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Art: Rball & Fatherhood
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Racquetball and Fatherhood
By Joseph Delgado, Team Head

It used to be pretty easy to play racquetball. My wife worked two nights a week and attended a volunteer group on the third. Three solid and guilt-free nights of playing racquetball as long as I wanted…then someone very special came into my life, my son, and everything was forever changed. Two and a half years later things are still changing…daily.

Last Monday, I left to play and my son was crying in my wife's arms, "Daddy! Daddy!! Daddy!!!" Tears streaming down his face my wife trying to console him. I grabbed my bag and with my head down walked out the door. Sounds pretty callous? Yes and No.

Before Jason was born I went to a new Father's class at the hospital. The instructor went over a couple of key points: help your wife, get food from family and friends, chip in around the house, take care of the baby, and remember to do things for yourself, your wife, your baby, and your family.

I strongly believe if I didn't take time for myself resentment and stress would quickly set in. I don't like to feel either toward my family. The things I like to do help recharge the batteries and make the time with my family more enjoyable.

A couple of tips, I've learned:

  1. Schedule the give and take for you and your wife.
  2. Odds are your baby will be upset if you leave. He or she will get over it.
  3. On the court, focus on your friends and racquetball.

My wife will say that I get the most "me" time despite my efforts to balance things. I think the problem is most of her friends have children too, so to hang out with them without Jason or other kids is near impossible. Ultimately it still pays to be considerate and don't keep score. It'll bite you.

It's real easy to feel bad and break down when someone you love so much is hanging on you and saying "Daddy! No jacket! Sit here! Play Daddy!" If it wasn't for my wife telling me to go, think I would cave in just about every time. It takes Jason about twenty minutes to calm down after I leave and everything is fine the next morning.

On the court, don't cheat yourself or your friends out of a good time by feeling guilty. The deed is already done and in the past. Have fun and truly enjoy the time you have for yourself, your baby, your wife, your family, and your friends. Enjoy who you are.

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