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Parents: Let's stop playing 'never will I ever'

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Pregnant women and new moms have this game they like to play called, “Never WILL I ever.” Unlike the college-drinking game called Never HAVE I ever, this mom-version requires no alcohol, but most always ends with EATING YOUR OWN WORDS.

In my early stages of parenting I both uttered aloud and thought some of the following:

  • I will never feed my children Lunchables.
  • I will never allow my children to drink sugary drinks.
  • I will never allow my kids to eat in our vehicle.
  • I will never allow my children to watch television.
  • I will never become a dance mom, soccer mom, baseball mom, or possess any other sport mom identity.

And yet, here I am, throwing a box of Lunchables in my preschooler’s lunch box, letting my two-year old watch Jungle Book for the second time, and complimenting my eight-year old on the fierce dribbling he is doing around our dining room table.

I always said we’d go against the trend and say NO to organized sports. Not because sports are bad, but because they can easily become the entire focus of a family.

And yet, here I am, entirely and excitedly focused over the fact that my eight-year old’s recreation league basketball team, who we affectionately call the “Wolf Pack”, made it to the championship game.


They are playing on Thursday, and I’m pumped to go watch this little team of 5,6,7, and 8 year-olds pass, dribble, and shoot. This IS the highlight of March Madness in my humble mom opinion.

In all honesty, I don’t think I was as excited as I am now when my husband’s college soccer team played in their National Championship tournament.

I’m eating my words right now.

I’ve rolled my eyes at parents ferrying their children to sport’s practice. I’ve spoken at events and encouraged parents to stop the over-involvement of extra-curricular activities. And I’ve said I would NEVER have ballet, baseball, and basketball in the SAME week.

And yet, here I am with a Tuesday evening on the baseball diamond, and a Thursday evening spent watching my five-year old don a tutu and then driving to the elementary school to cheer my eight-year old and his fellow Wolf Pack at their championship game. And here I am, ENJOYING EVERY SINGLE SECOND. I’m BONDING with my family and friends on the bleachers. AND I’m patting my kid on the back telling him I LOVE to watch him play.


I never asked my kids to play sports; they asked me to play sports. And I guess I’m a good mom because I ate my never will I ever word and said, “Sure! Let’s give it a try.”

I’m glad I stepped over my self-proclaimed line in the sand and devoted our spring to trying new things. Will we do this full schedule of sports every season of the year? Probably not (but who knows!).

We like hiking, fishing, and working on the farm too much to pledge all our time to the courts and to the ballet slippers. But right now, we are having a blast!

Watching my kid play sports solidifies the fact that greatness isn’t always sticking to every single play; rather, greatness is the ability to successfully react to the movement on the court.

You know, sometimes we’ve got to abandon the play and just play ball.

As parents this means that at times we must abandon the “Never WILL I ever” sham.

That’s a game for rookies.

And we aspire to be champions.

Pro-moms know that you can’t spell GREAT without EAT…meaning great moms eat their words on the daily.

Play on, mama! We all got this.

And it turns out, words don't taste that bad after all.

So sports or no sports. Lunchables or no Lunchables. Disney or no Disney movies. You do WHAT is BEST for your FAMILY. Great comes in many different ways.

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