We are right in the middle of Spring Recruiting, also known as the time of year when people are most likely to be surprised that my football coach husband has to work. (“Really?!? All spring?? What are they even doing?”) But this time of year can be a challenge because you had a minute during Spring Ball when husbands were around for dinner and bedtime, and then they hit the road! Just like for anyone who has a career that involves travel, things in our house change a little bit when Daddy is on the road.
1. Dinner– Don’t like leftovers and sandwiches? How about eggs for dinner? I’m sorry Padma Lakshmi, I didn’t realize this was an elimination challenge…I will pack my knives and see myself out. Seriously, without my husband here my motivation to provide meats and roasted vegetables just sort of slips away. It’s a great opportunity to warm up some of those leftovers filling the fridge. And let’s be honest, sometimes you have to pick up some burritos and call it a day!
2. Bedtime– The kids are still in bed ASAP after sports. In fact one woke up the other morning in the same dirty clothes she played in at the ball diamonds and feet so dirty things could grow on them…no worries! This is not the time for late night reading…I’ll be back in to turn your lights out at 9 because Mama is logging extra sleep time this week!
3. Normal chores- I’m gonna need you all to pick up some slack around here! Grass cutting? Make your own lunch? Who wants to empty the dishwasher?? And I know this sounds like a 50’s housewife trick, but boy are my kids motivated by wanting to have the house clean when Daddy comes home! (Isn’t that what we all want? To walk into our house after being gone and find everything picked up and put away?!)
4. Screen-time- It’s 9 pm and you are sad? Let’s FaceTime daddy! Want to FaceTime during breakfast? Let’s do it! Hurray for technology!
5. Laundry- What’s that? You noticed that all the laundry is done? And folded? And put away? And the hampers are empty?? Hmm…I wonder why we usually have so much laundry? (Dad gets home: oh. Never mind.)
I realize how lucky I am that my husband only travels for a few days and weeks at a time, and that he’s traveling to high schools to recruit and not into danger. The military wives I have the privilege of knowing amaze me with their grace under pressure in much harder circumstances. (Picturing my grandma raising her kids while my grandpa was active duty military keeps me from feeling too sorry for myself when Nick is gone.) Most football families have been through a time when Dad moved ahead to a job before the family could join him. I lived in Indiana for almost 3 months before I was able to move down to North Carolina with Nick. Let me tell you…when there are ten inches of snow on the ground and you’ve just finished shoveling the driveway for the second time of the day and you are FaceTiming with a person walking around in short sleeves on Wake Forest’s gorgeous campus, it leads to unkind thoughts. But whatever the reason, if daddy is on the road, life looks a little different! And there is no sweeter moment than when he walks back through the door!