Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday: On Being a Coach's Wife

Saturday at church a lady asked me, "Do you feel like a single mother now that baseball season has started?" I laughed and said, "Yes, but it's harder because I still have to feed him when he gets home!"

I had been reflecting on this new development in my life and how it's been different than I had imagined. Although I didn't really put too much thought into what it might be like, my main thought was that it would be way easier than pro-ball life because he wouldn't be gone for 4-8 days at a time at frequent intervals. While I am glad he's not going on long road trips, it still has taken some adjustment and it is still a lot of work, just different.

Instead he's working 10-11 hour days, most days. Sometimes he comes home for lunch, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes he's home by 7:00, sometimes later (and occasionally, earlier). Sometimes he stops by at random times during the day. Anyone who knows me can see why this alone would be hard on me. I like routine!

However, it hasn't been too bad. I've actually been fairly flexible. It helps that I can have an idea of what the week will look like before it starts. Also, four years of pro-ball has broken me in somewhat... I've had to learn to be flexible! It does kind of stretch me in less noticeable ways. It's just much more calm and comfortable when things are fairly the same from day to day and week to week. And, obviously, it's harder being the parent most of the time.

One thing that is a little difficult, as it was with pro-ball, is, not the leaving of the husband, but the return. Yes, he's missed when he's gone, but it's also easier. Smaller meals to fix and all of nap and night time to myself. And lets not forget the whole bed to myself! Ha ha! But seriously, by the time he gets back, I'm used to doing everything myself, the way I like it done. Just like living with him for the first time took adjustment, it takes time once he's back to readjust. These are good opportunities to be patient and understanding (and let go of control), but I am usually so excited to have him back that I forget that these trials come up, so they take me by surprise and I usually lack that patience and understanding. Fortunately, we're back in sync fairly quickly.

Going to games has been fun. It's nice that the field is only a five minute walk from our house, and the weather has been gorgeous. But, it's yet another thing that wears me down a bit. Packing snacks, being presentable, regulating Sweet Girl, disciplining subtly (because people are watching!), and finally the walk home. It really is fun, don't get me wrong, but it's work too.

Then there's the publicity aspect. I never really liked it that fans, complete strangers to me, knew who I was and who I was married to. And now, it's parents. Not as creepy, but still catches me off guard when a mom chats with me in the bathroom about my daughter or my husband. I mean, what's your name again? I know they all mean well, I'm just a privacy snob. And I haven't been there enough (or been able to people watch enough) to see who's there every time and make note of who cheers specifically for whom, etc. I mean, I'm just trying to keep my daughter happy most of the time! I'm lucky if I get to watch the game some too.

I've enjoyed the memories it brings back to me of when my husband and I were dating. It was his senior year of college. I spent every weekend at his games. I got to know the moms... and baseball. I liked how people yelled, "Let's go 1-2!" for the player with the number 12. The players were right there. The crowds were small; it was intimate. It felt safe. After pro-ball, this is a welcome relief. People are at the games because they are invested in the players or college in some way. Not because they are fanatics about the team or want a ball signed by a maybe-celebrity-someday. Although I would say the majority of the people at professional games are there just for a good ball game, which I am all for, I saw a lot of crazy things too. I'm happy to be somewhere low-key again.

And finally, what makes me happiest is knowing my husband is loving his job. I don't get to see him in action much because he's the pitching coach. He stays in the dugout unless a pitcher is struggling. I'm sorry for the pitcher, but I get excited when I see him walk out and I get to see him "in action." (All he does is give the pitcher a pep talk.) We sit on the opponents side so we can see him in the dugout and sometimes he'll wave to us. And although he's adjusting to this new role too, and some things are hard for him, I know he's happier in this role, and excited to continue and develop as a coach. I feel the same about being a coach's wife.

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