By Sarah Limberg | @sarahelimberg
My husband and I share a love of football that runs deep through our relationship. The first time I went to his house was for a Super Bowl party. In college, we went to nearly every home game and watched every away game. We even each pledged our allegiance to our football teams in our wedding vows (Go Raiders!), which was completely unplanned. For us, it’s deeper than just watching games; it’s tracking stats, playing Fantasy Football, reading reports on our favorite players, and betting the next week’s laundry on Sunday night’s game. We love football.
I’ve always looked forward to the day we could share our love of football with our little one. Not because we expect our child to love the same things we do, but because the idea of spending time together focused on something that was foundational in building our family makes my heart soar.
Now that we have a seven-month-old baby and football season is finally here, I find myself daydreaming about how we’ll spend Saturday and Sunday afternoons this fall. Yes, our college football Saturdays and NFL Sundays are going to look different now that we have a baby, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be fun. They might even be better! I mean, who can resist a baby crawling around in a football onesie?
If you’re like us and want to enjoy this football season with a new addition to your team, here are a few tips to make game day a little easier.
Plan Meals In Advance
Since our football-watching sessions last all day, I like to cook something in the afternoon before the last game. In the past, we would throw a last-minute dinner together, or make a quick mid-game grocery run. Now that we have a baby, it isn’t that easy. Prepping or planning a meal ahead of time means that I don’t need to step away from the game to pack up the car and go to the store, or dig through the freezer for something to eat. For us, this usually looks like having the ingredients for a simple sheet pan or Instant Pot dinner ready to go (less clean-up is a bonus!).
Don’t Be Afraid To Use The Pause Button
I know, watching the game on a slight delay is less than ideal. But it’s better than missing the play of the week! You never know when a nap, diaper change, or bath might interrupt the game. Pausing when you need to ensures you won’t miss anything important. The best part is you can usually catch up quickly when you come back. There’s a lot of downtime between plays, timeouts, and during commercial breaks, so you can skip through and catch back up.
Have Realistic Expectations
Just know your football-watching traditions and routines probably won’t look exactly the same after you have a baby, and that’s okay! It can still be fun, and you can still use this time to make memories. You can watch the game, have some good eats (maybe even an adult beverage), and relax. If football is something you enjoyed before having children, you can still enjoy it after! It might be even better with a new little fan in tow.
Wishing you all the victories, delicious food, and jump-off-the-couch plays this season!
Sarah Limberg | @sarahelimberg
Sarah lives in San Diego, California, with her infant daughter and husband. She’s a new mom figuring out something different every day, which is both amazing and exhausting. Both Sarah and her husband work in the world of sports, so if they’re not watching a game, you’ll find her cooking, reading, or sneaking a nap.