10 Reasons Being An Olympic Mom Would Suck

Getting your kids to be athletes is always a great idea – until they are actually good at it. Then I imagine your life becomes an endless loop of practices, injuries and obligations. The P&G Olympics ads – while beautiful and touching – reminds me that I never want to be an Olympic mom:



That might be one of the sweetest things I have ever seen. It manages to encompass what it means to be an Olympic athlete – the dedication, the disappointment, the drive – and also what it means to be a mom – all in two minutes time. Aww…

There is still no way in hell I want to be an Olympic mom. Here’s why:


4 a.m. Wake-Up Calls

60% Of Your Adult Life Is Spent At Sporting Events Or In Carpools

You Have To Pretend Losing Doesn’t Matter

There Will Be Inevitable Trips To The ER

The Other Sports Moms

The Dumb Jokes And Small Talk During Meets

The Obligation

The Agony Of Watching Your Child Lose

Worrying About Terrorist Attacks

Brown Water

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  • AP

    The thing I hate most about the Olympics is that when you factor all the time, money, and sacrifice spent on training, the return on investment is terrible. Especially when you count in injuries that might prevent them from physically pursuing future endeavors.

    It’s not to say that we shouldn’t appreciate the hard work of all of the athletes and congratulate our winners, since everyone there is the best of the best. But it’s something to keep in mind when we watch the schmaltzy commercials of six year olds on skis or toddlers in figure skating outfits.

  • SA

    Amen to this. I always say I want my kid to be mediocre and happy. I don’t want a genius or an Olympian…I just want a kid that does well enough at what they love. Part of it is I believe she’ll have a happier life that way and the other part is that I am lazy.

  • emilyg25

    My in-laws have kids who are super competitive swimmers. They’re obviously very proud, but all I can ever think of is how miserable I’ll be if I breed competitive athletes. So expensive! And boring! And dangerous!

    Fortunately, given our genes and general inclination, it doesn’t seem very likely.

  • kay

    We’ve discussed what olympic sports our baby could do. The only one we agree on is curling, because curling is awesome. I keep getting shot down on rhythmic gymnastics because my husband hates joy and doesn’t want baby girl to get a gold medal in RIBBON DANCING.

    But no skiing, ice skating, or other shit where I’ll be cold and watching you break your leg baby girl, none of those.

  • Jallun-Keatres

    I’m dreading sports SO BAD because of *those parents.*

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      I was too but I’m pleased to say, while there are clearly some nutball parents around, you may end up lucky. We had the most laid back soccer team I think I’ve ever seen and I actually enjoyed the games (even if we lost…like…almost every time). I can’t believe I’m saying that aloud.

    • Jallun-Keatres

      Yay there is hope!

  • Rachel Sea

    I wanted to be an Olympic equestrian. I did well for a while, but then it turned out I hated competitions, because the other competitors were a bunch of crazy bitches, so my family was off the hook.

    • pixie

      I got lucky that I didn’t compete in horse shows until my third year of university in a very small region (on the intercollegiate horse show association circuit) so I missed most of the crazy bitches. There were a few of them, but not nearly as many as when I’d go help at the horse shows kids from my home barn attended in the summer, and even still not many there because they were low-level schooling shows. My coach isn’t a fan of the politics involved in the equestrian world. Her and her daughters showed at some high level events, and she would bring a rider to a higher level event if they wanted it and she thought they were ready, but she preferred sticking to schooling shows were there was a lot less pressure on the kids and fewer crazies.
      Some of the coaches, though…they frightened me.

    • Rachel Sea

      My very first big show I was warming up in the same ring as another girl who was crying because she was getting SCREAMED at by her trainer for making a mistake. When we passed each other, I asked her if she was okay, and she gave me a dirty look, and flipped me off. I was 10 and she was probably 8 or 9. It was my first inclination that maybe shows were when everyone was actually at their worst.

    • pixie

      Oh wow. That’s…something. For a 9 year old to flip off another kid.
      I’m frequently thankful I managed to find a good coach who doesn’t charge an insane amount and doesn’t scream/yell at students. She can be a tad scary sometimes, but it’s more the thick Irish accent than anything else. Not that Irish accents are scary, but when you’re being told off for not listening it can be.

  • Lala

    And how come those commercials only talk about the moms. My dad also schlepped me around to tons of sporting events in addition to my mom.

  • Justme

    I guess it depends on your perspective. Next week we are on tap to attend five nights worth of basketball games because my husbands season is wrapping up. I love going to games because I love watching the girls get better and succeed. And the games can get pretty exciting. I have no problem with about 80% of your list, but I also have been happily involved in sports since I was 8. My three-year-old actually starts soccer next week (it’s all her idea and it’s going to be hilarious). As long as she’s happy playing, I’m more than willing to support her wherever it takes her. And the same can be said if she chooses to pursue arts or music instead.

  • Holo The Wise Wolf

    What is WRONG with this person????? This may be the most selfish article I have ever read!! This writer basically just said they only ever want their child to be the epitome of average! Because godforbid they excel at something and “inconvenience” you. I mean really??

    I for one would be PROUD to be an Olympic mom, because it would mean my kid is pursuing their passion and achieving their dreams, what more could a mom ever possibly want??

    I can’t wait until my son discovers his first passion, be it sports or gymnastics or dancing or science or art or magic or whatever little seed is currently growing in his heart. And you can believe I will be all over it, we’ll buy the things or go to the places or enter the classes or whatever it takes to help him succeed! Why would I do that when it would “inconvenience” me? The answer is simple, I love my kid and I want him to have a happy and fulfilling life. Because that’s my job, because I’m his mom.

    (I do feel sorry for this writers kids though)