Cheer Mom Part 2: Cheer Angst

I wasn’t in the mood to go to a wiglet party. Furthermore, I
wasn’t in the mood to deal with Miss F.’s mood after that cumbersome looking
hair piece was sewn into her hair, which she would then need to sleep with and
live in until her cheer competition, some 18 hours later.  Miss F. is the kid who goes on sensory
overload from a stray dog hair caught in her shoe.  Asking her to sleep with an artificial hair
piece that has been woven into her hair is like asking a child who has sandbags
tied to her legs to do cartwheels. 

Part of the reason I was anticipating the worst was due to
my own headspace. I was tired.  It had
been a long week, with too much running around and too little sleep.   My new schedule was kicking my butt.

My big girl shoes were giving me blisters.

It’s also no secret that money has been tight this year – especially
right now.  Cheer is not a competitive
sport for those who are “short on cash.” 
Every time I drop off Miss F. for practice, I write another check.  Stunt clinic, choreography clinic, practice
clothes, cheer sneakers, competition shoes, bus fare for the first competition,
my competition ticket, the competition hair bow, and the curly pony tail hair
piece, otherwise known as a “wiglet,” used to give the girls a more uniform

I’m not good when I’m tired, and I’m especially not good
when I’m tired and stressing over money. 

As much as I want Miss F. to win, winning meant the
possibility of going to nationals in Florida. And your guess is as good as mine
on how I would pay for that. Yes, I was aware of this when I signed up Miss F. for
cheer six months ago, but life was much different then.

So once again, I try to let go of the money stress, for what
was probably the fiftieth time that hour, and I take Miss F. to get her wiglet
sewn in at another cheer mom’s house.

The junior pee wees were running high on adrenaline and sugar
from the fried ice cream that the host family made for the girls. 

Between all that sugar and that stupid hair piece, this kid
was never going to bed.

We leave the wiglet party at 10:00. I am barely out of my
parking spot, when Miss F. says, “Mommy, this hair piece is really bothering

“Try not to think about it.”

Perhaps I would have been more empathetic, except her
obsessing over the hair piece was interrupting my obsessing over money, which quite
honestly, I wanted to do without interruptions and in complete silence.

 When we get home,
Miss F.  gets ready for bed and asks, “Mommy,
can you lie down with me?”

“I need to pack your competition bag.” 

The coaches gave us a list of everything that needed to be
packed in each girl’s bag, which would be checked in the morning by a team
mother before the girls got onto the bus.

“Please.  Just for a
little while?”

“Baby, I don’t want to run around last minute in the
morning. I need to do it now.” 

I kiss her on the forehead. Miss F. sighs, defeated, and
heads up the stairs.

An hour later, I hear a whimper from the second floor.

I climb the stairs and find Miss F., lying in bed, with her
head in a contorted position.

“Mommy, I can’t sleep with this thing.” 

“Here, baby, here,” I offer, as  I prop pillows around and underneath Miss
F.’s head, which, at the direction of the coaches, has been covered with a
pink, fabric “hair style protector.”

I climb into bed next to her. While I can’t get too close to
her due to the barricade caused by her fake hair, her body begins to

She’s struggling, I remind myself, and it’s not the
wiglet.  It’s the stress she’s been under
for weeks, to perfect their routine, to go into the arena tomorrow and blow
away the competition. To remember to smile and not fidget, and keep the
movements tight and in synch and to not fall when she’s on top of that
pyramid.  The wiglet is the obvious – the
tangible thing that hurts.

Like the money is the obvious, the tangible thing that

For Miss F. to hold her own tomorrow, she’s going to have to
live with this pain.  And for me to hold
my own in life, and to move forward, past my flaws and mistakes and my self-imposed
limitations, I’m going to have to live with some pain, too.  At least for now.

Let’s home that we both come out winners.

To be continued…

Part one of my Cheer
Mom trilogy can be found here, on Shell’s blog, Things I Can’t Say.

Namaste, Divas! 


Cheer Mom Part 2: Cheer Angst — 19 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh! You are such a good mama! I took my girls to a child psychologist today & made the sudden realization that my kiddos are stressed out just as I am! We all must hang on & weather this storm. Won’t we be be grateful once it passes! Xo

  2. Oh my, the wiglet is quite something. It kind of makes my head itch just looking at it! Sometimes it’s hard to remember that our kids are so perceptive and attuned to everything that’s going around them and internalize it as much as we do. I have a hard time with this and always just assume that my kids have nothing to work about, etc. You ARE a really good mama.

  3. Our kids are so much more incredibly perceptive than we ever give them credit for, and in our pain we sometimes overlook theirs. When we choose to cope with our stress by eating, doing more and spending more, for instance, it ends up adding more weight and baggage to stress over. It’s a nasty cycle that takes patience, forgiveness, grace, and action to break.
    Been there and done that. I tried to escape the pain by burying my head in the sand in between my excesses, and it did not work out well for me or my family. 🙁 I can say that doing the hard work of taking control of our finances, i.e. learning to live within a budget, gave us tremendous freedom and peace, far more so than we ever imagined.
    There is a great book by Jen Hatmaker called “7 : An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess” . She took seven months, and each month tackled an area of excess in her life. The book trailer is here:
    Prayers your way as always, dear friend. <3

  4. Oh how utterly stressful. I’m really proud of you for not letting the stress and money take this away from your daughter. She’s stressed, yes, but the experience and the team bonding will be good for her, win or lose.

  5. Your daughter is darling! I can so relate to the line “Her obsessing over the hair piece was interrupting my obsessing over money, which quite honestly, I wanted to do without interruptions and in complete silence.” Amen! I want to give you the biggest hug right now. I love and admire your resilience, insights and ability to look at and laugh at yourself. You. Are. Amazing.

  6. Thanks, Christine. I have to say that my daughter has been a really good teacher. She’s tough – but emotionally, she has made me move past the places that have always felt like my limits – because I have had no choice given I want to parent her the best I can. Her “toughness” is why she gets the most play on the blog!

  7. Do you know that I actually thought of you as I wrote that – because it felt like something you could have said! (no offense, of course – I just think we are simpatico on so many levels). I have to tell you – when this kid isn’t driving me crazy, she is making me reach beyond my own limitations as a mom to give more than I think I have. She’s my greatest teacher. xo

  8. This was riveting to read. I think you guys should have a wiglet fire after the competition…that thing looks miserable. But, the lesson she is learning here is so valuable. Good things are not always easy things. Sometimes we have to work through pain to get where we want to be. Loved reading this! Look forward to reading more tomorrow over on Things I Can’t Say!

  9. A wiglet party? WTH? LOL!! I’m such a mom of boys I have no idea about this stuff. Bless her heart. It’s tough having all that pressure of the routine, and life, and the wiglet. I love reading your writing!

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