The Mommy Track: #derbymomproblems
Generally speaking, yoga moms don’t come home with impact bruises. Zumba moms don’t have a cadre of friends who call them by a different name – possibly one implying violence and/or debauchery. And it’s usually frowned upon when PTA moms knock each other down. Derby moms are a breed unto themselves, and the Outfit boasts its share of hard-skating, life-juggling, attending-parent-teacher-conferences-with-rink-rash supermoms. The other moms at school or around the neighborhood can’t believe we play roller derby; we have trouble understanding why they don’t.
I asked the Outfit moms to share the good, the bad and the hilariously awkward moments of balancing derby with parenthood – that time we caught our toddler trying on our mouth guard, or when a little one learned to read and asked exactly what a teammate’s derby name meant. Here are a few of our favorite #derbymomproblems, from some of our favorite Chicago Outfit derby moms….
From Nicomatose’s four-year-old son --
"New bearings, my love. I am putting new bearings on my skates." "Hi mommy! Putting blueberries on your skates?"
His advice for jammers?
"You need to skate faster! Stop getting stuck in that crowd of people! Otherwise it gets all crazy!"
And while crying at open skate: "Stop dancing, mommy. Stop dancing on your skates. You are EMBARRASSING me!"
Sam EH Shocker’s four-year-old daughter is as busy as we are --
"Mom I have a big wolla derby game tonight, I have to practice.
Pippi Long Smackings realizes that there are unintended side effects to playing roller derby --
Roller derby has certainly brought out my inner truck driver. I was thinking that playing derby would help me take out my aggression on the track, but I found that I swear WAY more at home now than I ever did before! Although I'm happy to announce that I haven't heard my two year old drop the F-bomb yet, I am starting to wonder if I made the right choice explaining what 'don't be a douchebag' means to my 10 year old!
The Big Lebekski’s four-year-old son obviously gets what we do --
Whenever I'm lifting something heavy my four-year-old, Blaine always says, ‘You are so strong, Mama, because you play roller derby!’
He also sings a song called Derby Girls. It goes like this:
"Derby Girls, Derby Girls, Derby-Derby-Derby Girls! They're so cute! They're so sweet! Derby-Derby-Derby Girls!”
He has also said that he wants to marry a derby girl when he grows up, with blue pink or yellow hair.
And we wish him the best of luck with that. Sounds like he already knows all the awesomeness he’d be in for.
We already know that Jane Flinch is an amazing woman, but derby helped show her that her kids think so, too --
After seeing me in my first bout, my fourteen-year-old told me I was a badass, but if I ever told anyone he said that, he would deny it.
And my best moment was seeing my wife and kids in their matching Outfit shirts, cheering me on with signs that were the individual letters of my name (F-L-I-N-C-H) that they secretly made the night before the bout.
Ante Madder is a machine, both on and off the track. Her schedule alone proves how much we love this sport, and her family knows it --
4am-6a: Up, run/yoga, shower, dress
6a-7a: Get kids moving and prepped for school
7a-6p: Work, commute, check derby updates, deal with kid issues like doctor appointments, activity scheduling and college preparations
6p-8:30p: Make dinner, touch base with kids, dress for derby, tend to paperwork and bills, and usually a bit more work.
11:30-12:30: Shower, check tomorrow’s to-do list
12:30-4a: Sleep like the dead and start over... My 16-year-old: Skating tonight?
Me: Yeah, sorry to bug out again.
My 13-year-old: Go, derby keeps you happy.
And finally, Busty Broke’Her has gone from mortifying her teen daughter to watching derby benefit both herself and her children --
My kids were pre-teens when I started playing roller derby. They were embarrassed about it for a long time. When the seasons changed, and it was no longer dark when I left for practice, my daughter (then 13, now 15) would beg: "Mom, PLEASE do NOT go out IN THE LIGHT OF DAY with your derby clothes on!"
As time went on, and my kids would come to see me play, they got more comfortable with it. Julia thought it was cool to sit with the team at away games. Our teammates made her feel included. She was allowed to come into the locker room for pre-game strategy talks. It gave her a new understanding of derby, her mom, and Team.
My son, 14, will hip check me randomly in the kitchen to see if I counter block or if he can knock me down. We are now are able to relate to each other better around sports in general. He criticizes my play more than anyone. "Mom, you sucked at that!" "You should've hit her harder," and the like…I tried to include him by asking him to be my workout "coach". He loves to make me do pushups at random times…and TRIES to complete.
I love that they see me do something that I love. They also see me struggle with it and work through it even when it hurts or when it is hard. When I say I'm not going to practice, they are the first ones to push me out the door. "Mom, you will never get better if you don't go,” or, "Mom, you’re crabby. Go to derby. You need it."
We do need it. It keeps us both fit and sane, which is good for everybody at home. Thanks to all of our partners and families -- they get what we do, support us along the way and motivate us to keep at it. We notice, and we both need and appreciate you. And our littler ones? We’ll regale your prom dates with stories like these someday. Just you wait.
Watch our site for news on Busty Broke’Her’s forthcoming book, Navigating Life, Roller Derby Style.
- Undead Miss Red