Since 1994, Joy Fawcett's packing list for a U.S. Women's National Team Road trip has been as follows: Cleats, shin-guards, t-shirts, one pair of jeans, diapers, toys, coloring books, baby clothes, peanut butter and jelly, animal crackers and an assortment of stuffed animals. From 1994 through 2001, Fawcett had three daughters, upped her career games with the U.S. National Team to almost 200, played in four world championships (in which she was perhaps the USA's most consistent player), and earned the undisputed title of America's #1 Soccer Mom. This month, Joy talks about life as a very unique working mother, where she has made "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" a daily event.
"I married Walt Fawcett in 1991 before the Women's World Cup. I come from a very large family and I knew that I too wanted kids. I also knew that I didn't want to be too old as they grew up, as I wanted to be able to keep up with them. Most women have a life plan for when they want to have kids. It's not set in stone, but you know when it's time.
However, it's not like I had a regular job. My work is working out, and it gets harder and harder to do that as the pregnancy progresses, and even harder to come back after you've had a child. Many women would be surprised to hear what workouts you can do when you are pregnant. I pretty much ran sprints into my seventh month in the last two pregnancies. I was a bit more cautious for the first one, but I really got to know what a pregnant Joy could or could not do, and my pre-natal workouts were a key in helping me get back to full fitness after I gave birth. It took a while to get back, for sure, and it wasn't easy, but every minute has been worth it.
For me, having kids was mostly a timing issue. I had to time my pregnancies around major soccer tournaments. Luckily for me, I haven't had any problems getting pregnant pretty much when I want to, which is why all three of my daughters birthdays' are within two weeks of each other.
In the beginning, I admit I was worried about what was good for my kids, as I knew I would be bringing them on the road with the U.S. Women's National Team. I still hear a lot of new parents talk about scheduling and how their kids have to eat at this time, nap at this time and snack at this time. Nowadays, I don't worry about it as much. It's been remarkable how they've been able to adjust. Their trips with the national team have been tremendous for their growth, as they have learned how to act in all different situations, with adults and in different cultures. I have to say that the players on the national team trips have been wonderful as far as helping me out in every possible way. I honestly think that the players have helped the kids become more mature, and for sure my daughters have helped bring out the kid in the players. It's been a great balance.
Since Jackson Overbeck, Carla's son, and Carli were born, U.S. Soccer has paid for a nanny whenever we go on the road. We are very lucky to work for an organization that is so progressive and has been willing to give us the support to be mothers and professional soccer players at the same time. Walt has also been a superstar. I am lucky to have a husband that is so supportive and involved. He watches the kids so I can train at home, has put his career on hold for mine and often comes on the road and serves as the team nanny himself. It's been a wild ride, but I know that after I'm done playing, we'll look back on these years with tremendous fondness and warmth. There have been great memories with the kids, great friends and great experiences. I get asked all the time if I would do it over again. Truthfully, I wouldn't have done it any other way."
Table of Contents
1) Armchair Midfielder (A look at the new Nike U.S. World Cup jerseys)
2) Word Association (w/ MNT forward Brian McBride)
3) At the Oscars (w/ U-21 WNT/WNT forward Aly Wagner)
4) Queries and Anecdotes (w/ U-20 MNT midfielder Jordan Stone)
5) Life as a Soccer Mom (w/ WNT defender Joy Fawcett)
6) Superstar!!! (w/ U-23 MNT/MNT forward Landon Donovan)
7) Mark That Calendar (MNT vs. Ecuador, Germany -- March 10, 27)
8) "You Don’t Know Jack (Marshall)" (MNT's "European Vacation" Trivia)
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