If you speak with coaching families, you might hear one theme amongst mamas. Mid-season exhaustion. I have to admit when my kiddos were younger, and coach was balancing getting his masters degree AND full time coaching things were a lot harder. Regardless, every mama hits her limit on carrying the full-time load. This is even more exacerbated with the mama who also is working full time.
College coaching requires a lot of time from the coaches. Hundreds of hours are devoted not only to preparing for the game that week but recruiting, staff development, personal growth, team leadership development, campus relations, and so on. Often a coach will go a day or 2 consistently in the season without seeing family each week. Coaching families who last for years understand, accept this and work through it.
Midseason Exhaustion Solutions
Each family is different, here are a few things we have found that work for us:
1) Dad takes over a few hours of “kid management.” For us, this meant coach delaying recruit calls a few hours last week and taking the boys to Cub Scouts.
2) Staff dinner. I already wrote about this, but we decided it was worth the effort to get the boys to dinner once a week at the office to see Dad that night.
3) COMMUNICATION, after many a meltdown year after year we finally figured out that coach needed to give me permission to have my “moment” without fixing it, listen, sympathize and offer to help me clean something. This is what works for us. Feeling like some of the burden is off me if even for a day has really helped. Also, the effort to not tell me to do things differently has helped.
4) Permission to hire a sitter. There is this whole mom guilt thing that happens, they are already not seeing dad, and now you are deserting them too. It’s something to get over quickly. My kids LOVE having a sitter, they love the break and frankly, so do I! Stash away a little cash for the end of the season and take a day or a few hours when dad is away and getaway too!
5) Calendar countdown. “It’s only a few more weeks.” We try to get away for an overnight after the season. Knowing that I will get some undivided attention soon seems to relax the stress as well.
6) After the season integrate Coach immediately back into the family. Give up some of the chores, give him a day of cooking dinner (if possible), hand over morning duty, do something to re-establish his authority with the kids. Not that the power is lost, it’s just not a present daily thing for 4-5 months, so it needs to be re-established.
7) Let Coach be a dad…alone. Yes, things have been done a certain way up until now, but it’s time to transition, and if you want that help you have been longing for, you need to surrender the control.
8) Focus on being healthy. Cook healthier, force yourself to exercise, take that class you have been delaying due to the busyness of the season. It’s ok to start now, I promise.