Being a parent is like being an American Football Player



I don’t really know where to start.  The beginning seems like the most logical place, but I’m not sure it’ll make any sense at all if I start from there!

I am Ian.  I recently completed my 37th journey around the Sun.  I live with two other people, who, I am lead to believe, are in charge! They are Jane and Lauren.  Jane is…well Jane is a similar age to myself but I’m not stupid enough to tell the world she is older than me and turns 28 in January.  Lauren is 10.

Jane, Lauren & I at media centre, Manchester

I started this blog because a number of my social media friends and followers asked me to.  Many of them wanted to discover more about myself and my family, some where interested in what its like being a stay at home Dad and some were eager to read about how I perceive the world.  I became a stay at home Dad about 4 years ago.  Prior to this I had a number of different professions in my time, from working in security to managing large call centers. My last job was a sales director selling commercial kitchens to the hotel and restaurant trade.  In addition to this I was a semi-pro fissional American Football Player.  I was very lucky to play for a number of teams and honored to represent Great Britain playing across Europe.  If you know anything about American Football (most people in the UK don’t), I played as an offensive lineman.  This basically means it was my job to keep our Quarter Back (QB) and Running Backs safe to run or throw the ball.  I know a lot of you reading this will have no interest in American Football but please stay with me. The blog isn’t about sport. it’s about parenting as a stay at home Dad and my adventures in the world.  However, my career in American Football was cut short due to a life limiting illness and I have learned that parenting (when done properly) is A LOT like being an offensive lineman! 

I'm number 61 ensuring no one gets to my QB
If you do your job really well no one ever seems to notice. In fact, do your job perfectly and it seems other people get all the credit! In football if the Oline are outstanding, the QB will throw touchdowns, showering himself and his wide receivers (the ones who catch the ball), in glory.  The running backs will gain lots of yards and score points getting lots of recognition, the Oline??…little to no glory.  As a parent I hear “Lauren is so well mannered, isn’t she good?”  In 10 years, no one has ever said, “Lauren is very well mannered, you’ve taught her really well”.  I sometimes wonder if people think she was born saying please and thank you! I’d really love to show everyone the hours upon hours of Jane & I refusing to give Lauren her drink until she said please, and not letting go of the toy I’d just fetched until she said thank you.  Still I suppose this is just normal parenting.  The similarities continue though.  In football I learned that the success of the team is reliant on each person to do his or her job.  If the Oline fail to protect the QB, there is a very good chance he will get hurt.  Sometimes the QB would go rouge, causing the Oline to have to protect him for longer or move quickly to protect him form a danger he* hasn’t seen coming his way. (Sounding familiar parents??)

One characteristic I noticed in every offensive lineman I played with; big tough guys with a soft gentle nature. The ones with an inherent knowledge of the playbook, an intellectual understanding of every position on the field.  We were the guys teammates would ask advice from on their personal lives and the guy’s teammates came to when they needed backing up.  This is exactly what Jane and Lauren have come to expect from me.  The protector. The big tough Daddy figure. The one who gets out of bed to investigate bumps in the night.  The spider catcher!  Yet I am also the one who mops up the tears, listens for hours on end as they chat about their days (regardless of how inane, irrelevant and long they may babble on for!). I am the one to give reassuring cuddles and to let them know it will be all right. The one who knows every detail of their days. The one to remember the cooking ingredients, P.E. kit and swimming kit. Remind Jane of that meeting or networking event, happening after work.  I am the planner, the person who prepares meals, to rush from one place to another making sure Lauren is collected from school at 17.30 to be delivered 20 miles away to drama by 18:00 and getting fed in the mean time without forgetting to make sure Jane has dinner for when she gets home from work.  I am the parent on call 24/7. I am the offensive Lineman of the house. I am the stay at home Dad…I am proud to be an honorary Mum!

Hope you have a great day
Ian B.

Lauren & I at the beech 2016


* - Please note – I type he & him because I only played with male quarterbacks.  I even had a specific person in mind when writing this.  It in no way reflects my overall opinion of sexism in sport. The youth team I coach has girls playing and they are exceptional athletes.  I believe sport should be equal and open to whoever wishes to play.


Comments

  1. Such a great read I loved reading your first blog post!

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  2. Loved it Ian!! Can’t wait for your next one 😊

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  3. Congrats on your blog! I loved learning more about you!

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  4. Great post. It’s such a good reminder that skills, manners, good habits, etc. are the result of practice and hard work. Children certainly aren’t born saying please and thank you. So the flip side of that is that we can all raise kind, we’ll-mannered little humans no matter what disposition they were born with!

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