I'll admit, I'm a novice sports mom. I may not have experience with travel tournaments or triple headers yet, but I have enough seasons under my belt to know one thing — I will not be ordering a photo package every time team pictures come around.
It started with my son's first t-ball season. He was pretty adorable in that uniform and I loved watching him learn the basics of baseball, but when picture day came, I couldn't bring myself to spend $60 on a professional photo package that would feature my 5-year-old in a very serious pose with an ominous sky Photoshopped in the background. My husband was appalled that I wasn't on board, but I stood my ground and didn't order photos of my son's first t-ball season. Gasp!
But guess what: I have t-ball pictures taken with my own camera to commemorate his first sports season. What I don't have are a bunch of different sizes of photos of a team we barely know sitting under a bunch of junk mail in a drawer in my house. And I have enough foresight to realize that if I don't take a stand now, I'll end up with 8,345 sports photo packages (not to mention a couple thousand less dollars) by the time my kids go to college. And by then I'll have to pony up for senior portraits, anyway.
As a sports kid myself, I remember posing for soccer pictures. And volleyball pictures. And ballet pictures. But I don't have any of those actual images anymore and I'd bet my parents don't either. Add it to a long list of must-do's that just aren't 100 percent necessary for our kiddos. Sure, it's sweet to have wallet-sized school pictures to send to family and friends, and maybe a glossy pic of a special team, but is it really imperative that we buy professional photos of our children in uniform for every single sport they play every single year? I think not.
In a world of endless parenting "musts" it can be hard to distinguish what really is necessary and what we simply do just because it's become the norm. I'm certainly not against documenting important childhood memories — I even make a yearly family photo album — but I am against getting sucked into the vortex of this modern parenting world. Which means the invisible pressure to purchase every professional photo of my children playing sports for the next 18 years is one I just won't be caving to.