Being a mom of both a male and female gymnast is extremely rewarding. I feel like I have the best of both worlds. I think the most favorite thing about being a mom of gymnasts is seeing what they are truly made of. You get to watch them struggle to learn skills, get frustrated, fall, repeat, repeat, and repeat again! You watch them week after week keep trying until that moment of success finally arrives. Seeing their own pride and happiness is the most rewarding experience!!
Watching them compete is very nerve wracking for me. My heart races, my hands shake and my stomach is in knots. I think I am more nervous than they are! The pride of being a parent of a gymnast is almost indescribable. Win or lose, you know that each competition is a learning experience. It is amazing when they take home the gold. However, when things don’t go their way, and mistakes happen, you get to teach them about brushing it off, keep working towards their goals and not quitting. Being a gymnast isn’t just about winning, but growing with the sport, learning to make goals, working hard and keep going.
If I had to tell another parent that has a child just starting the sport of gymnastics, I would tell them to block out their calendar and start saving their money. This sport is very time consuming and very expensive! Most competitive gymnasts practice 4 or more days a week, so you have to be available for driving back and forth, late night homework and bedtimes. Competitions are multiple weekends for about 5 months. The sport costs about $15,000 per competitive gymnast per year. That can be a hardship for families, so I think it is important for parents to be prepared before they say yes to this sport.
-Stacey Brower; mother of a male level 6 gymnast and female level 7 gymnast.