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  • How Parenting Is Like Golf

    October 26, 2008

    In my previous life, I played golf three or four times a week. I love golf. I even love to watch it on television.  In fact, before I met Antique Daddy, I wouldn’t even consider dating someone who didn’t play golf.  It was on my non-negotiable list.  We played quite a bit until Sean came along and I hope that one day Sean will take it up and we will play as a family because the family that golfs together, well, they spend a lot of time together.

    On Twitter the other day I saw that my friend, the author Jill Shalvis, asked the rhetorical question, “Why do I have children?”  Actually, she said it more like this:  WHY DO I HAVE CHILDREN?  If we are honest with ourselves,  we all feel that way at one time or another.  There are just some days when you want to throw your kiddo in the lake, just like a big bag of golf clubs and say, “I quit!” and then stomp off to the club house for drinks and nachos.

    But in parenting, there is no club house. There’s just another day. And if you throw your kid in the lake, chances are they would just swim out and keep pulling on your sleeve and talking in that Alvin the Chipmunk voice.

    Where was I?

    Yes, how parenting is like golf.

    So on Twitter the other day, in response to her question, I said to Jill that parenting is like golf.  And that was it. Which makes no sense. I’m like some geekzoid girl who walks up to the cutest guy at the party and just blurts out some random fact and then I shove my hands under my armpits.  So here then, in this space where I am afforded more than 140 characters, let me tell you how parenting is like golf.

    Clothing should be comfortable. Matching is optional.

    It is a darn expensive hobby.

    It takes up a lot of time.

    No cheerleaders.

    A lot of people do it, but not that many do it well.

    Those who don’t do it, think it’s boring. It’s not.

    It’s not as easy as it looks.

    Like dancing, you can look really silly while doing it.

    It will make you cuss. Even if you don’t.

    Everyone has advice on how you can do it better.

    Aspire for par.

    It’s all about patience and discipline and finesse – not strength.

    It will make your back hurt.

    It takes balls.

    There are lots of books and videos promising to make you an expert. They won’t.

    Sometimes the harder you try the worse it gets – relax.

    Wear sunscreen. ( Just thought I’d throw that one in.)

    A bad day of parenting is better than a good day of not parenting.


    1. ShackelMom says:

      Ha! Since it looks like I’m first, I’d better comment! I don’t play golf, but I can see what you mean… Nice analogy! 🙂

      October 26th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    2. Emily says:

      Way way way better than par for great piece!! I love the analogy and have lots of friends to send the link to!

      October 26th, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    3. PastormacsAnn says:

      This is more than mildly amusing. This is terrific! I love this list!

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:09 am

    4. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      You are the Tiger Woods of golf analogies. Brilliant.

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:12 am

    5. Stephanie says:

      Well, I don’t golf, but I did raise a pretty cool daughter, so maybe I should take up golfing….

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:16 am

    6. Tom says:

      You forgot one: when you’ve finished all eighteen, you can relax with a drink.
      Great analogy!

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:32 am

    7. Mom of 3 says:

      Very cute! As the mother of a golfer, I can so relate to this analogy. Well done!

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:43 am

    8. Sudee in Florida says:

      Great job. My husband golfs, and I don’t. I told him we couldn’t both golf, too expensive. But I have heard all the tales that go with it.
      You are so right about the parenting. I enjoyed Mothering my girls, and wish every once in a while I could have them back little for just a few minutes for one more snuggle. They were so much fun and taught me a lot about patience. They have little ones of their own now, and I am enjoying them also. The time between them being little, and having little ones of their own went way too fast. Almost like a blur now that I think about it. Enjoy your little one.

      October 27th, 2008 at 1:03 am

    9. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      I totally get the “random comment” thing. Hello people, WELCOME TO MY WORLD.

      It’s like they need “context” or something!

      October 27th, 2008 at 2:53 am

    10. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      See? I just left a really random comment that MAKES NO SENSE.

      You’re welcome.

      October 27th, 2008 at 2:53 am

    11. Theresa (YewNorkBabe) says:

      I don’t golf, but I there is a golf course 2 plus acres behind my house.

      I never understood hitting a very small ball a very long distance into a very small hole….but I do get the parenting thing.

      October 27th, 2008 at 7:18 am

    12. Kim says:

      Then there’s that little golf clap when there should be MOMMY APPLAUSE!!

      Good post!

      October 27th, 2008 at 7:45 am

    13. Meg @ SpicyMagnolia says:

      I just woke up 10 minutes ago, and this was a fun thing to wake up to! We’re having our first born in January and I’m scared out of my mind. Your clever analogy put a smile on my face though; it was even a good, gentle reminder to not take myself so seriously with this whole thing! thanks!

