The birth of our son three years ago came with a whirlwind of change in our lives, marriage, and home - change that we failed to handle so well (or at all) once the new baby smell wore off.
Baby two is less than five weeks away from joining Team Miller, and I'll be honest, it hasn't been until recently that I have actually felt excitement overtake the fear of it all. Fear of repeating the past, fear of throwing our routine into chaos again, fear of two vs. one, fear of balancing it all. But deep down, fear of losing myself...and my marriage...to the consumption of this tiny, new human.
Don't get me wrong, this was planned. We've always known we wanted two kiddos...well, let me rephrase. We knew we didn't want our son to be an only child. So, we bucked up and decided nine months ago that it was now or never. Low and behold, God was on board with the plan, and within three weeks, we were seeing two pink lines. Then reality set in. It's one thing to say you're "trying," but when you get what you were trying for, all of the sudden doubt and wonder creep in, "are we really ready for this again?"
I had become so wrapped up in my new role as a mother that my entire life, and I'm talking every. single. aspect. revolved around my tiny human. I had decided my husband was a grown man and could take care of himself, so I devoted every ounce of attention and energy to this little person who needed me to survive. In my mind, Coach had baseball; I was just a bonus, not a necessity at this point for him. Unknowingly, I had stepped out of this thing we vowed upon called our marriage because I didn't have the capacity. And, without seeing it until it was almost too late, I had made the biggest mistake I could have ever made in raising my son. I chose to put him first.
Now, the only "advice" I offer at baby showers when they make you share some sort of wisdom on a notecard for the mom-to-be is this: As counter-intuitive as it may seem in the moment, ALWAYS put your marriage first. Babies second.
Any new mom may be able to relate to the above, but add the complexities of this life as a Coach's Wife to the mix, and it's an entirely new ballgame - managing logistics, juggling schedules, getting creative in how you find time with Daddy, learning to adjust not only to being a mom, but being a single mom, and preventing resentment from taking root. On top of all of that, you now have a namesake competing for your Coach's heart, time and energy...in addition to the nine young men on the field, parents with bones to pick, and a coaching staff who depends on him.
When your other half is a coach, keeping your marriage as your (and his) number one priority is work, and it's hard - with or without kids. But as a Coach's Wife, I am all too familiar with the adage that hard work pays off.
We've learned a lot in this journey and I would love to share some of the ways - big and small - we keep our marriage as a priority through every season:
Mommas, let go of the thought that you can't leave your baby to spend some one-on-one time with your Coach. Yes, it will take some time, but turns out they will survive, and they'll be better for it...after all, she's not yours. God has merely let you borrow her for her time here on Earth, with expectation that you share her.
Grab ice cream together - after dinner is done, Coach is home from practice, and babies are in the land of nod. Pay someone to come watch them sleep for an hour while you sneak out. You'll skip the guilt of leaving them and Coach will get some much needed time with his number one fan - win win.
Pray together, or at least for one another. We're not the greatest at praying together, I'll admit it, but praying for my Coach is always at the top of the list when I start those conversations with the Man above.
Have a movie night in. Suck it up, you'll have to stay up later than you want, but time is precious.
Be sure the other is the first person you greet and kiss when you walk in the door. Kiddos can have round two.
Vow to take a mini-vacation together in the off-season. It's my hope to be able to get something in each year for the family, as well as something special just for mommy and daddy - even if it's just a night away in a nice, nearby hotel.
GO TO THE GAMES...this one's on you ladies. Work to find your niche and get involved as much as you can amongst other responsibilities. Show your support and let him know how proud of him you are. He may not say it often, but seeing you in the stands makes his heart burst.
Spend time apart with your own friends, hobbies, and passions too. This might sound counter-productive, but you need this for yourself, as does he. Plus, it gives you more to talk about when you're not doing everything together.
Ask how his day was, how practice was, and dig for details. As often as you may hear the same story, getting to know the team and showing interest in what's consuming his life at the moment speaks volumes to him.
What are some of the ways you find time for each other? How do you show your kiddos that your marriage comes first? How does the season affect all of it? Coaches' Wives across the country - including myself - are dying to know, reaching for ideas...so PLEASE SHARE!