I teamed up with 4 other moms that skateboard, Hannah, Indigo, Liz, and Liza, to get their views on how motherhood changed their skateboarding time, style, being judged, and advice for other parents and skateboarders out there.
When asked if having a child affected their amount of skating, moms had different answers. Hannah, a mother of three says it didn’t have much of an effect because her husband also skates, so they just take turns. Indigo's situation sounds pretty cool as well. “Sometimes my partner and son drop me off in the car and tell me not to hurt myself and they’ll pick me up in an hour.” She didn’t start skating until she was 41 and her kid had already started school. She says “it was like this incredible gift of discovery right when I needed it too. Society teaches older women to focus on what’s wrong with how you look, what you earn, what you own and other rubbish. Skating teaches you to focus on something much more pure, soulful, humbling, and rewarding.”
Time is managed carefully for other moms. For some moms, motherhood cuts into skateboarding time more than others. Liz says before she had her daughter, her life revolved around skateboarding. She says now, not so much. “A lot of my time and energy is focused on her and making sure she is happy and healthy. If I am lucky, I’ll be able to skate for a couple hours a week.
When I had my daughter, I lost a lot of friends in the beginning because I stayed home a lot. Because I was a single mom, it also cut into my skateboarding time until she got older. The situation was similar for Liza. "Finding a sitter would be rough at times."
Most moms agree their style of skating didn’t change much now that they have children. Indigo says she’s always tried to be as gnarly as possible. “A lot of people will only see what you can’t do or think you’re too old to do stuff. But if I’d listened to them I’d be robbing myself of a lot of progress and joy.” She’s got a lot of tricks to learn and believes nothing is impossible, you just have to adjust them to what you know your body is capable of. Liza says she is more careful not to break anything but finds herself being even more of a daredevil now than in her teens. The riskier, the better! As for my style changing, I stay away from a lot of vert. I have insurance now, but I didn’t for like 3 years.
Taking time off skating to raise children can sometimes lead to loss of tricks. “I’ve lost a lot of tricks and learned a lot of new ones. My biggest problem is dropping in larger bowls or ramps that I used to have on lock. It kinda bums me out,” says Liz. Hannah says every time she has ended up in the ER over a skating accident, the doctor has scolded her about how moms shouldn’t be skating. I’ve experienced this as well and I dread going because I don’t feel like dealing with the lecture and judgment. Liza points out that she was judged even before she was a mom for skating for being a girl that skates, so she's used to it.
Indigo isn’t worried about what other people think of her and her choice to skateboard. She says life is very short and valuable, so getting weighed down by anything negative someone says isn’t worth the time or energy. As a mom that does something out of the norm, you get to be an example for your kid on how to react when people are judging you. “You need to bounce back in a way that leaves you having more wisdom, insight, empathy, patience, and compassion.” Great advice!
If your kid wants to skate, most moms agree to just let them try it and see if they like it! Studies show kids are happier and more likely to succeed when they have the support of their parents. Indigo’s son started skateboarding, then switched to BMX, and now team sports. She raised him to do what he loves and whatever he feels he can reach his highest potential at. “I think he’s doing that, and I’m so stoked he’s become his own person.”
Liz says her daughter will learn if she wants to. “And if she doesn’t want to, I won’t force her to. This is what I practiced when it came to my daughter too. Even though both of her parents are into skating and she got her first board at a young age, Willow chose rollerblading and bikes instead. Liza says she tries to teach her daughter but isn't pushy about it. "There are some days she wants to skate, and other days she just wants to ride her bike. And I'm okay with that."
When asked about advice to for other parents, there were positive vibes all around. Liz says, “Don’t stop skating!” Just because you have a child doesn’t mean you need to stop doing what you love. Give time to focus on yourself and stay strong. Motherhood is difficult but being unhappy is worse.
Hannah says “keep doing what you love regardless of what others think. Try and get your kids to join in. They may love skating as much as you which will eventually give you more time to skate. And for parents who have kids that skate, support them!
Liza brings attention to the fact that it's important not to push your kid into doing something they don't want to do. "Skating is for fun, to feel some type of adrenaline, to just escape reality for a while." If your kid does choose to skate, just have fun with them, enjoy the moment, and hype them up!