We have a baby on staff for the first time in many years and it’s been such a joy!! Little Mr. is keeping us all on our toes this season as games seem to fall around a nap time most weeks and staff dinner with a sweetie just discovering foods is always an adventure.
Watching our sweet new Mama maneuver through the season has brought back loads of memories for both Ordell and me. It’s also been a reminder of how many stages we’ve flown through. In the midst of the major spitting up or waking up ten times a night phase it feels like it will go on forever, and yet with boys ages, almost ten and eleven and a half-life has a whole new rhythm.
Here are my best tips for surviving the coaching life with littles.
- This too shall pass. As I’ve already said above the seasons of temper tantrums, guessing on needs and potty training will end. For me, it seemed like the second I figured out how to deal with whatever it was then it would no longer be an issue. Mama, there is a lot that happens that your coach will completely miss out on unless you tell him about it and let him step in when he’s around. Let him get in on feeding the kids. They will all be better off for it, and you will get a break.
- Babysitters are your best friends. Sometimes this is literal in that you will swap babysitting with a friend so you can each get a break at some point in the month. Whether you leave the kids in order to have a proper date, drink coffee slowly, or grocery shop uninterrupted, you need to take advantage of the people around you who say “drop the kids with me.” They mean it.
- Get out of the house. It can feel overwhelming to figure out exercising when you have to schedule it around chores, naptime, and dinner. Still, the thirty minutes of fresh air will do everyone some good and when you push that stroller up a hill will give you more of a workout in less time!
- God, Self, Husband, Kids. In Breaking Busy Alli Worthington sums it up best in my opinion. “Taking care of yourself may seem selfish, but self-care is one of the most other-centered choices you can make in your life. That’s because you can’t live the life God created you for, with space to be aware of his leading, if you don’t take care of yourself. Self-care is never selfish.”
- Self-care continued. When I was a brand new mom football season started when Elijah was three. I had one hour alone all week, and I chose to attend a bible study at our church. That one hour expanded when I was invited to attend MOPS a few times a month plus a weekly Bible study during the day with other SAHMs. Those girlfriends are still some of my favorite people even though we live ten hours away. They not only kept me company at the park, but they challenged me in my faith, encouraged me in the hard times, and handed down loads of baby clothes! I also discovered in that season how much I enjoy crafts like knitting and embroidery.
The first five years kids change so frequently it can feel like a race to keep up with them. Whether it’s figuring out their newest favorite shirt, toy or food, it can be exhausting. The football season adds another layer of stress in that much of the day and even some weekends you are on your own. Hang in there Mama, it’s going to be okay. Do you know how I know? Because you are doing a great job loving your littles!
P.S. Years after my season of being away from Elijah for an hour a week a college student told me that many weeks Ordell would spend 45 of the 60 minutes trying to comfort Elijah as he cried. I was shocked as it seemed they always were fine when I arrived home. When I asked Ordell about it, he shrugged and said he knew if he told me I’d quit attending and he knew how much I needed to go. Ladies, your guy can support you from afar even when you don’t realize it!
I’m linking up with Mrs. Disciple today for #FridayFive
As the wife of a football coach, Beth Walker encourages women whose families are in the public eye to pursue their own callings even as they support their husbands’ careers and ministries. Through her own personal stories as well as interviews with other women who are also living just outside their husbands’ limelight, Beth shows it’s possible to do both.