I've been feeling guilty a lot lately for how easy (relatively speaking) we have it. My coach is in his fifth season as head coach and has a say in most of the crazy variables of this lifestyle.
Don't get me wrong, there is still so much out of his control. But when he can, he does a great job balancing work and family.
But it wasn't always this way. He worked his tail off for a long time. And I sacrificed almost everything possible, always accepting being the last place for needs, let alone wants.
If you only look at where we are now and how we operate as a unit, you'd miss out on the years it took us to figure it out.
You'd miss his struggle to learn what was worth his absence at home and what work could wait.
You'd miss the battle in me between when I just needed to step up and take on more than my fair share and when to wave the white flag and admit that I can't do it on my own.
You'd miss that he learned to balance the hard way- by being told he had to do all the things, no matter how repetitive or insignificant they may be, and no matter when the last time was that he had a day off.
You'd miss the multiple times that he went on ahead of me to our new school and left me to do literally everything necessary to get there, too.
You'd miss all the FaceTime and speakerphone conversations with the kids because he couldn't stand not seeing or talking to them, even if it was for just one minute that day.
You'd miss all the times I had to do pick-ups and drop-offs, bath time, bedtime, middle-of-the-night wakings, etc. because he wasn't there or he had a big game the next day.
You’d miss all the broken promises and last-minute changes in plans because something important came up that he just couldn't get out of.
You’d miss all the nights and events I couldn’t attend because we didn’t have family close, and we couldn’t afford or find a babysitter.
You'd miss all the days and nights he'd come home from traveling and/or working 14 hours and being so tired he could barely keep his eyes open, but the kids could never tell because he'd convince them to watch a movie and then fall asleep sitting up, cuddling them.
You'd miss all the days, weeks, months, and even years that I stayed in the background, keeping the house and family running entirely on my own so that when he did finally walk in the door, he could focus totally on just being with us.
Fifteen years seems like forever when you're in it. Now, it almost seems like a different lifetime. And we do not miss how difficult it was.
But it made me a better person, mother, wife, and friend. And it has also made him a better coach and, now, a better boss.
Don’t miss all the years and tears that it took us to get to this place. You’d miss the fact that we’ve earned it.
And don’t also miss that we are willing to share our lessons learned and give advice so that you can get to this place a little faster and with a little more of your sanity intact than if we’d kept it to ourselves.
But also, don’t miss your opportunity to figure out the best way by doing it the hard way first. You'd miss the chance to enjoy it that much more on the other side of difficult.