According to Wikipedia, the term "soccer mom" was popularized the year I graduated from high school. 1996 was an election year, and the demographic of women voters deemed "soccer moms" was being targeted by Bill Clinton as the most sought after group of swing voters. An article in the Washington Post described the soccer mom as "the overburdened middle income working mother who ferries her kids from soccer practice to scouts to school," usually in a minivan, station wagon, or SUV. "Busy, harried, stressed out, and overburdened" were all used to describe the soccer mom demographic.
I remember thinking around that time, "I will NEVER be like that!" I even developed an aversion to minivans, just to be sure I avoided the soccer mom stereotype. Car companies agreed. After courting the "soccer-mom" image for several years, in 2003, the car manufacturer Nissan repositioned its Quest minivan as "stylish, sexy and desirable."
Well, after driving our 13-year-old Camry for the past 8 years, stooping and hefting two off-the-growth-charts babies into their car seats and shoving groceries around the crevices of the stroller in the trunk, a minivan is starting to look pretty good. My practical side is beating out my sense of pride.
And our son will play in his first-ever soccer game this morning. He's very excited. I'm organizing the team snack schedule this season and providing snacks for this first game. Luckily there is also a terrific "soccer dad" at my side, helping KID 1 learn the basics, getting him to practice, and rooting from the sideline right along with me.
Becoming a soccer mom is a gradual process, but I'm determined to define the label and not let the label define me! This soccer mom is fun, stylish, sexy, and desirable! Now where's my minivan?