Are You Ready For Some…A Few Similarities Between Parenthood and Football — From The Start, Postpartum Doula

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy…here it is. It’s finally here. We waited patiently and now it’s finally here. There were updates and meetings and practices and classes. All items are cleaned and organized. Everything is double, no, triple-checked and looks ready to go. Everything is in its place. We are ready for the big day!!

And here it is! It’s finally here!!!!

NFL OPENING DAY! Woot, woot!

I really enjoy NFL football. I think I enjoy it because I grew up in San Jose, CA, on the West Coast, where you can literally spend all day watching football and still sleep normal human working hours/ study at night. But I remember that I just loved Sunday when I was young.

The speed of the game. The length of the season. The teamwork required for The works of strength. The ability to fit all the action on the TV screen. The fans (remember, I grew up in Raiders and Niners country). I just want to watch it. I played many sports in my youth, softball was my main jam and water polo was my favorite, but football was definitely my favorite to watch.

But that’s all. I will watch it. I can dissolve myself in my real-world and get caught up in the game. Especially when my team is playing! But parenting is definitely not a spectator sport. It’s a full contact (literally and figuratively) sport that takes time, patience, and love. While there are undoubtedly some differences between the sport of football and the life-changing role of parenting, let’s chat briefly, and humorously, about some similarities between the two.

Similarities between NFL football and Parenthood, according to From The Start, Postpartum Doula:

1. Team sports. Let’s all agree on this – football is a team sport. Check. No more discussion about that. However, I may have to convince you that parenting is also a team sport. Granted, sometimes you can trade players, you can be a one-man team, and you can have a lot of back-up players on the starting roster, but dammit, it’s still a team. You literally cannot do it alone. From occasional baby sitters to grandparents and nannies and everything in between, we all “get by with a little help from our friends” and family. Sometimes it can feel like you’re constantly on defense and everyone else on your supposed “team” is on offense and out to quickly move the chains down the field.

2. Preseason hype. There is a lot of scary talk and hype about prenatal and preseason times. NFL preseason hype has only grown with the proliferation of fantasy leagues and drafts. Oh, speaking of that, don’t parents do the same thing to our unborn babies? We predict how well they will do in the regular season. We make so many assumptions about them and their abilities – assumptions that we sometimes base on ourselves (“I’m 8 lbs, so this baby will be about 8 lbs”) or our significant others. son (“He left overnight at eight weeks, so it must be too”) or what others will say. Similarly, we size up players and teams during the preseason – based on how they’ve performed in the past, how they compare to other players in the same position, and based on what the coaches/doctors/ team mate The analogy is this last preseason – depending on your care model and other factors, you might get some good looks at the baby during prenatal, just like you might get 4 looks at your team during the NFL preseason.

3. Opening Day. You know, I’m going to try to compare the opening day of the NFL season to the opening day of parenthood. But, when I told my husband about it he said the only thing that came to mind was, well, football players blow up a big banner and he likened it to the birth of a child. And that’s not the only image I want to create here. Now, if you look Madge The Vag, I bet he could do an absolutely hilarious segment comparing NFL opening day and parenting opening day. Madge, are you up for the challenge?!?!

4. The weather itself. Does it make sense that the regular season is 17 games then you’re in the post season? I almost feel like it will be 17 years of the regular season with the kids then we enter the post season, full of stressors and pressures, but watching the team (or kid, in this metaphor) reach their peak and perform at their peak. I think that’s why there are 17 weeks in the regular season. During those 17 weeks there were ups and downs, painful losses, and happy wins. There are fans who are with you all the way. There are away trips and there is home field advantage. There are wounds. There is growth and learning. There is a loss of relationship There is dedication. There is maturity. I’m not even sure if I’m talking about parenting or football, there are so many similarities! Oh, and the bye-week too. Parents also need a bye-week (well, we might have a bye-night or a bye-morning but any “bye” I can get, even if it’s just a bye-hour!)!

5. Defense wins championships. Just pretend with me that we parents are the defense and, well, our kids are the offense (quick disclaimer – this is just for the sake of this conversation. We should be on the same team as our kids, in real life!). Sometimes we play zone defense. Sometimes we play man-to-man. Sometimes we are a double team. And sometimes we go for the pick-6! Sometimes we react on offense, especially when they fake punts to us. But we have prepared and we are ready.

So, let’s start this season. Let’s follow through and face this season like we do any other season – we’ll give it our best, pray a little, and hope it ends in our favor. Even though my not-so-secret crush Jason Witten just retired this off-season, I’m still looking forward to these coming Sundays. This season may not be the best for my football team, but I will do my best to make it a good parenting season for my boys.

stay blessed,

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