I am a HUGE Ravens Fan! and I mean HUGE! Yesterday, I spent most of the day gathering all of our Ravens scarfs, hats, gloves, blankets... together for the big playoff game this weekend that my husband I will be attending. So in light of today being Purple Friday and the impending big game, I am going to breakdown how I use the dynamics of football to raise my two boys. Now I understand that I may lose a few of you ladies but work with me and for all the Dad's out there this one's for you.
#1 Quarterback - I am the quarterback (among other positions). Lets be honest, most if not all moms are the quarterback. (Hubby, I know when you read this you are going to want to be the quarterback but when you come up with your own "sports analogy" to raise our boys, you can pick your own position. For now, I am the quarterback) Now the reason I am the quarterback (and a very effective one at that), is my ability to run the "offense"/household. I handle it all, grocery shopping, bill paying, homework, birthday parties, doctor appointments... while at the same time the "defense"/children are blitzing and running at me trying to knock me down. Believe you me, my kids do not call any other plays but to blitz. All. The. Time.
#2 Offensive Line - Hubby, this is one of your positions and I don't care which one of the Offensive Lineman you are just block for me. For example, when I am making dinner and the kids are fighting and yelling my name and the dog is running around chasing them, throw a block for your quarterback. When I am on the phone and the kids are jamming fruit snacks in my face to open, throw a block for your quarterback. When I am on the edge of a melt down because it has been "one of those days" and losing my patience, throw a block for your quarterback. You get the picture.
#3 Play Calling - I am the quarterback and I call the plays. Even though I may discuss the play in the "huddle", I reserve the right to change the play at the line of scrimmage. For example, As I am writing this right now, I told both my boys after their bath that they needed to play quietly for a little while so Mommy could write and I would let them stay up a little past bedtime. They thought that by "quiet" I meant to throw things at each other from the top of the stairway and run around slamming doors. I changed the play, they are both in bed now. Sometimes I call specific plays from "watching film"/past mistakes. This is one of the main reasons why I am the quarterback. I have the previous experience to pull from. Although my husband would like to abandon bed time on a night he is home, I have to explain to him that bed time is set at 8:00pm not just for my sanity but because they need to be up by a certain time for our morning routine and if I can't get them out of bed, the morning becomes more difficult then it already is and if they are tired, they will wake up in a mood that would make Ray Lewis himself turn and want to run away.
#4 The Super Star - In our house my husband is the "Super Star" of the team, you know, the Ray Lewis, the Peyton Manning, the Randy Moss... and I really am okay with it. He gets very little time to spend with our boys and I do understand his need to make that time fun and special for everyone. He is after all, the one who always has to give me a good pep talk on the sidelines after a "Mommy Meltdown" and tap me on the behind, tell me to get back in there and that "I got this".
#5 Defense - Now that I have covered Offense, lets move on to Defense. Parenting is unique to football in that you will be playing both Offense and Defense and at a moment's notice you may need to switch back and forth. Also, sometimes when you are playing Defense, you will realize that you should have really been playing Offense and vice versa. Let me provide you with an example, if I may. We are a family that at times likes to eat out. Now on the ride to a restaurant I am quarterbacking all the way, I am running the plays in my head against what I think the boys are going to do, getting prepared for the "game"/dinner and letting the boys know what is expected of them at the restaurant. Once we park, my husband and I move into defense. At this point we are basically going to be your "corners" in football and our job is to cover the "receivers"/our children and not let them get a big play. I know a lot of people like to run a zone defense (especially if you have more than 2 children) but my husband and I switch it up to catch them off guard and keep them on their toes. However, at the table, we are strictly man to man coverage. We each cover the one sitting next to us. Now I do, at times, have to remind my husband that this scenario is strictly man to man because he likes to drop back into zone. That being, I cover the zone and he eats his dinner, but this is and always should remain a man to man situation. Now dropping coverage at this point, includes but is not limited to allowing "your" child to play with knives, empty condiments on the table, crawl under the table, kick the other child sitting on the other side of the table, not cutting up and/or preparing his meal... I again do have to remind my husband of the last one and the fact that I can't cover both sides of the "field"/table and that he needs to cover his man at all times. As far as any outings at non- eating establishments, we run a zone defense and the hubby does excel at this.
#6 Hail Marys - I throw a lot of them, I try not to get us into a position where the only option left is a Hail Mary but lets face it, sometimes you just have to throw the ball up as hard as you can and hope it comes down in the right hands. Now my husband and I have completed a few Hail Marys and looked at one another like we just won the Superbowl and a smug "we have got this parenting thing, down" and that's when out of nowhere the children "sack us" or knock the "ball out of our hands". Always anticipate your "opponent's"/children's move, never lose focus. Don't ever feel bad about having thrown a Hail Mary, unfortunately, children don't come with a playbook and sometimes this is going to be your only option.
#7 Winning - We have won a few and lost many. Our main goal is to just keep ourselves in the "game" and give ourselves a chance to be good parents and raise two kind, inspired, and motivated human beings. In the words of Jack Harbaugh, father to NFL coaches Jim and John Harbaugh we want our boys to "Attack this day with an enthusiasm unknown to man kind". GO RAVENS!!! CAW! CAW!
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