A new dad offers tips on how you can play hockey and still be in your family’s good books.
October is my favourite month of the year. The National Football League is in full swing, Major League Baseball has its World Series and the National Hockey League is starting up. For a sports fan, there is an overload of sports programming on television, especially when you consider NCAA football on Saturdays.
But as much as I love watching sports, there is nothing like playing the games. This year I might have gone a little overboard — last season was my first back playing ice hockey and I loved every minute of it. When the season was over in April, our team captain had a summer shinny game once a week on Sundays throughout the summer and I played in a summer league in Vancouver. Oh, and I played the occasional shinny game on Thursday mornings before work.
This year, I am playing league hockey again and organizing my own shinny game once a week. The guys and gals I play hockey with are amazed …
“Didn’t you just have a baby a couple of months ago?”
“You look more refreshed than before the baby!”
“You have the coolest wife in the world!”
“Do you mind if I take notes when you talk to your wife when asking to play sports?”
Honestly, due to the game times being between 8pm and 11pm, I found that I have enough time to spend with my wife and baby. We are still able to sit down for dinner together, I am able to put my daughter to bed at night and help out around the house on the weekends during the day. So really, are two or three nights (sometimes mornings) of playing really all that bad?
So for all you who think you cannot balance both, trust me you can. But just remember that in any relationship, there is give and take. So you may find the following rules helpful:
1. Get home quickly after the game ends: Don’t think that just because you are out of the house you are free to do whatever you want. Remember that you are out to play the game, not drink beers for an hour after the game.
A friend of mine played a late game, had a few drinks with the guys afterwards and called his wife — who was sleeping, as was their eight month year old daughter — to pick him up. Long story short, daughter wakes up and cries all night and wife DECIDES that husband will not play hockey for the rest of the week. Lesson learned, he is the first one out of the showers now.
2. Help out around the house the best you can on game days: Washing the dishes, cleaning toilets, changing diapers and vacuuming are all positives in ensuring your wife will not make a big deal of when you are about to leave.
Trust me, sitting around all day at home in front of the TV when there is a lawn to mow or cars to wash does not sit well at the best of times. So if you do nothing all day and then get ready to go out and play sports, don’t be surprised if your wife is ‘displeased’ with you.
3. Make sure you spend quality time with you family: Since my hockey schedule is set a few months in advance, I make sure to books trips or outings on days and weekends that I am not playing. Whether it is going out for dinner or taking a road trip Vancouver Island, I make sure that my wife and daughter spend enough time with me, especially now in the early stages of parenthood.
My wife needs me to organize our social events because, being a first time mother, she finds herself buried in housework and taking care of the baby. Now more than ever she now she needs time to enjoy herself with her family outside of the house. So although I can find the time to enjoy myself, it is important to understand she needs her social time as well.
These are just a few tips to help all you who love sports to make sure you get an adequate time to enjoy yourself. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s all about give and take. So if you happily give your family your time and effort, they in return will be happy to see you enjoying yourself doing something you love.
Until next time.