The hardest thing I have ever done is be a parent. Being a parent of athletes just adds one more element of complexity to the mix. I know I am not perfect regardless how well-intended I may be. I always have my kids’ best interest at heart, even if I make a fool of myself in the process. God forbid, I embarrass them by what I do or say. My kids are the most amazing people in the world. I believe in all of them, support their dreams, and encourage them to the point of utter exhaustion. I constantly question whether I am doing what’s best for them. Am I doing too much? Am I doing too little? Are they with the right program, taking the right steps, getting the most optimum coaching? I wear that weight, as their mom, on my shoulders knowing full-well that there is no right answer. I let myself get down. I worry I screwed up. I know it doesn’t do me any good, but it's because I wish I could be more perfect for them.
But what is perfect? How is it defined? It’s a mixed bag of do’s and don’ts dictated by the situation and who’s making the rules. Don’t cheer all the time, but just at the right moment. Don’t be too loud, but loud enough to be heard. Don’t come watch, but somehow be there. Let them own it, but remember we’re all in this together. Encourage them to be proud, but not boastful (only I get to do that).
Ultimately, I know there is no such thing as perfection except on the days when everyone walks away from said event happy with the performance. Those are the days I feel I have succeeded at parenting my child athletes. I know full well that I could duplicate that day tomorrow with a completely different take away. I do the best I can to keep it balanced. It is such a freaking small line we walk in the world of imperfect parenting.