It's Super Bowl Sunday! As the Atlanta Falcons get ready to take on the New England Patriots, I couldn't help but think about how new babies are a lot like the Super Bowl. Maybe I just have babies on the brain.
From getting dirty to trusting in your team, here's how those cute little squishes can be a lot like the NFL's biggest day.
You're Going to Stay Up Late
I'm kind of a Super Bowl amateur and I readily admit that I don't watch it every year, but last year the home team, the Carolina Panthers, were in it so we decided to have a get together with family and watch the big game. The game started at 6:00 pm, surely it would be all wrapped up by 9:00 and we could get the kids in bed and ready for school the next day at a decent time. Right? Wrong.
There's a thousand commercials and a flashy half-time show and a million time-outs and oh boy, does this thing drag on.
Well, babies are lot like that too. If this is your first baby, be prepared to stay up late.
New babies eat around the clock and for some reason they also save their fussiest times for the evening. So just when you've soothed and calmed and changed their diaper and swaddled them up tight, it's time to eat again. So it's probably best to let go of the idea that you will have a regular bedtime anymore.
It Gets Dirty
No one is under the impression that football is a prim and proper sport. Those guys get dirty - they play in the rain and mud and wear those stains like a badge of honor by the end of the fourth quarter. I pity whoever has to do the team's laundry.
Well, babies can get pretty dirty too. Between the spit up, drool, and diaper blow-outs, you'll realize that it's a good thing you were gifted so many onesies at your baby shower. You'll probably start to wonder how something so tiny can create so much laundry.
Everyone Wants to See
The Super Bowl is one of the most watched television events of the year. Some people tune in because their favorite team has finally made it. Others are diehard football fans who never miss the game. And still others watch just for the advertisements. But no matter what the reason, it seems like everyone is watching.
This is kind of what it feels like when you bring home your new baby. The grandparents are of course one of the first to come by. Then you have other family members and close friends dying for a peek at your little one. Co-workers, church members, and neighbors may drop by with a hot meal, hoping for an invitation to hold the baby.
It may start to feel like the whole world is trying to get in and see your newborn. I mean, he is cuter than anything you've ever seen in the Puppy Bowl. But don't be afraid to call a time-out on the steady stream of visitors.
Don't Forget the Hail Mary Play
Every once in awhile you find yourself watching sports history. The game is thrilling, the plays are amazing, and it's too close to call who will be the winner. The underdog pulls out the Hail Mary play in a last ditch effort to win the game. And it works! The crowd goes wild!
The same can be true for your fussy baby. There will be nights where she just won't settle, where everything that usually works like a charm is not working. Don't be afraid to try something new on those nights. Turn on the vacuum cleaner for some white noise. Go out for a walk in the fresh night air. Try the swaddle, the pacifier, the white noise, and your special rocking technique all at once. When the old standbys aren't working, pull out your Hail Mary to calm that fussy baby.
Rely on Your Team
Football is not swimming or track and field - one person alone cannot win it. Football is a team sport and everyone has to work together if they want to win the big game. They wouldn't have made it all the way to the Super Bowl without their team.
This is true of parenting as well. It's time to rely on your team, even if you are used to doing things on your own. The newborn time can be lonely and isolating and sometimes overwhelming. Let your friends and family bring you food, take the baby for awhile, or fold some laundry for you. This is a time in your life when it's nice to have a support system, a team, that you can rely on.
You can't win the Super Bowl without one.