Everything I Know about Pandemic Parenting I Learned from the Kansas City Chiefs

Doesn’t it seem like a million years ago that the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl? Talk about a whole different world. People packed into stadiums without masks, sharing hugs and beverages, cheering on the Chiefs as they made their historic Super Bowl run punctuated by some of the most amazing comeback victories ever.

As we stumble into almost 150 days of social distancing, masks, and more Clorox wipes than I care to admit, I’ve been reflecting on the lessons of the Chiefs 2019-2020 season and applying them to my life in quarantine.

  1. Have a point person. Look, when the game gets rough, Patrick Mahomes reverts to what works: throwing to Travis Kelce or Tyreek Hill. You need that pandemic mom friend who you can text a jumble of swear words to occasionally who will respond with, “This sucks. You’re awesome, though.” and carry the ball the rest of the way.
  2. You will stumble. Get back up and get in the game. Comeback victories apply to parenting, too! These days of parenting without a support system or distractions are long. Just because someone throws Cheerios in your bra at breakfast doesn’t mean you can’t turn the day around for the better later. Take a breath, finish your coffee, and kick some butt.
  3. It doesn’t have to be pretty to count. Remember that Williams touchdown in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl? It was questionable. We didn’t quite know if it would count.  But it did! This is pretty much how I feel about pandemic parenting. Does a play session with a hose count as a bath? Sure! Does a plate full of graham crackers count as dinner? Of course! Does my kid’s outfit match? Sort of! Does any of it matter? Nope! See where I’m going?
  4. Wear what feels good. If Mecole Hardman can arrive to NFL games dressed as a fighter pilot, my five-year-old certainly can spend a quarantine day (or ten) without pants.
  5. Do it your own way. Part of the reason Patrick Mahomes is so fun to watch is because of the style he brings to the game. Instead of being a rigid, machine-like quarterback, he practically dances with the ball as he flings off no-look side-arm passes with a smile on his face. There’s no right or wrong way to get through this season of parenting and you don’t have to do things the same way as your friends and neighbors.
  6. We all say dumb stuff sometimes. It doesn’t mean we aren’t good leaders…or parents. It’s okay, Andy, we knew what you meant.
  7. Keep your eye on the prize. Even if the road is rocky and there’s a series of mid-season losses and injuries along the way, you can still win the big game. And even if your kid watches hours of YouTube videos and draws with Sharpie on the couch occasionally, they’ll more than likely still wind up okay in the end as long as they’re safe and loved.

So, on those rough days, parents — may I recommend a re-watch of Super Bowl LIV?

Brie Hilton lives in the Northland is a stay-at-home mom with multiple side hustles in the Northland. Her oldest son, Charlie, is 7 and has his own pet-sitting business and outsmarts his parents at least three times a week. Her youngest, Patrick, is 5 and has cerebral palsy and autism, so she considers herself an expert on navigating the special needs life on way too little sleep. In her spare time (ha), Brie teaches group fitness classes, has a boutique in her basement, naps too much, and actively ignores the piles of laundry on the floor.


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