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If you’re the parent of an athletic child, it’s impossible not to feel a surge of pride when you see them excelling out there. At the same time, however, you’re also prone to a few choice feelings which only fellow parents of athletes will understand.

The Cost

Remember “the good old days” when kids played stickball in the street, and sports leagues didn’t cost an arm and a leg to enter? Yeah, we don’t either. While all kids see is the thrill of victory (or the chance to goof around with friends on the bench), parents see price tags that can run into the hundreds. You have to register the child for the league, pay for snacks, gas up your car to take them there, and that’s without buying all their equipment. 

Crazy Parents

Unfortunately, you’re not the only one hoping for future sports glory. Hyper-focused parents of other kids can see any moment their kid’s not scoring as a personal attack – and will let you and everyone else know about it by oh-so-politely screaming about it to anyone who’ll listen (and even those who won’t). Sports are supposed to breed competition, sure, but among the players, not parents living vicariously through their children.

The Commute

Professional teams have comfy luxury jets to get them from game to game. Your child has you. After the 12th straight week schlepping your child to and from the field, court, or rink, you might start to get an idea of how jet pilots feel.

The Laundry Bowl

It’s the Super Bowl for parents faced with mounds of laundry after each game or meet. If you think dodging defenders, scoring points, and sticking triple axles is tough, try making those mounds of sweat-soaked grass-stained jerseys or leotards clean and odor-free week after week.

Having a child who is an athlete can be quite a challenge, leaving you exhausted and wondering where your trophy is after all the effort you put in. But hey, it’ll all be worth it when they’re making cheese commercials and posing for Sports Illustrated and Wheaties, right?