Parenting: As Much An Individual As A Team Sport

Parenting: it can feel like we are in it all alone. There are days that we think we have it all together. We can complete chores, the kids are listening, and running errands with the kids isn’t a pain. Then, there are days where it feels like a struggle to meet the ever-growing list of “demands” that our children put in front of us. There are school clubs, sports, the constant battle to help out around the house, and going through our kids dating. It is easy for us to think that we are in alone.

But we are far from it.

In baseball, players and coaches alike say that it is an individual and a team sport. When a player walks up to the plate it is just him and the pitcher. The two of them are in the stadium alone. Pitch after pitch and foul ball after foul ball until one of them comes out the ultimate winner.

When the batter drives the ball to right field for a single, suddenly it is a team sport. The runner on first is counting on the batter to move him into scoring position or even score him from first.

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It is easy for the pitcher to forget at the moment that he isn’t alone. There is a whole team backing him up if by chance there is a ball hit in play. Everyone behind him is cheering for him, hoping he succeeds at the job that has been given to him that night. The team is hoping that the adjustments that the pitcher is making throughout a given at-bat and game works.

Parenting: As Much A Individual Sport As A Team Sport

The same can is said for parenting. In the heat of the moment, it is just the parent and the child. While the parents always hold the upper hand, the child will not go down without a fight, no matter the age.

I look back to my time as a stay-at-home-parent. There were many times that I felt like I was in it all alone. There were days that the kids drove me to the limits of my sanity and at times, and I had a terrible outing as a parent and wanted to quit.

Just in those moments though, my team backed me up. My wife came home, saw that I had a bad day, took the kids, and gave me a break. She knew I’d be right back out in the field again tomorrow and wanted to make sure I got the rest needed. There were times my mother would take the kids sometimes giving me a much needed full day off.

In the thick of it, I felt alone, much like a pitcher on the mound looking around at a stadium full of people rooting for me. Then I look around the field at my teammates to see that they are there to back me up. Each one of them is nodding as if to tell me, “we got this.”

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We got this. Not just me, not just you, but we. I look at the mom in the grocery store who’s infant is screaming as she finds the food her family needs and as we cross each other’s path, I smile at the baby and wave. Suddenly the baby calms down, and the mother looks at me and says, “thank you!”

We’ve all been there.

I look at the family struggling to get their child in the car as the child wraps her arms tightly around her dad’s neck. She’s upset they had to leave the play place and is going to do everything she can to go back. As I pull in the parking spot next to them, the mother is apologizing, I say, “we were dealing with a child like that not 10 minutes ago. Don’t worry about it.”

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had moments it feels like we are alone even though there is an entire team there to support us. That team though is there for us, no matter when we need them.

Parenting, it might feel like an individual sport, but it is more of a team sport.

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