Weighing In: Mom Takes a Goal-Winning Nap

Photo: Glennon Doyle’s Facebook 

I truly cannot say that I find myself weighing in very often on things that go viral. Depending on what it is, I may share it with my husband, if it is a cute, viral video, but more often than not, I just scroll through it on Facebook and don’t take a second glance.

That is, until I read —

This Mom Fully Napping at a Kid’s Soccer Game Is the Real MVP, Deserves All the Trophies 

as the headline of this article from Popsugar Moms. Yes, it certainly grabbed my attention, to say the least.

I should probably start this by saying, that this is an absolute judge-free zone, but let me give a brief synopsis of the article. A woman, we will call her Susie, is at her kid’s last soccer game of the season. In the midst of all the commotion, she succumbs to her exhaustion, and decides to lay down for  a nap on the sidelines. Glennon Doyle, who snapped a photo of the mom, and posted it to her Instagram, is touting her as a hero; a spirit animal, of sorts. 

This really got my wheels turning. Now, I do not know the sleeping woman’s situation, by any means. She may be a single mother, working several jobs to make ends meet, and just could not stay awake any longer. 

Truthfully, it was this part of the Instagram post’s caption, that had such an element of sadness to me:

…”Please understand that periodically- when the sideline yelled and woke her from her warrior sleep- she would raise that little thumb of hers and say: yay. And then she’d go back to sleep.”

I know that when I was a kid, it meant the WORLD to me to have my parents present at any one of the events I participated in. I wasn’t much of an athlete, but it meant just as much to have my parents show up to a silly, little award ceremony. There’s a part of me, that for a fraction of a second, feels sad for this woman’s child. Can you imagine scoring a winning goal and looking for your mom’s reaction, and you find her, laying on the sideline, taking a nap? It is moments like that that can have a serious impact on a kid for the rest of their lives. Yes, I acknowledge that the mother is physically present at the game, but does showing up and napping really count? 

Again, like I said, I pass no judgment. Truthfully, I am very torn on how I feel about this. 

On the one end, even though I may not be a parent yet, I can understand how utterly exhausting being a parent is. However, on the flip side of the coin, little moments matter to a child, and as hard as it is growing up in today’s society, I cannot imagine how that child would feel if his classmates saw the mom napping, and continuously tortured and bullied him about it when they returned to school. 

What are your thoughts on this? Is this woman really a hero and just showing the real, sometimes ugly, truth of being a parent? Or, should she have just been honest and asked a friend to step in for her, so she could get some much needed R&R at home? 

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  1. I’m going to throw it back to the old adage: If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
    A well rested momma is good for everyone. Especially moms who generally ends up being the linchpin in the family. My mom worked 12 hour shifts in a hospital that was over 30 miles from home. I rarely saw her at my games. But it’s all good. I learned to cheer for myself. However, that was back in the 80’s and 90’s. Not exactly the most “touchy-feely” generation of parents.
    There’s ways of showing your children you care for them and support them. They don’t always have to be pre-prescribed by what all the other parents are doing. More importantly, each family is different. If your kid thinks the only way to feel supported is to have you watching their every movement at a soccer game, then do your best to be present and ever watchful. If your kid understands you have needs, they have needs, and it’ll all work out in the end, then doesn’t everyone win? (Support from many directions, Dana!)

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