hockey mom - Boston Moms Blog

My 5-year-old starts his first hockey program this weekend. He looks adorable in his too-big Boston Bruins jersey and tiny ice skates.

He skated for the first time just before he turned 2. But this month his skate shuffles have turned into glides, and he’s no longer afraid of falling (and can get up on his own!) because of all that protective gear. He’s ready.

But am I ready to become a hockey mom?

As a Florida girl who prefers sweltering heat and humidity to snow and ice, I’m not so sure about this adventure my recreational-hockey-playing husband and son have gotten us all into. And I’m sure I’m not the only parent with a new hockey player this season.

So I decided to ask a few seasoned hockey moms for their best advice. I talked to three with experience from one year up to 30 years and counting (her players are now adults coaching and refereeing!). Of course, their tips apply to moms, dads, and anyone else with a new hockey player in their life.

They’re kids — let them have fun.

This was at the top of the list for all three moms I talked with. They said to keep it positive while watching (and warned all parents may not). And this applies in the car on the way home. Leave the critiques to the coaches, and simply be your child’s cheerleader. Rise above anything else and remember they’re not going to the NHL.

Bundle up on the sidelines.

Fingerless gloves with the flap on top allow you to take pictures when you want to but still keep your hands warm! Boots with a rubber sole help keep your feet warm. (If your feet are cold, everything else will be, too.) And of course, don’t forget your coat.

Pack your hockey mom bag.

Suggested items include a seat cushion, blanket, hand warmers, and extra gloves. Keep it in the car all season long.

Take care of the equipment.

Dry everything out after each use, and wash when needed. This one, thankfully, my husband is already on top of. He built a simple equipment rack from PVC pipe from an online tutorial for my son to hang all of his gear on. My son loves how everything has a spot and helps load/unload his bag.

Be prepared for an exhausted kid.

It takes some time for kids to build up their hockey stamina. They use their entire bodies and new muscles they didn’t know they had. And when it’s over, they’re truly exhausted.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Especially as you, too, are still learning how to put on all that hockey gear! There’s always someone who can help get that helmet on correctly.

Get involved with the other parents and kids.

You’re going to be spending a lot of time together, so you might as well introduce yourself and chat while you watch. Hockey families are known to develop great bonds with one another. And so do the players, who make friends with kids from all over the state they see regularly at tournaments.

Be amazed at their progress.

It’s fun to take a video at the beginning and end of the season to compare. The progress is remarkable.

You get more out of it than you put in.

It’s no secret hockey is an expensive and time-consuming sport. But it’s worth it in the end because of all the great experiences and friendships.

It goes by in the blink of an eye. Enjoy it.


Teresa has lived in the Boston area for nearly 15 years, but remains surprised each winter when that first really cold day takes her breath away. She's most likely to be found snuggled in a blanket with at least some of these things -- books, a newspaper, a tea latte, a glass of wine, her kids and her New England-native husband who can't be convinced to move south. She lives in the Boston suburbs and dreams of a someday when she can spend the winter with her toes in the Florida sand she grew up with. Until then, she's enjoying raising kids who will tell anyone who asks, "We cheer for the Bruins, the Red Sox, the Patriots and the Florida Gators." As a former journalist who changed careers when she moved north for graduate school, Teresa is excited to return to regular writing as a Boston Moms Blog contributor.