What is it about watching our children compete that makes us become crazy? Or more crazy?
One Momzilla in our skating club, who is relatively new to the sport, was watching competition events today, and decided that her friend's child was entered into the wrong division of artistic skating events. She felt that this other kid's program should be "dramatic" instead of "light" artistic, and proceeded to tell the kid's mother that the coach signed her up for the wrong event. The kid's mother, nervous about the competition, taking motherly stress on for her child, (and recovering from recent surgery!), etc., freaked out and called the coach in a panic. The day before the competition.
The coach, having done this for many years, reassured Mom that all is well in the child's beginning skating world, and that panic is not necessary for this one. As the coach shook her head, wondering what would possess someone to get other parents freaked out for no reason, I pondered this in my Carrie Bradshaw meets J.D. from Scrubs way.
Why do Momzillas do this? Honestly, it is rarely out of spite. Especially at this very early level of athletic endeavor. I think that for many mothers, myself included, watching your child compete is one of the first times that their actions are out of our control. Somehow, in a competitive situation, the glitter (see my recent posts: "Glitter Gone Wrong" and "Glitter Me This") amplifies everything, further compounding the stress. Mothers, as they morph into Momzillas, seek control from somewhere. Anywhere.
In this situation, the damage far outweighed the good. Even if the kid's program was inappropriate for that particular category, advising the stressed-out mom is ultimately a mistake. It would be the same thing if your friend bought a wedding dress that made her ass look huge. The right thing to do would be to tell her. The wrong thing would be to tell her on her wedding day.
This scene is a great illustrator of the dangers associated with New Momzillas. They are like medical students. They know just enough to make people feel miserable when they try to help.
It brings to light the old adage, which really can never wear too thin. Parents should parent and coaches should coach. It is awfully like pushups, or skipping dessert: sometimes really hard to do, but totally worth the effort. If that had happened today, we would have one more happy little skater, one parent who is only appropriately stressed about her child's competition, and one coach who doesn't have to take extra ibuprofen to deal with Momzillas.