The Soccer Mom
I hear this phrase a lot. When I came out to the USA people joked with me that I would become a ‘soccer mom’ and I laughed, not really knowing what one was.
And I’ve been hearing it a lot lately, like it’s a kind of label or badge……
Someone’s hiding the soccer balls….
This is a general synopsis from the ‘interweb’:
‘The phrase soccer mom broadly refers to a North American middle-class suburban woman who spends a significant amount of her time transporting her school-age children to their youth sporting events or other activities. Indices of American magazines and newspapers show relatively little usage of the term until a 1995 Denver city council election. It came into widespread use during the 1996 United States presidential election.’
The soccer mom is sometimes portrayed in the media as busy or overburdened and driving a minivan or SUV. She is also portrayed as putting the interests of her family, and most importantly her children, ahead of her own.
The soccer mom’s next most frequently mentioned characteristics are that “she lives in the suburbs (41.2% of the articles); is a swing voter (30.8%); is busy, harried, stressed out, or overburdened (28.4%); works outside the home (24.6%); drives a minivan, (usually Volvo) station wagon, or sports-utility vehicle (20.9%); is middle-class (17.1%); is married (13.7%); and is white (13.3%).”
A typical soccer mom
The phrase has also taken on a negative aspect. Soccer moms are sometimes accused of forcing their children to go to too many after-school activities; overparenting them in concerted cultivation rather than letting them enjoy their childhood.
I am not a soccer mom. Or am?! I do drive an SUV. And I do live in the suburbs, and I am middle-class and white….
Oh my! [Phones to cancel Harry's after-school swim club....]
This rundown of what it takes to be a soccer mom amused me:
2. Has no job, gets her money from successful husband.
3. Has either a minivan or an SUV.
4. Usually Christian.
5. Child(ren) think they’re “all that” then turn “rebel.”
1. A (ridiculously) over-sized bag.
2. One-inch heels ALL the TIME.
3. Expensive sunglasses.
4. Off-red nail polish on their toenails and fingernails.
5. Optional: Botox
6. Bad makeup.
Children of a soccer mom…
The soccer mom’s child(ren) are often brought up with no free time, doing sports, dance, karate, art, theater, music, you name it. Some children do up to three or four activities a night, then do homework until about 11 at night. In school, a soccer mom’s child(ren) may either be:
a) popular, extremely bitchy, and hang out with the other popular children or
b) extremely bitchy, hang out with children they know from dance, or any other of their millions after-school activities.
A soccer mom’s child(ren) eats little for lunch, though their lunches are always 100 percent organic. During puberty, the once perfect “little angels” begin to “rebel” by…
1. Listening to a song with the word “hell” in it.
2. Wearing the same pair of Gap jeans twice.
3. Staying up past their bedtimes.
4. Have a boyfriend/girlfriend (usually this only applies to a girl, as a soccer mom’s daughter usually feels the need to hide her “illicit” activities from her parents)
5. Kiss this boyfriend/girlfriend… on the cheek.
6. Hug this boyfriend/girlfriend
7. Wear a little bit of makeup (like clear lip gloss.)
Also, a soccer mom’s children either a) grow up to be just like their parents or b) grow up to be nothing like their parents, join Peace Corps, and go live in Afghanistan.
A soccer mom has views about the following….
- All video games rated T and over = pornographic, inappropriate, will kill the minds of their already vegetative children.
- All music with “cuss words” (eg, crap, hell) should be banned in America for the sake of little children (all people under age 18. Sometimes 21.)
- No alcohol whatsoever for people in college (even if they’re over 21.)
- No Co-Ed housing in college. (“We can all be Sorority sisters! How does that sound, Mary Ann?”)
- Heavy Metal, Grunge, Rock, Metal, Death Metal, Alternative= bad. Pop, Country= good, as long as the country is by Carrie Underwood, and even then, certain parts MUST be bleeped out.
- All little girls should be little girls. (eg, “No, Mary Ann, you can’t be a dirty old mechanic when you grow up.”)
- All little boys should be little boys. (eg, “No, Gary Stu, you can’t be a fashion designer like Armani when you grow up.)
- Complete control over everything.
- Ban multiplayer games (eg, Runescape, Club Penguin) in their city/town because “I don’t want MY little angels to be kidnapped” while their “little angels” often have secret accounts on multiplayer games.
- Says often: “I’m sorry, Mary Ann can’t play today. She’s got jazz dance, then hip-hop dance, then we eat dinner as a family, then she’s got ballet.”
Whilst soccer mom is a very, very American phrase – we don’t have the equivalent in the UK that I am aware of. The closest thing in UK is ‘Yummy Mummy’, but in some ways it is also almost the reverse.
‘Yummy mummy’ is a slang term used to describe young, attractive and wealthy mothers.
The term developed in the late 20th century, and was often applied to celebrity mothers such as Liz Hurley or Victoria Beckham, who appeared to quickly regain their pre-pregnancy figures after giving birth, and would continue to lead carefree and affluent lifestyles.
She doesn’t have to hide in the car on the school run…
The stereotypical yummy mummy was described by Nirpal Dhaliwal in The Times as having an existence “bankrolled by a husband working himself to death in the City, [dressing] in designer outfits… carries the latest must-have bag [and] whose hair and nails are perfectly groomed”.
The interweb says this about the yummy mummy set….
‘They would have several children and yet remain a “girl-about-town”, dressing fashionably and appearing well-groomed and carefree.
‘It was reported in 2008 that celebrity yummy mummies were contributing to levels of depression in young mothers, making new mothers feel “saggy, baggy and depressed” about their own bodies.
‘Glamorous girls who shop and lunch their way through pregnancy, proudly displaying their little bumps like the latest designer handbag. They generally see pregnancy as an opportunity to buy a whole new wardrobe with a team of personal shoppers on hand.
‘Yummy mummies disguise bleary eyes with Gucci sunglasses and recommend pregnancy to female friends as a fabulous way to detox.
‘Of course, they are sensible, and understand motherhood means making sacrifices, like and reducing the 90mm heel on their Prada shoes to sensible 65mm.’
And that is the end of the Soccer Mom / Yummy Mummy discussion because I’ve just got to pop off and have a detox drink, whilst removing my 4 inch heels.