The Mum that Put The ‘F’ in Junior Football

2 May

Something happens to you when you live in Melbourne, it’s involuntary, you can’t stop it. You find yourself watching grown men rolling around on the floor simultaneously groping and assaulting one another. This is not closing time at one of the many colourful bars on King Street, this is Australian Rules Football or Footy to the locals. I’ve done a fairly good job at resisting the lure of Footy but last week I found myself in a pub and my eyes simply surrendered to the big screen. I had no idea what was going on but I started joining in the chorus of “Referee, come on!” I think referee bashing is a universal language.

Last weekend I strolled down to the local oval and there was a game in progress it must have been an Under 10 game, these children were practically tripping over their own shorts. As I scanned the boundary for a bench a suitable distance from the noisy coach who was taking his role very seriously indeed a little scuffle broke out between two players. At that point a glamour Mum came tearing onto the pitch and made a beeline for the boy who presumably was in an altercation with her son.
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“Don’t you ever f’ing hit my son again or I will f’ing sort you out myself. You f’ing little monster!” The boy, who I repeat was all of 9 years old, was in flood of tears and was visibly shaken. He was taken off the pitch by one of the other parents and even as he was being consoled F Bomb Mum decided it was appropriate to continue her sweary tirade. This was all going on about 10 metres from me and I felt sick to my stomach. At that point this lady and I made eye contact. I used to hate confrontation and would always let things go, I still do hate confrontation but over the years I have reached a point where if I see something wrong happening I want to right it.

I shook my head in pity at her. To say that my actions were like a red rag to a bull is probably an understatement, this particular bull came charging towards me and I didn’t have a little red rag to fool her with. “What the f’ing hell are you shaking your f’ing head at you f’ing beeeeep” this immortal line was delivered about an inch from my face and she appeared to have smoke emerging from her ears. The old me would have mumbled something apologetic back and tried to talk my way out of the incident with my manhood intact. But I’ve had enough of mindless bullies who feel they can treat people with contempt and get away with it because they shout the loudest.
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“I am looking at you humiliating yourself and your child. You’re setting the worst kind of example”. Oh my gosh, even as the words were coming out I could hear champagne corks popping in my own head, even if I had been given weeks to plan I reply I wouldn’t have come up with anything more fitting and the best thing was she was rendered speechless. She managed a final “f off” but by that stage a number of spectators were actually clapping.

I used to play soccer, I’ve coached junior teams and I’ve been a PE teacher and it never fails to shock me how many parents turn up and bark orders, criticisms and insults at their own children not to mention other peoples. I won’t be that parent, sport at that level is to be played for fun and it is no fun to be shouted at and openly put down in front of your mates.

The bigger moral to the story and what it really cemented for me was the need to set the right example to Max. Children as we all know are sponges, they look up to us, we are their role models and they wonder around soaking up all the ammunition that we give them. I want to be the Dad that stands quietly away from the rest and gives him a wink and a thumbs up when I catch his eye. I want to be the Dad that puts an arm around him when he misses a kick and tells him he’ll get the next one. I want to be the Dad that celebrates all the brilliant things he did rather than the one mistake. And most importantly I want to be the Dad that if he would rather go to drama, dancing, art, music or whatever other kind of club will drive him there and celebrate his successes in those pursuits too.
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Flogging my blog with Grace at With Some Grace

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35 Responses to “The Mum that Put The ‘F’ in Junior Football”

  1. Kassey May 2, 2013 at 4:19 am #

    Whoa! Good job on speaking up it really is called for though it can be hard to do sometimes. Especially in a cool calm collected way. Hats off to you sir. I often don’t trust myself to say something for fear a fight will break out & then I feel like a coward for not trying harder.
    Also: Did you happen to notice her son? Was he okay?

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 4:23 am #

      Yeah to be honest I dont really like confrontation but something snapped in a cool, calm and collected way. Her son was being ordered off the pitch and refusing to leave so I guess hot headedness runs in the family. Thanks Kassey

  2. Veggie mama May 2, 2013 at 4:42 am #

    I’m so proud! Well done to you, sir, for standing up to a loudmouth nasty. I hope I have similar courage when in the same situation. Love your parenting philosophy 🙂

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 4:51 am #

      Thanks Stace and I suspect you would, the force is strong in you and thats not even a reference to the Darth Vader swimwear.

  3. Jolene's Mumbo Jumbo (@Jolenejolene9) May 2, 2013 at 9:44 am #

    I don’t know whether to be more outraged by that woman’s appalling behaviour, or the fact that you referred to ‘football’ (the proper English kind, where they ONLY use their feet, or their heads) as ‘soccer!!!’ I sentence you to 30 minutes in the naughty corner to think about your ‘bad language!’
    bahaha!!! I know…it would have been lost in translateion otherwise! x

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 10:01 am #

      It’s a needs must thing Jolene, I crossed my fingers as I typed it if that reduces my sentence?

  4. Mrs P May 2, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    Good job DDU. There are so many reasons to shake your head at that kind of behaviour. I’m glad you didn’t loose your cool when she obviously would have loved to have a verbal fight with you. I hope I can do the same in future years..

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 10:03 am #

      It’s the first time I’ve managed to hold it together and deliver a concise line rather than think about what i should have said in hindsight, that’s usually the way isn’t it?

