Two years ago, we experienced our third move. I know that’s not many in the coaching world, but it was three more than I ever wanted. Even after processing the first two, figuring out what we did right, what we did wrong, how we could transition better in the future, and what slowed our acceptance progress, it was still our hardest move yet.
A lot of that had to do with the fact that it was our first time moving with kids. We had three kids, ages 7, 6, and 2. With some time and space between all the big emotions, stress, chaos, and tears from that move, I’ve been able to see how we all could be doing transitions better in the future.
Coach Dealing with a Move
He has always been able to compartmentalize our personal life and the business of coaching. It’s actually frustrating for me because I find it impossible. It didn’t even register to him that we were walking away from the better part of a decade’s worth of living until the morning we left the empty house we’d called home through some of the most important moments of our lives. He had been too busy rebuilding his new program.
With all three moves, he went ahead, as is typical. But this last time, he didn’t understand just how much I was taking on in his absence. Now it wasn’t just packing up, saying goodbye, and finding all the new people and places we needed in our future home.
This move was filled with emotions and reactions that very young people feel when taken from a home and friends they’d come to love. They couldn’t understand (nor did they sign up for) the requirements of being a coach’s kid. It took many conversations between us (well, mostly just me crying and yelling about how he needed to come back and help) for it to sink in that if he wanted his family by his side, he’d have to be present for the personal part of the transition, not just the program part.
Me as a Coach’s Wife Dealing with a Move
Coaching family or not, all moves and transitions come with an entire range of emotions. From excited and hopeful to sad and confused, it’s normal to experience them all, whether it’s one at a time or all at once. My way of dealing with them every time was to push them to the side. I would always have so much to do with such a quick turnaround timeframe.
I thought I didn’t have time to work through my feelings right away. I could distract myself long enough until I was settled and more available to process them. While that wasn’t the healthiest way to approach it, it worked for coach and me. But throw in any amount of kids, no matter the age, and that’s a recipe for disaster. And our last move was nothing less than a category five hurricane.
I kept trying to paint a picture of how great this would be, listing all the positives that would come from the move (in an attempt also to convince myself.) But, unfortunately, they came out frequently as tantrums and major bad behaviors because I didn’t recognize or give them the freedom to have those feelings. I’ve come to realize that I have to acknowledge with our kids that they will feel all the emotions. And that it’s okay because I have them too.
Coaches’ Kids Dealing with Moving
Our kids are getting to the age of understanding daddy’s job, how it’s different than most other parents’, and the role they are asked to play in it. I don’t expect much from our kids the next time because if it happens, it’ll most likely be when they are teenagers with lives all their own. I will just remind them that they can do it again since they survived and thrived after the last transition.
I know most of us don’t want another opportunity to put these tips to transition well into practice. But since I am a mental health therapist by training and education, I hope the fact that I can admit to areas of “needs improvement” will help you be okay with yours, too (just in case). The one thing I know about this lifestyle is that there’s no perfect transition, only the chance at doing transitions better.