It's late in the year. The time change has happened, and the darkness comes on so early. For some, the season has ended, and Coach is back in the picture. For others, you're in that weird space, moving from one season to the next.
The school year or the season isn't exactly new and shiny anymore. And in the midst of the dull grind, I see so many reaching out for help, confessing that maybe this lifestyle isn't for them. Your sacrifice has been great, and you're not sure you can continue in survival mode.
Hey momma, I see you. Boy – do I see you!
I feel the depth of your exhaustion and loneliness; I feel you yearning for balance to return. These are the moments when you may start to second guess this ministry of coaching. If we listen to the wrong perspectives we may find ourselves less content than necessary.
Just this week, I was listening to a podcast where a woman was calling in, and her question was, "Can I ask my husband to quit his job?" I was startled. I was sucked in. I was immediately taken back to that moment when my boys were ages 3 and 5 when I was diagnosed with the flu, and I remember standing in the kitchen, begging Coach to take the boys on game day.
I remember thinking, if he leaves them, I'll end up committing child abuse. I remember the exhaustion and the anxiety, and the depth of feeling overwhelmed. I literally thought to myself, "I can't do this tonight." In that moment, which he is still ashamed of over a decade later, I still see my coach stand there and adamantly declare that he would not take the boys on the bus and that I had to figure it out.
We lived alone, without family, in a tiny little isolated community in West Texas.
There is no gas station, no McDonald's indoor playground, no community of coach's wives – just the four of us. And you know what, the boys and I survived that night.
I actually have a 100% survival rate, as do my children, of surviving every single thing we had to do so that Coach could pursue his passion and live out his destiny.
But how many times did we wish, even if just for an instant, that Coach just wasn't coach?
So what was the advice from the podcast you wonder? And why would I write about it and not just tell you to listen to the podcast?
Because the husband wasn't a coach and I know desperately that the world doesn't completely understand our lives. So allow me to add my own twist on the counselor's advice.
The counselor led with, "The job becomes the bad guy and the fight over the job becomes a threat to financial security; a threat to his identity; the job becomes the epicenter and that's not the real issue here."
If the job isn't the issue, what is? Many times it's that I simply miss my husband. Often it's that I'm exhausted and overwhelmed and I can't manage it at the current pace. Maybe we are living in a new town or a community or a tiny little dot on the map and I simply cannot function without connection from people I love.
If you're only focused on what you don't have, you'll never be satisfied with what you do have. If you're always looking through the rearview mirror, you'll miss the road ahead of you. If you're crying out against the job, you'll forget about the passion inside the man.
What if you simply looked at your husband and you said with all the sincerity you can muster, "I miss my husband." Or "I need some help." Or, "I need some time for myself." What would that do for you? How would that speak to him?
Can I share a few of my tricks with you?
- I pay for a housekeeper. $70 every two weeks. She comes for no one's benefit in our home except me. She mops, she dusts, she cleans the bathrooms, and she vacuums, and I smile every time I walk in the door after she's left.
- I pay for Hello Fresh boxes—usually about twice a month. Eating at the table, on the nights we can, is important to me. This is a night that is simply about connection with MY team.
- We have enough underwear and socks to last two full weeks without doing laundry. And when my boys were little, and I was home alone, we didn't bathe every night.
- When our kids were young, I paid for babysitters, or I sent the kids off for a long weekend. I learned to ask ladies in the community, girls at school, brothers, or in-laws. Or my mom to come help. I never wanted to worry if I would reach the end of my rope ever again, so I reached out for help.
So what was the advice? Find your own tricks. Decide what's right for you and your family right now. What do you want your family to look like 5 years, 10 years from now? Then, turn to the lie and speak out against the lie. Speak the truth to your Coach. Speak the truth to yourself. Remember, you too can survive 100% of the bad days, and his identity can become your family's mission and destiny, too.