Team Mom: champions

Written by Bess Kercher

It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game, right? That's what local mom and writer Bess Kercher keeps telling herself as she navigates the world of team sports with her two sons leading the charge. Find out how a non-athletic mom uses sports to better understand the game of life in this fun series, ‘Team Mom.’

Check out Kercher's previous 'Team Mom' posts

Meet the Team Mom


Mad Mascots


Play Your Position


Team Photo


Super Fans



, and

Good SPort


This is the time of year when you hope it all pays off.

After many practices and many games the time finally comes for the championships, when the lessons learned throughout the season hopefully underscore a victorious finale.

The holidays offer many opportunities for championship play for the family team. You have to be prepared to play both home and away, with all of the inherent advantages and disadvantages each option offers. You know your strengths but also your weaknesses – as does everyone else. This match up has occurred multiple times; the rivalry runs long and deep.

Let me be clear, though. I am not suggesting that those family members and friends joining you during the holiday season are your competition . . . it is not like the grandparents or cousins (or even cranky Uncle Clyde) are fronting the opposing team. No, your competition in this important game is way more devious, sneaky, difficult to identify and challenging to beat than a mere cantankerous relative: this holiday season the family team is competing against . . . the holidays themselves.

Not to say it is you against Hanukah or Christmas or Kwanza – in their purest forms. A season of gratitude, reflection, love, reverence, and spiritual awareness is, in fact, the prize for which you are playing so hard. But it is all the other things that swirl around these precious winnings that you must come together to beat.

If you ever needed teamwork it is now. Don’t be distracted when your competition tries to confuse you with stuff and sales and black Fridays bleeding into Thursday; when the calendar fills up and runs over; when the kids who would never admit that the regularity of their school schedule is comforting to them are unraveling at the seams; when the details pile up to create interference so massive that it threatens to swallow your beloved team whole; and when everyone – even the super fans, even your beloved mascot (et tu, Maddie?) – clamors simultaneously for a piece of you.

This is the time when the team will look to you, Mom. Trust me, I wish it were different, that your attitude or stress or approach wouldn’t necessarily impact the rest of your crew. The last thing you may want is to feel the weight of responsibility for everyone’s happiness resting uncomfortably on your shoulders.

But the truth is, what you do does make a difference. This may feel like the good news and the bad news, but take heart – it is mostly good news.

So as you head into the Super Bowl of family togetherness paired with consumer craziness, here is my advice to you: Take one for the team.

Did NC just make marijuana legal when I wasn’t looking? you may be wondering, but no, I am not high. I do get it. Most moms I know feel like all they do is take one for the team all day long every day. This may be true. But all of that routine nonsense leads to times like this – when it matters, and when you can make a difference.

So when the kids track muddy leaves and mess onto the carpet, take a page from the Frozen playbook/soundtrack and let it go! When the lines at the grocery and the bank and the route to school inch forward at a snail’s pace while you watch the minutes and your tightly constructed schedule disappear, remember all of the blessings those errands and trips represent in your life and try to relax. When plans change midstream or nothing works as it should keep your eye on the ball, or rather, the point of it all.

And don’t give up! You are not favored to win in this match up. Your competition is much stronger and is on steroids and tries to cause injuries and is a known cheat.

But you are poised for one of the greatest upsets ever. And I don’t mean your kids crying over the pecan pies that inexplicably exploded in the oven as the holiday guests began to arrive. I mean, you’ve got this!

So everyone, all together now, bring it in: Go Team . . . Moms!