Don't 3-Putt Parenthood

And other golf course advice on parenting



I played golf last weekend with a younger guy whose wife is pregnant with their first. I told him that I have a 20-year-old and a soon-to-be 17-year old. He asked me what he was in for. So here were my 18 holes of thoughts:


1. The most terrifying moment is when you realize the nurses aren’t coming home with you and the kid’s survival is up to you

2. You will drive home 5-10 mph below the speed limit and act like every other driver is your mortal enemy

3. The pets around which your pre-kid life revolved are in for a rude awakening

4. DO NOT, under any circumstances, get all exuberant with baby #1 and prematurely suggest another child . You didn’t do the work. It won’t go well…trust me

5. Those plastic doorknob covers which prevented kids from opening their bedroom door are now considered child abuse

6. When the baby cries in the middle of the night, stay strong. The person who cracks first sleeps less

7. Smugly cruise through the “terrible twos” without a blip and the attitude that “we got this” and you’ll get blindsided by the “terrible threes”

8. You and your significant other will see yourselves and one another in your children. Blame the bad stuff on her side

9. Liberation is when you're not buying diapers in bulk at Costco and no longer look like a Mt. Everest sherpa as you board flights with baby gear

10. You will have so many moments when you say, “I want to freeze them at this age, this is the best it’ll ever be.” But then comes the next stage and you’ll say the same thing

11. There is no worry like parent worry

12. Don’t pat yourselves on the back….EVER. The game ain’t over

13. From my former life, I found that every bad parent told you what a great parent they were and every good parent woke up each day and went to sleep each night counting the ways they had failed their children

14. It’s the longest test you’ll ever take – you’ll get some midterm grades but you’re not sure you’re ever passing. I hope I’m getting graded on a curve

15. My golf handicap is 15 which is thoroughly average. I play quite a few good holes but always seem to have several bad "blow-up" holes. I think my parenting may be similar - some good and some really bad

16. In golf, you try to eliminate the really bad holes - it's the same with parenting

17. Golf is a silly game where you chase a white ball into a hole. Parenting isn't a game

18. Being a parent is likely the most and only important thing you’ll ever do


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