Family, Journal, Marriage

The Motto That Saves My Sanity (and My Marriage) During Season

The weeks may already be getting crossed off the calendar but the finish line at the end of football season feels very far away.

I tell friends that I always start out in August with as much optimism as I can muster, but by the end of October I am just wishing for it all to be over. The mixed emotions are hard—wanting the team to be successful but also wanting your evenings and weekends back.

Truth be told, just this week I made the mistake of over-scheduling our family and then ended up being exhausted both emotionally and physically by Saturday. I had to remind myself of a little phrase that my Coach uses around the house that may strike a chord with you, too.

My job is always at its busiest and most stressful time in the spring, which balances out pretty well with being married to a Coach. When I have late nights at the office, am incapable of remembering kid stuff, am unavailable for errands, etc., my husband likes to say, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.” 

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me.

It’s his way of saying that he understands that for this season, he is the one that just has to be responsible for the much bigger share of things. He may nicely ask me to pay a bill online or drop off a package or grab some specific item at the store, but odds are that it might get overlooked for more days than he is willing to accept. Sometimes, it is just simply easier to do it himself rather than reminding me ten times.

I know that the inverse is true for us as well during this season. The mental adjustment that I have to make in August is to accept that now it is my turn.

There are certainly days when I wish I could just sink into my bed at 6:00 PM rather than begin the whirlwind of dinner and homework and bathtime, but I just have to do it. If my kid is going to participate in extracurricular activities, I am going to have to be the one to get him picked up from school on time and get him there (or at least arrange a ride with helpful friends—shout out to my lifesaver Melissa!)

There is just a zero percent chance that I can ask my Coach to be anywhere before 7:00 p.m. any day of the week, and he probably wouldn’t miss a game day unless I was having surgery. Though he might ask me to schedule it in the morning …

I know that sounds harsh, and I don’t want to seem like I am complaining with no purpose.

This week when I contemplated that phrase again, I realized that it comes with a great deal of freedom too. The things that are “up to me” may mean that I am going to have to complete more tasks solo, but you know what else? It is also up to me to be the one who says which things are worthy of doing.

I don’t have to feel bad for saying that is just not feasible for us to be at that evening meeting that is for parents only. I shouldn’t make myself feel guilty for wisely choosing not to overcommit with another club or church group. I can be pleased with myself for truthfully saying, “That’s just not something that fits into our schedule and/or budget right now.” I know that my Coach will understand and support me when I have to make those choices.

There are the handful of things that our family will always have as top priorities, but football season has a different set of rules at our house.

Dad will always do his best to be home and be a helpful part of the crew but Mom is driving the ship for a little while. The captain can’t do all the things all the time! If I can just manage to get us across these choppy waters, then he can handle the next stretch.

If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me! 

I want to embrace it now, because I know I am controlling our calendar rather than it controlling me.

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