I was wondering this, I have agreed to be a substitute driver for my nephew to soccer practice. Indoor soccer for now, but he tends to be playing year round in some sort or another.
Anyway, I’m noticing that the most of the soccer moms drive large SUV’s or Mini-vans, and they tend to be particularly voracious when it comes to their team winning. Most seem to be oddly well put together for these affairs, most are dressed quite trendy and look like they have had their hair recently done, and all want to know everything and anything that is going on. The first time I brought said Nephew to the game I was barraged with questions. Oddly, 7 out of ten moms asked if I was married or single
Here’s my list of consistencies.
[li]Drive large SUV’s or Mini-vans[/li][li]Enjoy chatting people up like a White House reporter[/li][li]Voracious Team Cheerleaders[/li][li]Have bags and bags of snacks, gatorade, oranges…[/li][li]Dress up, almost overly trendy.[/li][li]Tend to be somewhat flirty.[/li][/ul]
Is this the same in other countries, other than the U.S.?
Well, I don’t know about a couple of your points–I never get close enough–but the rest seem to be accurate.
Our house is across the street from a park where the kids play organized soccer in the spring and summer. My wife and I will often sit out on our verandah in the late afternoons and early evenings, and so, we get to see the wonder that is organized suburban kids’ soccer. Yes, there are SUVs and minivans parked all around the park perimeter; yes, the Moms (and a few Dads) bring the lawn chairs and the bags of snacks; yes, they cheer like crazy; and yes, they tend to dress up–better than one might think for going to a park. I don’t know about the flirtiness (like I said, I never get close enough), but they do seem to be awfully chatty with each other.
So, probably about the same, at least in this part of Canada.
It depends on how old the kid is, really. Little kids (ages 5-10ish) = 20s-30s age mom on average. Teenagers and 'tweens (11-18ish) = 30s-50s age mom. The soccer moms in my area tend to be bad drivers (well, everyone tends toward bad driving here!), and the “nosy” factor is attributed to them mostly being SAHMs (stay at home moms) with some sort of need for their kids to be perfect (and, for that matter, perfectly protected from the “evils” of the world).
Some Soccer Mom types will be really involved in all aspects of their kids’ lives, which can either be a burden or a blessing on the kid’s school system and public libraries. (It’s a complicated set of issues. Some parents think their unruly child is perfect, and some good kids have parents that go out or their way to be a public nuisance to anyone and everyone they come across. There’s a lot of issues with “child friendly books” vs. “freedom of information” in some areas of the US, and sometimes small groups of people will turn a small issue into a large, dramatic perceived issue that does not reflect the situation at hand. I see overzealous “soccer moms” as being a good portion of the people who are involved in the banning of books.)
I don’t think there’s so much an age stereotype as a drive stereotype. Soccer Moms are driven to see their children succeed. The idea is that this is a woman in a world of working women, who probably had a job out of college, but has decided to give that up for her kids. Now that her kids are a little older (of team soccer playing age), she’s got huge spans of empty time which she fills keeping the perfect house for the perfect husband and the perfect children. If her kids don’t do well as soccer, she feels it’s because she’s a failure as a mother. So there’s a lot of pressure on those kids to win, all while she and the other moms are telling each other they’re just there to have fun.
The soccer mom does not shop at the dollar store or go the vaccine clinic instead of a private doc or drive a 10 year old car. She’s not a SAHM because her earning potential wouldn’t cover daycare. She is well off, or deep in debt to appear well off, and she’s investigating private preschools to get her future child into a good one while she’s still pregnant. She’s most definitely on the PTA.
She’s a subset of yuppie, basically. Have you seen Weeds? Those women in the PTA are soccer moms.
I’m not it’s quite that good natured. It can be a pretty sneering comment when some people say it. For me it’s not that bad, it has always had a bit of a negative eye-brow raised “she forgot how to live her own life, and now lives vicariously through her kid’s activities”
The reason why it can be really bad is that some of these soccer moms never grow out of living vicariously through their kids’ activities and end up becoming persistent nags to their adult children. Well, at least this is what I’ve seen with some soccer moms whose kids are adults.
Actually I was starting to rethink my definition for the same reason. It’s been used derogatorily, sometimes to denigrate the idea of stay-at-home Moms as’‘typical’’ women and other times to specifically attack women living vicariously through their children. I guess it would all depend on the tone used, but not many of the descriptions in this thread are all that flattering and that suggests you are correct.
I’m not sure how I would feel about being called a soccer Mom. I totally intend to attend my future child’s games and be friendly while doing so, but I don’t buy into the materialistic/social-status/vicariously living through your kids part of it. I guess it depends on whether that was the intent behind the label, or not. I often think of ‘‘Soccer Mom’’ as a friendly way of noting someone is really into their kids (not necessarily in a bad way.) Just depends I guess.
Well, there’s the soccer mom stereotype, and there’s the soccer mom. I’m a soccer mom, in that both kids have played for years and years, with the older kid being “scouted” by smaller colleges. But I don’t fit most of the sterotypes you’ve mentioned so far.
Never owned either a minivan or SUV, never involved in PTA, stayed away from the gossiping (there can be some odd competitiveness), wouldn’t dream of chatting up a stranger unless (maybe) the child was a friend of my child’s, and only a SAHM sporadically–and most of the soccer moms of my acquaintence worked outside the home. Oops. I’ll cop to some rabid cheering, and berating opposing players getting physical with our players.
Phlosphr, I’m guessing from the oranges/gatorade/etc. that your nephew is young? If yes, I’d say it’s just young moms wanting to still feel pretty. Nothin’ wrong with that.
Soccer doesn’t have the same role in other societies that it has here. It is associated with middle-class suburban life, especially the upper-middle-class. The term was originally came from political market research. It was a swing constituency that both the Democrats and republicans were pursuing, back in the early 90s.
So, no, of course not. Hell, most soccer moms in the US aren’t Soccer Moms.
“Huge spans of empty time”? Who’s got that? I don’t. Where do I get me some of those huge spans of empty time? (And I only have two kids…)
Sorry, can’t help otherwise. My kid doesn’t play soccer, she takes kung-fu in a garage. I do drive a mini-van; it’s great for throwing stuff in the back and for ferrying other people’s children. Also when we got it I thought we would have more kids. Also it was cheap and runs OK–it’s an old Aerostar. I’m not sure how “mini” it is.
I think you pretty much nailed it. That sure describes one of my sisters. They spend pretty much every waking moment devoted to soccer or carting her kids from one game to the next.
Regular soccer isn’t enough. They join traveling teams so they spend hours in the car going from game to game. Then there are the soccer camps and private coaches. And it’s not just soccer, they’re overboard on every sport. The first thing her kids do when they get home is workout. Running around for 5 hours isn’t enough. Fitness is everything.
And forget about holidays and birthdays. The MOST important thing in their lives and their kids lives are sports, period.
After reading this thread, I sure am glad I’m not a soccer mom. (I do happen to be a mom who has 3 children and a husband playing soccer year round.)
I don’t drive an suv or minivan. I don’t gossip, although I am friendly with several of the other parents. I dress for the weather, not looks. I don’t think I’m flirty, just friendly. I will admit to bringing snacks and drinks (spending up to 4 hrs a day at various fields, you need too). I am quite the cheerleader, and hoping to teach my kids good sportsmanship, I tend to cheer for both teams.