I always (like, ALWAYS) wanted to be a cheerleader. You guys, I actually tried out in junior high but I was such a nervous wreck and so scared and introverted that I ended up CRYING and leaving. It was bad. So seeing Haley have so much confidence and having so much fun from competitive cheering is just mind-blowing. I absolutely love that I’m a cheer mom!
I’ve learned some things along the way that I thought would be fun to share, especially for new cheer moms. We’re only one year into our journey with competitive cheerleading, but it’s been nothing but a learning process and an adventure. Let’s start with some basics – the cost.
I wouldn’t say that I was surprised, but it was definitely a little overwhelming to see that in the past year of cheering we’ve encountered fees for: practices, accessories (bows, makeup), shirts, admission fees for competitions, purchasing things to donate for various causes, tumbling classes, uniform, practice wear, travel, and food.
If you are venturing into competitive cheerleading, go ahead and set up a checking account and START SAVING. You will encounter expenses, especially if your team will do competitions even just 20 minutes away from home. You will have admission fees for anyone who goes to watch (so parents, siblings), food and drink while there, and don’t forget the “swag” like bows, shirts, etc.
My BIGGEST tip for saving is to set up Digit and just let it do its thing. Transfer the money monthly to your designated cheer bank account, but let it do it’s saving and forget about it. Use my link and you’ll start off with $5 for your cheer fund!
Take part in fundraisers, but don’t rely on them. You might have much better luck than us, but our fundraisers just haven’t gone well so we don’t rely on them. We have found that budgeting, saving, and doing some side hustles is what really helped with our cheer expenses.
You will adjust your dinner time constantly. We eat before practice, after practice, even in the parking lot during practice. It’s not much different for other sports families though, so if you already do that because of baseball, soccer, or football, then this is nothing new to you!
You will carefully wash practice wear, uniforms, and cheer shoes. You will keep them protected in garment bags, special shoe bags, even a special box for your competition bow.
You will buy so much hairspray while you find “the one”, not to mention dozens of bobby pins and hair ties.
You will watch dozens of other teams perform while you impatiently wait for your team to hit the floor, for a performance that’s 2.5 minutes long. You will scream until your throat is raw, you will cry, you will squeeze that tiny person until she almost pops. You will take so many photos that you can literally see the joy on her face go from excitement to annoyance because “just one more!” really means a dozen more poses in front of a branded banner for the competition.
You will complain and rejoice. You will connect with other cheer parents. You will see just how cheer transforms a family’s lifestyle and witness first-hand how truly awesome the siblings of cheerleaders are.
You will charge tablets and gaming devices countless times, pack baggies of snacks, and use plenty of bribes to keep siblings happy and entertained. Been there, done that.
Being a cheer mom is an adventure. From the very first practice to the first competition, to the first time they win first place, it’s all just an adventure and so fun. It might be exhausting, and expensive, but you know what? It’s worth it. She’s learning teamwork, respecting authority, building her confidence, becoming physically stronger and capable of things I never could have imagined. She’s having FUN. Who knows, maybe it will lead to scholarships for college, but for now, we are just along for the ride while she has fun.