March Madness and basketball: Not so different from parenthood?


There are many things that one could compare parenthood to, but in honor of March Madness, we’ve pulled together a list of parallels to be drawn between the worlds of parenthood and basketball. But it couldn’t be just any size list, right? We’re talking March Madness – The Big Dance. No, there was really only one choice to be made here, so with no further ado we give you:

(Sweet) Sixteen Ways Parenthood Compares to Basketball

  1. All the roles – As parents, we wear all kinds of figurative hats: we are referees, coaches, teammates, cheerleaders, trainers, maintenance, fans…
  2. Teamwork – It’s needed on the court, and it’s crucial to making a family work. Without teamwork, everything can’t get done. Without teamwork, you just might burn out the coach/star player.
  3. Know your opponent – A team watching game tape has nothing on a parent’s knowledge of their offspring.
  4. Spectator Sport – Oh, you didn’t know parenting was a spectator sport? Sure is. Whether it’s a comment in the grocery store or on the web. Everyone’s an expert, and they’re all waiting to be called (or not) off the bench to share their opinion.
  5. The Cinderella Story – It seems there’s often a Cinderella story during March Madness that captivates fans, but in parenthood, you will have a Cinderella story of your own: Disney’s.
  6. Bleacher butt – Days/evenings/weekends are spent watching other people play games.
  7. Defense – As a family grows the defensive strategy adjusts. Initially (and always, for us parents of onlies) it starts with the double-team, then shifts to man-to-man defense, and finally when the kids outnumber the parents, zone defense. Gotta stay on your toes in parenthood, and on the court.
  8. Jump Ball – Just as the referee has to jump in when two players are fighting for the ball, so does the parent have to settle the great “Mine!” debates.
  9. Hustle – You think ballers hustle on the court. Pssh, just watch a mama coordinating her brood’s schedule.
  10. Offense – Tough defense can win games, but offense often gets all the glory. A good offense in the parenthood are the glory days. The trips to the park, the pillow fights; it’s positively filling their memory banks.
  11. Fouls –When our patience escapes us, or we feel like we’re in the midst of a #parentingfail, you could say it’s a #parentingfoul. Some days are better than others.
  12. Time Out – You can’t argue the benefit of a strategically used timeout; on the court or in the parenthood.
  13. Rebound – It’s no easy thing, coming back from those tough days in the parenting trenches, but we do; we fight it out and rebound.
  14. So. Many. Feelings. The glory of victory, the agony of defeat – on the court or in the parenthood, it’s all the same.
  15. Your go-to – The clock is ticking down, who are you going to fight to get the ball to? We are their constant, their go-to.
  16. Sub! Just as substitutions are necessary on the court, we’ve got to allow for substitutions in the parenthood. It’s a call to use our villages so we, too, can refuel our tanks.

Originally printed in the pages of Simply Family Magazine’s March 2018 issue.
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