Everything changes when you have kids, right? That’s true for everyone. Over the last few years, people have looked at me and said things like, “That’s great you’re at so many games…” and “That’s great you have the guys over for dinner…” and it’s always followed with a “BUT”: “…but that will probably change once you have kids.” I always said, “Maybe,” but in my head I was thinking, “Probably not.”
Perhaps it’s just my tenacious spirit. I can’t stand being told what I can and cannot do, so if someone says I cannot do something, I immediately aim to prove them wrong.
Of course, I knew that being parents would change things, but I refuse to allow it to change all things. I know dynamics will continue to shift as our daughter grows older and enters different phases of life, but for now we’ve settled into a routine of what this life looks like with a baby. And, of course, some things have changed, but many things have not.
My role at the games. The biggest change is that my role at games has changed. I’m no longer keeping stats or taking pictures quite like I used to. I mostly just sit and watch like any other fan because I must be prepared at any moment to attend to my daughter’s needs which currently include eating, diaper changes, and simple entertainment such as smiling and talking.
Hosting dinners. Another change is that we are no longer hosting dinners every week. Only every other week.
My husband’s work schedule. My husband used to work a lot of morning office hours and come home after practice. Now he goes to work later and usually goes back to the office after practice to work evening office hours. It helps my morning go smoothly to have some extra help, and it helps his evenings go more smoothly to not have us distracting him.
What Doesn’t Change:
Going to games. I’m still at all the games that I would have been at before, and our daughter is right there with me. This includes away games. (To be fair, we’ve only had one away game since she was born, but I’m not hesitating to take her to the rest of them.) For this reason, I haven’t attempted to incorporate a strict schedule. We don’t have a consistent schedule, so why would I want my daughter to have one? I want her to be able to be flexible if we have a long day that turns into a late night or whatever else may come up. To be fair, she sleeps very well at night, and if she didn’t I might be trying harder to incorporate a schedule. Going to games together is something we will be doing for many years. Once our daughter is old enough to have her own activities and engagements, we will probably not go to as many of my husband’s games as we do now, but until then, we don’t plan to make any changes. After all, that time at the field may be the most I see my husband and the most our daughter sees her dad.
Going to practices. Her first trip to the baseball field was when she was less than four days old, and she’s been at least once each week ever since–usually at least twice each week. Need I say more?
Hosting dinners. We still have guys over for dinner. As I mentioned, it’s only every other week now, but we make sure it happens. We hope to range our daughter to be selfless and to understand the value of serving others. We believe the best way to do this is to model it, so that is what we have set out to do from the beginning, and we don’t intend to stop when she gets older. In fact, she I’ll have plenty of ways to enlist her help once she gets older.
My husband’s work load. My husband still works a lot. He went to practice within 24 hours of my daughter’s birth while we were still in the hospital. He went to practice a few minutes after we got home from the hospital. He went out of town recruiting for four days this past weekend. He still spends evenings entering stats and making recruiting calls. In fact, I still help when and how I can with entering stats and contact information for recruits.
Family walks. We still make an effort to go on family walks at the field on game days. We aren’t always awake enough or organized enough to make this happen, but we weren’t before either.
Why So Much Hasn’t Changed:
Ultimately, as we transition to become parents, our lives must reflect our priorities. Our daughter is absolutely our priority. She is absolutely the center of our world. But part of how we intend to raise her is to understand that she is not the center of the world. Those habits and routines start now.
As a coach’s kid who spends so much time at the field and around the team, she will grow up with a rich childhood.
- She’ll get to travel quite a bit, even if every road trip and vacation has a baseball destination.
- She’ll learn to care for others and be selfless.
- She’ll learn a lot about baseball and probably also a thing or two about taking care of a baseball field.
- She’ll get to see her daddy and be a part of what he is doing.
- She’ll understand why we move and when we move.
- She’ll have a community around her—big brothers, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins. This is our village even if the specific faces are on a continuously rotating cycle.
Why would we want to deprive our daughter of the great opportunities that await her as a coach’s kid?