling like a dead goat's butt and call it entertainment.” I would have to agree with them! If you ever see kids that are or just got done playing hockey and they are sticking their hands in another players face it’s because the smell from inside their glove is horrific and they are trying make the other person pass out. As a current hockey mom, please for the love everything that is good, when your child says “hey mom, smell my hand” JUST SAY NO! One other thing that makes us special, is that we are the one type of sports mom that chooses to sit in an ice rink with an average temperature of 17-24 F. At least for warm sports you can try to get a tan!
I have talked to quite a few hockey moms, and there doesn’t seem to be any certain age children start at. You have my child who started skating at 14 months, dad’s idea, then you have some kids that didn’t start until they were 11. Some love it and never leave it and end up playing in the NHL. Other ones try it for a year or two and say that is enough. No matter how long they play remember to:
1.Always make the game fun. If your child hates playing then what is the point. Pushing and criticizing is just mean!
2.Always have hand warmers and your warmest gloves with you because an arena could have been warm last time you were there but it might be the coldest arena ever this time!
3.Creating a system for your player to pack their bag will save you a lot of time and less trips running home for something they forgot.
4.Support your player, even when you are at 5 am practices. Hockey moms are the ones who are the first one to get up and the last one to go down at night. They will appreciate it one day!
5. No matter how nice or how reasonable the ref is...at some point during the game you will throw a "I Hope You Get Impetego" curse at him. And mean it. (I love hockey moms)
6. Drink CAFFEINATED beverages. You will need it!
Along the way Hockey can seem like second nature, getting started however can seem a little scary. One hockey moms #1 piece of advice is to learn the game and rules before your player starts. It will definitely help you in the long run. Another thing is the gear, everyone has their favorite Bauer, CCM, Vaughn, Vaper or True Sticks. There are more brands but making sure that all the gear fits properly is the most important thing. Coaches, sales people and other hockey parents are normally great at helping. Some other things you will learn is the language like barn=arena, flow/lettuce=a players hair, chirping= smack talk, top shelf= goal in upper part of net. There are many more that you will hear. You can check out our you tube video that goes over more terms like this, www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESt1ZtxUoDs. Also, some food tips are always helpful through my survey I found that most moms try to focus on carbs and protein. Things like nuts, beef jerky, Peanut butter and apples, String cheese, protein balls, granola bars, chocolate milk, raw veggies and even peanut butter and banana sandwiches. One quick and easy restaurant that moms have discussed is Subway, you can get everything they need with out the deep fried aspect.
There are good and bad parts about being a hockey mom, some moms say the worse part is the driving in bad weather, some it is the self induced poverty, and others say it is watching their kids get hurt. Some good parts though are watching your child that worked so hard gain self confidence on the ice, watch them score a goal and do a celly after, and seeing the smile on their face knowing that they are enjoying themselves. Some of us have hilarious moments from hockey such as watching a player jump over the boards to skate but never took their skate guards off, while others accidentally take someone’s table at the hotel breakfast area due to a language barrier and the fact their actual table was right behind them.
Hockey mom’s are truly one of a kind. We are loud at games, but comforting when our child gets hurt. We live on caffeine and use a lot of Febreeze. We are exceptional at dealing with cold, thank you hand warmers! We are the best cheer leaders in the world, we are loud and proud. As much stress as hockey can bring into your life, it is worth every penny, long drive, early morning, snack/food run, and hotel stay. I wouldn’t change any of it!