Working parenthood must have something in common with baseball. Or that’s what I’m sitting here hoping, as I’m trying to draft a blog post while watching the Washington Nationals attempt to sweep the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLCS. (For the record, prior to having an 8-year old boy who lives and breathes baseball, the sentence I just wrote would have been entirely incomprehensible to me.)
I blocked this Tuesday evening to write a serious blog post for Mindful Return. And guess what: the Nats are currently up 7-0, and I can’t concentrate on writing that post. In the past, I might have forced myself to turn off the TV, “buck up” and just write. Or I may have voted to sacrifice some sleep tomorrow to get it done.
But tonight, I’m actively practicing self-compassion. The dinner dishes are sitting in the sink. (If you know me well, you know what a big deal that is…) And I want to write about baseball. So I’m writing about baseball.
10 Things Parenthood and Post-Season Baseball Have in Common
There are a number of things post-season baseball seem to me to have in common with life as a parent. Here’s my list, in Letterman order:
10. You have to expect the unexpected. Who’d have thought the Nats, the Wild Card team, would beat the Dodgers, the team with the best record in the National League?! Who’d have thought your child would wake up at 4am with a fever of 101 on the same day you have to give a big presentation at work?
9. It’s expensive to get a ticket – to a game or to daycare!!
8. We wind up distracted by competing priorities. This week, our evening routines are out of whack. My “split shift” is off. And allowing our children to watch some of a game before bed leaves us with little monsters in the morning.
7. We learn to never say never. Your team will never make it to the World Series? Never say never. Your child will never sleep past 6am? Never say never. You’ll wind up actually enjoying a game of baseball after having found it horribly boring for decades? Never say never.
6. At the end of a long day, you’re desperate to to go home. (Haha. I know, not funny.)
5. The struggle for dads to take paternity leave without ridicule is real. Thank you, Sean Doolittle, for standing up for your teammate, Daniel Hudson, when he missed a post-season game to actually be present when his child was being born. (More here, if you want to read about it.)
4. Both are amazing training grounds for resilience. We get knocked down every day in parenthood. And we get back up and do it again every morning. So too for those baseball players. (Howie Kendrick’s errors, anyone? And yet, he was the NLCS MVP!)
3. Emotions tend to run high, and there’s a lot of screaming. Sometimes, it’s just hard to calm down. Deep breaths, everyone.
2. Baby Shark, Do Do Do Do Do Do. Unofficial mascot of the 2019 National’s…and millions of children everywhere.
1. They both leave you sleep-deprived. Enough said!
If you need more help getting your head in a better place to return to work after maternity leave, join us for the next session of Mindful Return.
Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave