You love your little cheerleader. You support them no matter what. Cheerleading has become a part of their life, and thus, it has filtered into your daily schedule, conversations, interpersonal relationships, and more. But, you know the drill. The season comes in waves, and–depending where you are in the calendar year–your participation speeds up or slows down. And, that goes double for competitive cheerleading parents! No matter if you’re new to the cheerleading world, or your child has been cheerleading since the age they could walk and talk, competition season puts a strain on parents across the board. You know what we’re talking about.

1. Competition season virtually never ends.

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You might recall the first time you dropped your cheerleader at their first ever competition season practice, but that was the start of this long time warp you call your life now. The minute one season ends, another begins; the minute one competition is in the books, another is on the horizon. Your life is remarkably similar to the movie Groundhog’s Day: the same season, with all of its responsibilities, keeps rolling around again, and again, and again. Luckily, your child enjoys it and is getting pretty dang good at it… otherwise you might’ve jumped ship a long time ago.

2. Your juggling act has sped way, way up.

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You’re a parent–you already juggle. Looking back mid-season, you probably remember when your cheerleader joined a competitive team and you thought to yourself, “Hey, I’ve mastered juggling my job, my [small amount of] hobbies, and having a family… I can handle juggling the extra-curricular activities of my children, too!” Boy, did you now know what you were signing up for with competitive cheerleading. With long practices, community events, competitions with long travel hours, and the endless hours talking about cheerleading with your child, you’ve officially turned yourself into a ninja-level multitasker. Kudos to you for keeping your sanity!

3. Emotions. So. Many. EMOTIONS.

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Between your anxiety level and the stress that your cheerleader has on their back, it’s enough to make anyone crack at any time. You’re stretched thin; your cheerleader is physically, mentally, and psychologically pushed to the limit; you’re hoping to God that your cheerleader’s team will at least PLACE at competitions; you’re scared out of your wits watching your cheerleader’s routine, hoping they don’t break themselves… with the determination behind any competitive team, it’s hard to swallow your nerves and keep your emotions in check.

4. But, you also know that competitive cheer has brought you closer together.

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Bonding with your child is hard: as they grow older, the minute that you think you have a handle on them, they change. They start liking new things, watching new shows, hanging out with different kids. They also stop wanting to have you around as much as they used to. With competitive cheerleading, you have struck a common ground–a constant ground! They need you for rides, for morale support, for an ear to vent to and a shoulder to cry on. And, you’re more than happy to provide it–win or lose, season after season.

How else do parents view competition season? Are you a parent of a competitive cheerleader? Share your story in the comments!