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NEWS: A sacrifice worth the reward: How moms juggle work, family and coaching

The Hanover Park girls soccer team has been part of Erin Shane Fulton?s extended family for years.

When she and Hornets football coach Dan Fulton got engaged, she promised the girls they could come to the wedding if they won a NJSIAA sectional title.

Last fall, when the coach they call ?Shane? was pregnant, the girls were extra protective. They carried her bag, and made sure she drank water and had snacks handy.

Senior midfielder Claire Cahill dressed up as Fulton for Halloween ? complete with big belly ? and she accepted the Morris County Coach of the Year award from her peers 35 weeks pregnant.

It only made sense that after Maddie Fulton was born in January, she would be showered with black-and-gold gear.

The football boosters bought a miniature Hanover Park cheerleader outfit, and members of Kids Helping Kids sent a onesie. Just five months old, the baby already has three United States women?s national soccer team jerseys, one with star striker Alex Morgan?s name on the back.

?No matter what anyone tells you about how hard it is, you never really know until you do it,? Erin Shane Fulton said.

?It?s the hardest thing I?ve ever done in my life, between the lack of sleep, making sure she?s fed and clean and happy. ? It still doesn?t feel real, that I?m a mom. I know I?m her mom and I love her so much. It?s just so crazy to look at this little person, and think, ?I am your mom.’?

Fulton?started maternity leave during winter break, and went back April 23, when spring break ended, joining a growing group of working ? and coaching ? moms.



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