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:37 am

    14. Shelly W. says:

      Great post! I love golf too. Probably not as much as you, and I don’t play that often (like never these days), but I still love to watch it.

      But sometimes, when my dear hubs gets a little too involved, golf becomes a four-letter word, if you know what I mean. 😉

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:38 am

    15. Diamond Girl says:

      Dear Am, I smiled as I read this post,My family golfs and it was the one activity that taught my children to be quiet. Golf taught them that their outside voice is not always a loud voice. Yes,sometimes that inside voice was much louder than the outside voice! I think your son could play junior courses, they were always fun for our the children. They did end up knee deep in the water hazards. Gotta love that quiet time. They grow up way to fast, Good Luck!

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:41 am

    16. ~*~ Jennifer ~*~ says:

      Oh my word… I don’t play golf… I flunked that gym class in high school. I tried, I really did.

      So does that mean I should have had children? LOL Well — it’s a little late for that… hmmm

      funny post. Ü

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:53 am

    17. Julie at Elisharose says:

      I don’t play golf. I’ve never played golf. I will never play golf. I don’t like golf. But I totally relate to that and say you are right on.

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:54 am

    18. fern says:

      Love it!

      October 27th, 2008 at 9:05 am

    19. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      I would also add that while the majority of the few times I’ve played golf was spent making really horrible shots, there’s always the one good one that keeps me coming back. The same with the kids. I’ll be at wit’s end, convinced I’m ruining them, and then they say something smart or funny or sweet or cuddle up with me, and it makes me think I can keep playing.

      October 27th, 2008 at 9:14 am

    20. Luke Holzmann says:

      “Wear sunscreen.”

      [laughing] I’m not into golf, so hopefully I can still get into parenting. That’s a really good list though. Love it.


      October 27th, 2008 at 9:43 am

    21. Cassie J. says:

      My boys all went to play golf yesterday. What did I do while they were gone? I napped and then I changed out some light switches! What fun! They had a blast, too.

      October 27th, 2008 at 10:11 am

    22. Jill Shalvis says:

      Now see this is why I love reading your blog, lol. You’re always right (I wouldn’t give up being a mom for anything– well, maybe for cookies). And you make me laugh. Thank you for explaining the golf analogy. 🙂

      October 27th, 2008 at 10:26 am

    23. Tracy says:

      So… is there a golfing magazine you can send a version of this to – because it is so funny (and true!).

      October 27th, 2008 at 10:31 am

    24. MarathonMom says:


      October 27th, 2008 at 10:40 am

    25. ruth ann says:

      “Everyone has advice on how you can do it better.”

      Truer words were never spoken.

      “Clothing should be comfortable. Matching is optional.”

      Good! I’m dressed appropriately today!

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:08 am

    26. Gretchen says:

      Truer words were never written.

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    27. Carrie says:

      Cute analogy! 😉

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    28. Jenn A. says:

      Very amusing post. Haha. Thank you for writing.

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:34 am

    29. Iota says:

      And it’s best played on a wind-swept course next to a beach in Scotland, where you can breathe deep and run a bit wild and shout and no-one will hear you, or mind if they do. Not on a smart manicured course in a city, where everyone notices each move you make, and everyone is playing competitively even though they all pretend they’re not. (I may have pushed this analogy a bit further than it can go…)

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    30. Common Mom says:

      Oh how I love this post! It is soooooo true 🙂 Dude (8) and Princess (5) love to go out on the course with us. Dude has golfed an entire round – Princess usually just puts and swings her driver every now and then. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the family time together 🙂

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    31. Nett says:

      “It takes balls.” HEE HEE I love this.
      You’re extremely right.

      Another one: “It’s not as much fun doing it alone.” Or, “It can ruin a good walk.”

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:44 am

    32. sheilah says:

      This is so funny! You are so clever to see so many things in common.

      FWIW…the ruin of a good walk is from Mark Twain.

      October 27th, 2008 at 11:56 am

    33. zoom says:

      It takes balls… diet coke through the nose funny.

      October 27th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    34. Rachel Langston says:

      I would add one more…The flagstick (i.e. finish line)appears closer to the tee than it really is.

      Great post!

      Thanks for sharing,
      Rachel Langston

      October 27th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    35. Linda says:

      Love your parenting and the fact that you are not influenced by anyone or anything but stand with conviction to your doing the best for your Sean!

