Why it’s worth standing on the sidelines once a week.





When I say that I’m a sideline parent, I don’t mean it figuratively. Every week I stand on actual, physical sidelines watching my boys play soccer. And the games are never at the same location. Oh no. That would be way too organised. They are mostly at different fields so there is a lot of juggling and rushing around.

But that’s all part of the fun. And as long as each location has my beloved coffee van, I’m all set.

When I was little I didn’t do activities. We didn’t live in an area with a lot of organised sports for my mum to sign me up to. But we had a huge backyard, and it became my playground. My siblings became my teammates and my parents were our coaches and refs, for all of our invented games.

My boys play soccer through there school.

Now that I’m a mum, we live in a house with a very small backyard. But there are lots of brilliantly organised sports for us to choose from. And not all of them cost a

fortune. And all of them involve coffee carts.

So my boys both play soccer through their school. They play outdoor soccer during winter and indoor soccer during summer. They also go to swimming classes, as does

their sister. But I haven’t signed her up for any activities outside of swimming yet, mainly because she can’t decide what she wants to do. Dancing, netball, karate…every week she has a different choice and no matter how often I explain that she has to choose just one and then stick with it, she keeps changing her mind.

I am pushing for netball. They don’t wear makeup at netball and I never did get the hang of tying those karate belts when the boys were doing classes.

I’m a sideline parent and she’s a sideline sibling. She gets just as much out of watching them as they do from playing. She stands there with me on the sidelines, yelling out encouragement and clapping and cheering. Just like a little cheerleader.



Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Nestlé. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words. 

There’s so much joy in watching a group of children running around and playing, being healthy and having fun. And while none of my children have yet shown the talent of future professional sportspeople, I see how much they get out of it each and every week.

Sure, the coffee isn’t the best. Sure, it’s either freezing cold during the outdoor soccer season or blisteringly hot during the indoor soccer season. Sure, I could have used a bit of a Saturday sleep in. Sure, I didn’t have time to do my hair or iron my top.

The kids love it.

But look at my boys – at the smiles on their faces, standing with all their little friends. Yep, hand me a sausage sandwich with extra sauce please.

Whether you sign your children up for organised sport or regularly get together with friends to kick a ball around at your local park, you’ll start to notice that your kids are more confident, have more friends and better friendships and enjoy physical activity, and actually look forward to it.

And while I know it’s going to be hard to taxi three children to three different sporting grounds next year, I’m going to do my best to get them all to Saturday morning sport knowing how much they love it and how much they get out of it. I’m also going to try to get to our local park more often and just run around with a ball and have fun.

Sometimes I stand on the sidelines, watching and cheering and offering encouragement. Sometimes I get in there and help them warm up or even play. When they let me.

Not everything I do as a parent is fun but it’s always worth it in the end. And if they win their game, well – that’s just an added bonus. And the sausage sandwiches more than make up for any moments of disappointment. And egg and bacon rolls.

And coffee.


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