As a new dad, I’m sure your wife has hit Amazon for a plethora of books covering myriad of topics from baby names to knowing what to expect until the kid is old enough to drive. Your bank account has become victim of a devious marketing scheme preying on emotionally unstable women. From one dad to another, let me save you a buck or two while enlightening you with some lessons you can’t learn from any book. I’m also going to put it in a way every man can understand.
Raising a family is very much like an MMA fight. MMA fights are just a little shorter and involve less blood, sweat and tears.
Here are 5 things you can learn about fatherhood from an MMA fight.
Nothing Prepares You for ‘Getting Caught’.
At UFC 115, Hall-of-Famer Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell was KO’ed with just five seconds remaining in the first round by Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin. With just a minute left, Liddell was on the way to winning the round. However, with only moments remaining, Franklin landed a straight right. Liddell went down unconscious and it was over. Done. Just like that.
There will come a time when your kid pees through his clothes, covers your back in puke, or bumps his head at the most inopportune time. You’ll fear that someone is staring at you, judging your every move as if you’re trying to diffuse a bomb Jack Bauer style. Don’t sweat it. These moments happen to even the most prepared dad. Clean yourself off, pick yourself up and walk it off. If the wife asks what happened just say “Hey, I got caught. I’m ready to keep fighting.”
When Trying to Put Someone to Sleep, Patience is Key
Unlike the fan favorite Knockout, putting your opponent to sleep via Submission is an art form that requires strategy and skill, and doesn’t usually happen in the blink of an eye. It’s not uncommon for a fighter to spend the majority of a fight on the ground setting up their submission. UFC fighter and ESPN Analyst Kenny Florian had ten of his fourteen wins come by way of putting his opponent to sleep (or making them tap, but I don’t suggest you go that far). The reason he’s so good at what he does is two-fold: He practices daily at the Florian Martial Arts Center and he’s patient in the heat of battle.
This translates over to parenthood. Set a routine. Stick to it. Don’t force it, sometimes the lil’ guy just isn’t ready to sleep – that’s why God gave us coffee and RedBull. Above all else, don’t give in. The kid will fall asleep eventually. Just make sure it’s before you do.
Never Leave it in the Hands of the Judges
Fighters only have fifteen minutes – that’s roughly one minute for every year you kid will actually care what you say – to get their point across and either finish the fight or convince you that they won. We’ve all seen guys get robbed thanks to a bad judge.
Your success as a father depends not on what some loser on a TV show thinks, but rather on the role you play in your child’s life. Society would prefer that your son or daughter appreciate the finer things in life like bodywash and toothpaste, but other than that who cares what they want. You should raise your kid how you see fit, unless you attend Westboro Baptist Church. In that case, “suck it.”
Behind Every Champion is a Great Corner
Arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter of all time, Georges St. Pierre hasn’t lost a fight since 2007. He’s won Fighter of the Year and Canadian Athlete of the Year three years running. The only thing the man hasn’t done is hold two titles at the same time – although he could have if belts changed hands regardless of weight class. So what’s his secret? How does he do it? He’s got a great corner in Greg Jackson and Phil Nurse. Before and after every fight, between every round, these guys help him stay focused, correct his mistakes, and support him every step of the way.
You’d be wise to start building your corner now – and start with your wife. After that, start a support group of friends and other parents that have either been through the kid wars before or are in the trenches right now. They will be the ones to pick you up when you just can’t make it another round.
Always, Always Thank Your Sponsors
Fighter’s shorts often look ridiculous plastered with company logos all over them. The funniest sponsor to date has to be CondomDepot.com – and if shopped there in the first place you wouldn’t have a kid now would you?
When the fight is over and your hand is raised in victory, follow suit and thank your sponsors – those that put money in your pocket or had a helping hand in getting here. Some are parents or an old teacher, others are a good friend or a job you had that worked with your schedule around weeks 39 and 40. Whatever the case may be don’t be an a**hole and pretend that you did it all on your own.