  5. Amanda Lynch May 2, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    it’s a shame that some parents don’t realise how embarrassing they are to their children first and foremost, themselves, but also their club!!! in signing my son up for footy this season, not only did he have to sign a code of contact, but i as his parent had to as well… well said, and good on you for saying something at all… although really you shouldn’t of had to as a spectator, someone within the club should have been removing her from the grounds just as her child was being removed from the pitch!!

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 10:33 am #

      Thanks Amanda, I can’t comment too much on the footy but the trouble that occurred at junior soccer was always the parents, people who should no better. I think they are trying to relive their own sporting past.

  6. yinyangmother May 2, 2013 at 10:38 am #

    Great post – I would have loved to see F-Bomb Mum’s face when you cut her down! While I must admit a battle with the F for Frustration Bomb myself in the privacy of home, and feeling bad, I can’t imagine behaviour that bad in public. I reckon your son is going to be really lucky to have you in his court.

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 11:19 am #

      Thank you very much. hopefully she thinks twice next time before she opens her potty mouth, I’m sure it wasn’t her first time she behaved like that.

  7. Carli May 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    And just as great, a Dad that doesn’t tolerate bullies! Good for you 🙂

    • daddownunder May 2, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

      Thanks Carli, speaking from experience bullies are the worst

  8. rickfarrar May 2, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    Well done young man. That really is setting the right example for Max.

  9. Karen May 2, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    Yes!!! I don’t like confrontation either, but I would like to think in a situation like this I would react the same, hopefully I would be as eloquent! Good on you!! Karen

  10. Rory Mouttet May 2, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

    I literally was laughing out loud picturing though your eyes the mad bull coming at you. Max is a lucky little guy.

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      I think I might have been a lucky guy to have escaped alive. Cheers Rory

  11. Kylez @ A Study in Contradictions May 3, 2013 at 12:54 am #

    I just don’t get that behaviour from parents. Talk about issues! It says a lot more about them and their own failings and insecurities and I really feel sorry for that kids of people like that. Can’t imagine the horrible expectations they have to live up to and the pushing from their parents to fulfill the dreams they never managed to. Good on you for saying something, I definitely would have!

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:43 am #

      I wonder what they would think if you filmed them and played it back? Your right Kylez its them trying to make up for their own failings, I’m convinced of it

  12. Ai Sakura May 3, 2013 at 1:23 am #

    I love your comeback! It really is amazing how kids just soak up the words and character of their parents, and Max is so blessed to have you as a dad.

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:44 am #

      Oh wow thank youAi.without wanting to sound too cheesy I think I’m the one that’s been blessed

  13. Lara @ This Charming Mum May 3, 2013 at 2:56 am #

    Good on you for standing up to her! I’m not sure I would have been as brave. I always try to shield my kids from conflict, but you’ve set a great example of how to put someone in their place without resorting to violence or language. That would have been a really important lesson to the young people around you. Having said all that, I think F Bomb Mum would be an awesome blogger name 😉

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:45 am #

      Haha, hopefully she is reading this Lara and she takes up the challenge. Not sure I’d read what she has to say though.

  14. happylan May 3, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    My 5 year old will start small-sided soccer next weekend, was relieved to see that the emphasis is on having a go, building skills and everyone getting a go – no keeping scores or ladders at this age. So hopefully there will be no scary competitive parents either! Well done for standing up!

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:46 am #

      That’s how junior sport should be. There’s nothing at stake for the kids and the best form of success for them is to have fun.

  15. coloursofsunset May 3, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    oh man how I’d have loved to have been there to give her an earful too! Her poor child!

    And this is the part where I publicly shame myself and admit that I am probably *thisclose* to be banned from the side of the tennis court…my son was more interested in dancing around the back picking up tennis balls than he was in hitting them, so I might have yelled from the sideline to go back in line, switch his hands around, and to move back a bit (he was too close to the net). Now, I didn’t SWEAR or do anything that embarrassing, but clearly I was trying to tell the coaches how to do their job. *ahem* I am sorry, and I no longer watch from the sideline, I stand a bit further away! I’m so ashamed!!

    • daddownunder May 3, 2013 at 5:49 am #

      No shaming around here Aroha: ) I’m sure it can be hard to bite your lip and what your talking about is very tame compared to what I saw. Thanks for the admission ; )

      • coloursofsunset May 3, 2013 at 6:11 am #

        It felt good to get it off my chest. What’s the first step? Admit you have a problem?

  16. Sam Stone May 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm #

    Great work! I probably would have pee’d my pants if she had come up to me.
    What a total monster this woman is! I wonder how she lives with herself and her poor son.

  17. Kimba Likes May 4, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    I want my son to be that person who stands up to the bullies and says enough is enough. Who says we don’t speak to people like that, we don’t use language like that and we respect other people. So that’s why I do what you did this day. I call people out. Sometimes it scares me but it is my responsibility to give my son the example.

    x

    • daddownunder May 5, 2013 at 8:53 am #

      Couldn’t agree more Kimba, he is probably going to learn more from me than anyone else, good and bad, so its time to step up

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The 5 on Friday! - May 24, 2013

    […]  Dad Down Under tells us about his experience with an over zealous soccer mum. […]

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