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Being a Big-League Dad: Four Tips for Hitting Fatherhood Out of the Park

It’s the bottom of the ninth inning, score tied with the bases loaded and two outs -- also known as way past bedtime. You have two kids who should be down for the count but are in the middle of a late rally, and an exhausted spouse who has been in all game. What call do you make? You bring in Big-League Dad to drive in the winning run and secure a victory for the home team!

While all good dads and baseball players hope for a victory every time they take the field and within every aspect of their lives, you may not always be able to bring your best stuff as the challenges of life can bring strain to your game. If your Big-League Dad skills are in a slump, it might be time to take some pointers from the majors by implementing the following four tips for hitting a home run in the game of fatherhood.

Tip One: Work Hard, Play Hard
One of the keys is to round all of the bases and make sure that you cover all of your personal, professional, relationship and family commitments. Most people are good at focusing on one or two of the things they really need to do, while leaving the others out on the practice field. If you get caught focusing on one base more than the others, you run the risk of getting thrown out before getting to home plate and missing out on scoring the big run in your career, family life, marriage and personal accomplishments. Work hard at taking care of the commitments in each area of your life and you will soon be ready for Super Dad status in the big leagues.

Tip Two: Surprise Your Spouse with a Squeeze Play    
When you are busy making plays, catching pop flies and running the bases of life, it can be easy to sideline your marriage and leave it sitting in the dugout. The games of baseball and life, though, are team sports.  So it’s important that all members of the organization are taken care of and given the attention they need in order for everyone to succeed. You can score big points toward making your spouse feel special and loved by surprising her with a dose of drinks and dinner out on the town. This will not only earn you a run at Big-League Dad status, but Big-League Husband as well.

Tip Three: Take Time Out of the Game to Connect with Your Kids    
The role of a Big-League Dad in Babe Ruth’s day and age was predominantly focused on working and financially providing for the family. Big-League Dads today who are part of the Derek Jeter and Troy Tulowitzki era are not only focused on their professional careers, but are also committed to having an active relationship with their children. Staying connected with your kids takes constant dedication, but an easy way to accomplish this on a daily basis is to either drop them off or pick them up from school, summer camps, etc. In just the 10 to 15 minutes it takes to drive your kids to and from their activities, you can discover what’s on their minds and tap into what interests them academically and socially, as well as detect if something is bothering them. This one-on-one dad-and-kid time can be invaluable to staying connected with your kids as they progress through the ranks of childhood.

Tip Four: Hang with the Team after a Week of Doubleheaders
Every great baseball player and Big-League Dad knows the importance of taking time out after a long week of work, family and personal commitments to rest and relax tired muscles and minds. Whether playing sports with the guys, getting together for happy hour, working out or getting a massage helps you unwind both physically and mentally, it’s important to find what works for you to revive and rejuvenate your mind and body. Taking time to unwind will help you to always be prepared for your Big-League Dad duties, while keeping you mentally and physically healthy during the home run derby of fatherhood.

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