by EM RUSCIANO
The further I get into this parenting caper, the more I realise that there are serious cracks in the system.
I acknowledge that I have a some what unconventional style of Mothering and I certainly do not proclaim to have all if any of the answers but I do believe that I have uncovered a blind spot, a break in the matrix, a weakness in the force that needs addressing.
It’s the whole telling kids that “winning and performance doesn’t matter” situation.
Here is a predicament I found myself in recently. I want you all to read it and put yourself in my place honestly and truly. If you want to method act: I was wearing jeans, converse and a leopard print hoodie. I was feeling a little weary and had a slight headache from lack of caffeine and sleep. Are you all there? GREAT!
Totally superfluous side note alert: My kid is a state level track and field athlete, we have the t-shirts and medals to prove it. Over the weekend she competed in the Eastern Metropolitan regional relays. This is the pre-cursor to the Victorian state relays. It’s not a come and try day, it’s not even a regular low-key comp day. It’s a legit ‘let’s get this sh*t done while in matching hair ribbons and uniforms’ day.
A mother of one of my daughter Chella’s team mates organised the team. And she was a bloody marvel. She made excel spread sheets, sent emails, paid registration fees and did all the things I’ve heard mothers are supposed to do but have never been able to accomplish myself.
I arrived to be told that we had five girls and as each relay consisted of four, there was a complicated rotation system being put in place. This was to ensure that the whole thing was FAIR and that everyone had FUN. (This was a fact of which I would have been aware had I have bothered to read the series of aforementioned organisational emails.)
What the what? I had given up a whole Sunday to sit in the rain, after two dancing concerts, Friday night maths comp and a full week at work, to just have FUN?! ARSE TO THAT! I thought – let’s try and win this shit!
Obviously this is inner sanctum stuff, it’s just between us guys – I would have never said that out loud in the public arena.
I have come to learn that sometimes my thoughts and reactions to certain situations may be looked upon as strange. So I am forced to live a double life. You see, on the inside I am a hard line, psycho stage Mum, internally fist pumping every time my brilliant daughter wins a race. On the outside I think I read as a supportive, slightly nutty, enthusiastic Mum with an eye twitch.
Yes, it is exhausting being me.
As I allowed the first race to go down, it became apparent that some of the girls weren’t as fast as the others. It also became apparent that if we were to have any hope of making state finals (which was the aim of the day) we needed to run our strongest team at all times regardless of fairness.
The girls also figured this out for themselves.