      Not a golfer but my Dad is and I could never figure out how he could watch golf on TV?! LOL

      October 27th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    36. Patti says:

      Oh my gosh – that is so true! And I don’t even golf! Great post!

      October 27th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    37. Andrea Reynolds says:

      I guess if parenting is like golf, you could say babysitting is like Putt Putt. Less investment,less commitment, way less skill involved, but still a ton of fun to be had by all! And a great way to see how you’d do at the “bigger picture”.

      October 27th, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    38. Lori says:

      Ok. That was pretty funny.

      Even if I don’t like golf.

      October 27th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    39. apathy lounge says:

      And sometimes? Men get more credit (and glory)for being home with the kids and sacrificing oneself for the same than the women who do it day in and day out…just like in golf. Need proof? Men’s golf gets to be called Golf. As in PGA. Women have to play Ladies Golf. As in LPGA. No justice. No peace!

      October 27th, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    40. Kimberly says:

      That is so very good. I think everyone who has a hobby/sport/profession should write a similar analogy. My brain is whirling…”why having children is like practicing law….”

      October 27th, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    41. Moriah (Please Pass the Salt) says:

      Very clever!! Love your list, love it.

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:55 pm

    42. Roxanne says:

      I needed a laugh today. . .

      October 27th, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    43. Sarah S. says:

      Love them all. “Aspire for par” is my favorite, and the best advice I’ve ever heard.

      October 27th, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    44. Smockity Frocks says:

      That was hysterical! Did you know my husband is a golf pro? True. Don’t try it at home, kids. He’s a professional.

      October 27th, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    45. veereg says:

      You got me laughing so loud with that analogy there …that the little chipmunk just woke up..psst….

      October 28th, 2008 at 12:21 am

    46. Jeanne A says:

      We listen to a speaker in the summers who speaks of ‘golf’ words !

      October 28th, 2008 at 8:22 am

    47. Linda C says:

      I raised 6 (count ’em 6) great kids, so I am on my way out the door to buy some clubs-… I hear they have a great club sandwich at Perkins…

      I love watching golf on TV– my idea of a great Sunday afternoon is to drift off into my afternoon nap while watching the beautiful green grass and the winding course and pretty water and listening to the low whispers of the PGA commentators as they describe, in hushed tones, how this putt could change the game for someone- I don’t know who- I can’t quite hear what they said. There’s no stadium full of screaming fans to wake me with a jolt–in fact the fans are told to “sssshhhhhh-Hush!”– so I can sleep. My kids are grown now and I deserve it…

      PS-Loved your post:)
      ~Linda C

      October 28th, 2008 at 9:54 am

    48. Jenni says:


      You are so wise. And allegories rock.

      October 28th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    49. mom.huebert says:

      Great analogy. I’ve always said I don’t like golf; but I do like parenting, so maybe I should give golf a try!

      October 28th, 2008 at 11:49 am

    50. Susan J. says:

      Love it! So, so true. For your list: People sit around and compare stories.

      October 28th, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    51. Jon D (Graco) says:

      Love the analogy – guess what will come to mind next time I’m T’d off!

      October 28th, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    52. Faerylandmom says:

      Awesome. I read this to my hubby, and we both enjoyed a sympathetic, yet hearty laugh! Thank you!

      October 28th, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    53. LIB says:

      My late MIL had a saying, which she shouldn’t have let the children hear, but then my husband wouldn’t have been able to tell me about it: ‘Kids! Who’d ‘ave ’em!?!’

      October 28th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    54. Minnesotamom says:

      So true! What a great parallel. I used to golf several rounds a day. Alas, those days are behind me, but I love to get out and swing ’em when I can!

      October 28th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    55. Kacey says:

      After we got out of the horse business, we moved to a condo on the fifth tee of a beautiful golf course. You #8 reason (you look silly doing it) is so true. You should see the view I get as right handed players squat, wiggle, jiggle, plant and replant their feet, then smack the ground with their driver— just lovely. A friend brings her two grandkids over to watch the golf carts roll by. The two year old watched silently as a golfer lined up and took a big practice swing, then immediately yelled, “HE MISSED IT!” Golf is truly fun as long as nobody is watching!

      October 28th, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    56. Courtney @ mommie blogs says:

      this is very funny and so true. Your blog is great and was so highly recommended.

      October 28th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    57. LORI says:


      October 30th, 2008 at 12:11 am

    58. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      Also like golf, becoming a Mom has forced me to use a totally new set of criteria when selecting footwear. And I carry a little towel everywhere I go now, too.

      November 1st, 2008 at 11:04 pm

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