How to Survive the Football Season – A Wives Tale


football widowFootball season is taken very seriously in our home. Sundays, Monday nights, and Thursday evenings are sacred times when my husband gives his undivided attention to the television for 10+ hours. He also participates in 2 NFL fantasy football leagues and runs a Pick em’ pool. The weeks before the drafts of these leagues, you’d think he’s preparing for the bar exam or taking medical school boards. He’ll spend hours doing fantasy research online and participating in mock drafts so that he can practice selecting players and see how his selections and research affect his final team on the holiest of days – DRAFT DAY. His friends call him ‘round the clock, asking for advice about their own fantasy lineups and draft picks. These calls rarely last less than 30 minutes, and he treats them like he’s writing a thesis on the topic.

So what’s a person like me, who’s married to a maniacal football fan, supposed to do during football season?

1. Football time is YOU time.

Reserve football time for getting your own stuff done. I am all about the Sunday Runday with other mommas. My daughters and I love to attend Stroller Strides classes or explore parks. We embrace our girl time and try to do something fun. I love the fall and the thought of being indoors all day makes my skin crawl, so we usually plan a fun fall festive (say that three times fast) OUTDOOR activity.

2. Plan Accordingly

When our oldest daughter turned one, we had her birthday on a Sunday (you read that correctly, a SUNDAY in the FALL). I seriously almost had a coronary picturing my irate husband glued to his phone while our daughter happily smashed cake on her momentous, once-in-a-lifetime milestone. I take birthdays seriously. Luckily, the football gods love me, and it happened to be a Giants bye-week. My point is, learn the bye- weeks and plan fall outings and celebrations accordingly. Future birthday parties have all been planned for Saturday mornings. We often sit down and schedule apple picking, pumpkin picking, and more for Saturdays or bye-weeks.

3. Learn the Lingo

Sleepers, safety, PPR… There is whole vernacular jargon associated with American Football. I have become fluent in Football-ese and which helps me communicate with my husband.

4. Hostess with the Mostest

If your significant other can’t be turned away from football Sundays, try bringing the party home. Host a football-watching shindig, and at least you will have people who are willing to chat with you. I usually make a LARGE pot of chili in the morning, and people can help themselves throughout the day. Hosting is a great way for you and the kiddos to get in some fun social time.

5. If you can’t beat them…JOIN IN

I think my husband is still holding out that our princess-wearing, baby doll aficionados will join him in his football obsession. So far, he has not been successful. However, because the girls never turn down a chance to dress up, they love to sport their coordinated football outfits on Sunday. Because he spends so many hours watching passes, interceptions, and touchdowns, I try to carve out some time to watch with him. I have to say that over the years, I have come to enjoy watching football.

6. Embrace the Vitamin D

As I mentioned, I have total issues with being indoors on perfectly crisp cool fall days…I mean shorts and sweatshirt weather. It is one of the largest perks of living in the northeast. Thankfully my husband agrees with me on this, so our solution is to bring our TV on the back porch. This is especially great when we are hosting. Everyone hangs out outside, soaks up the autumn magnificence, and we can still see how many points Eli Manning puts up that week.

7. In the words of Elsa… let it GO!

Ok, I admit this is really hard for me. Last fall, I was training for my first (and probably only) half marathon, and many of my long runs were on Sunday. Let’s say I was less than pleased when my husband balked at all parental duties. My husband always says the football season is five months a year. He also likes to say that it is one day per week (which is totally not true, Mondays, Thursdays). Last year he missed a pretty important family dinner because there were major fantasy implications. Here is the thing, my husband is the most supportive, understanding partner for all of my athletic adventures. So, just because his passion involves knowing which “sleepers” will put up the most points that week doesn’t mean I shouldn’t support him. I’m still working on this. I am trying.

8. Strength in Numbers

Similar to the hosting thing, find other “Football Widows” to hang with. At the end of August, we attend DraftFest. My husband counts down the days and is honestly more excited for Draft-day than Christmas morning. Thankfully his 12 person league also comes with amazing wives and over 20+ kiddos under the age of 6. This is my squad, my tribe. Last weekend, we had five moms and 9 kids all hanging out. Our girls have come to love DraftFest because it is one giant playdate/sleepover with all of their friends. While the husbands draft all day on Friday, we go swimming, hiking, and visit local playgrounds. We get a “Mom Night” on Saturday night, and all go out for some much-needed girl time.

9. Remote Control “CONTROL”

My husband and I don’t always see eye to eye on what makes for quality television watching. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy watching a man go on ridiculously lavish dates with 20+ women and hand out roses? So while my husband cheers on his beloved GMen, I get to binge watch enjoy my favorite TV dramas in our bedroom sans interruption, and more importantly, without judgment. This fall, I am super excited, as always, for the return of Grey’s Anatomy (I have been a loyal fan from day one), and the new show This Is Us looks super promising.

10. Wives League

Fantasy football is all the rage, and if you want to truly learn its intricacies, join or create your own league. We tried a couples league once, but we all felt like there was a lot of colluding.

Do you live with a football fan? How do you survive the football season?

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Nikki has called wonderful Fairfield County her home, her entire life. Growing up on a campus of a private school in Greenwich, CT Nikki swore to her educator parents that she would never be a teacher. Well life has a way of repeating itself and now Nikki and her amazingly supportive husband are happily working at a different independent school in Greenwich. A recovering “type a” perfectionist she is learning to let go of her color coding, alphabetizing ways and embrace the mess. Helping her enjoy life’s everyday messes are her two precocious girls Sofie (11/15/11) and Keira (9/7/13). Nikki loves all things mommy cliché including but not limited to walks on the beach, running, reality TV, organizing closets, wine, chocolate and having her kids help her out in the kitchen.


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