7 Ways College Football Is Like Raising Kids

by Melissa L. Fenton
Originally Published: 

I am a college football lovin’ mom, and if there is one thing you need to know about my ‘type’, it’s that during the months of September, October, and November, we could care less about pumpkin spice flavored everything. What we do care passionately about, and spend every Saturday in the Fall obsessing over, is all things pigskin. In fact, it was after a particularly nail biting, fist clenching, hoarse voice inducing, battle on the gridiron last weekend that it hit me: raising kids is a helluva lot like college football.

The plays, the penalties, the screaming (Clean. Your. Room. NOW), the exhilarating wins and the agonizing defeats. The similarities do not end there. See for yourself…

1. Encroachment. Oh attachment parenting how I loved thee. Until I didn’t love thee. Until one day, four kids in, I decided I wanted everyone on the OTHER side of the line. I needed those ten years I lived without any shred of personal space BACK, and I needed them now. Sure, I can still hug and cuddle my little ones, but the big boys? They scare me now. I am the undersized O lineman looking deep into the face of a much larger D-back. Please teenage boy who just inhaled two rotisserie chickens, don’t jump over here and startle me.

2. Hands to the Face. I cherished those times feeding a baby in my lap, with their big, round glossy eyes staring up at me, and those soft padded little fingertips reaching up to touch my face, squeeze my nose, or stroke my cheek. But in no way, shape, or form do I want any of my boys touching me in the face now. It’s just not precious anymore. Please, no poking, flicking, jabbing, nose grabbing, or cheek stroking with your perpetually sticky hands ever again. (Unless one of you boys become a makeup artist, then yes, you have full access to my face. Bring your airbrush.)

3. Unnecessary Roughness. Seriously? I have four sons. This is one big roughness penalty after the next. Everything in my house is broken, and we have a frequent punch card for the local hospital’s emergency room, and also one for our town’s window glass replacement business. We live in a constants state of who has the purple egg on their forehead today? Need to do some concussion research? Come on over.

4. Overtime. Parenting. Just when you think it’s over, it’s SOOOO NOT over. Ever. Finally got newborn to sleep after three hours of pacing the floor? He wakes up two seconds after you put him down. Overtime. All the kiddos tucked in for the night? 3 a.m. violent stomach virus. Overtime. Just found out science project is due tomorrow? Worst. Overtime. Ever. Hope you are hydrated momma, because parenting means life on “overtime.” And this game is really never over.

5. The Upset. You are rockin’ the mom thing hard, your kitchen floor is clean, the laundry is done, and the family is running like a boss on all cylinders. Reports cards are full of A’s, the kids are actually being nice to each other, and you went on a date night with your husband and both agreed on the restaurant AND the movie. Hoorah! Enjoy it while it lasts, because you are just one burnt dinner away from a cataclysmic series of false starts, personal fouls, and a pick six which will lead to #1 being knocked off their pedestal. Man up mom, you got next week’s dinner…err….game to redeem yourself.

6. Cover two, man on man, zone defenses. There you are, just you and your husband and your first baby. It is a cover two defense in reverse, your sweet baby covered with two sets of eyes at all times. It is the easiest you will ever have it, and the irony is you won’t realize it until your cover two becomes man to man when baby #2 arrives, and then full blown zone defense when baby #3 and 4 join the team. By that point, you and your husband have become masters of the hand off, the bootleg, the scramble, and the quarterback sneak. Four kids deep and I have settled into a prevent defense (just feed them and keep them alive), and now I’m just trying to run out the clock by bench sitting comatose, waiting for the second string to show up to relieve me.

7. Hail Mary. You’ve got one in you moms. We all do. So when numbers 1- 5 have you backed up on your own 30, wing it. Just say a prayer, call your girlfriends, and schedule the mom version of the zero time on the clock touchdown- a girl’s night out. Because sometimes the best call in the huddle is “GNO, 7 p.m., ASAP….hut, hut, hut…..”

Related post: Saying Goodbye to the Sideline

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