The baby had barely taken a nap that afternoon. He was whining because I wasn’t letting him stir the hot soup in the pot on the stove. I could feel a headache coming on after a long day by myself and getting over a cold. AND, on top of it all, Joseph wasn’t due home for several more hours after the varsity soccer game. UGH. It was only Tuesday.
For my family, fall in the Midwest means girls’ soccer. My husband is the assistant coach for both the girls’ varsity and junior varsity soccer team at the local high school where he works. Like any sports season, the weeks of practice and games are intense, long, and exciting.
Joseph’s work days are long in the fall, with practice and/or a game after work every afternoon. Don’t get me wrong, we truly love going to the games, watching the girls play (and win a lot this year!), and getting to know the parents and families of the girls who he is coaching. Sometimes, like last Tuesday, these long days seem a bit endless. The dishes pile even higher, the cleaning is more daunting, and I run out of creative ideas to entertain an 18mos old. Having a spouse with a hobby other than my own, that draws time outside of the house, can be lonely.
But I have learned that there are good reasons for my husband to have a hobby outside of the home. The joy Joseph finds in the mentorship of the girls on his team and the excitement that he experiences in their successes is something that he shares with us at home. Joseph wants us at the teams’ games. He wants us to see and share in the work and successes that he sees on a daily basis. Although the days might seem long, I could never ask him to give up this experience that brings its own life and benefits home to our marriage and family.
Plus, this is a two-way street. I also have a hobby or two that take me away from the home. Joseph is gracious enough to give me the time away for my own turn in what makes me happy. We both recognize the good that these hobbies give the other. We come home happier and re-invigorated for the life we have at home together. We sacrifice the additional time apart, giving the other spouse time to be their own person in the hobby they enjoy and makes them grow.
It may be frustrating some nights when I wish that Joseph was home. But, in the end, I am always grateful for soccer season, no matter how much time it takes my husband away. I know that the time away from our family is helping Joseph grow, as well as the girls that he is coaching.
If your spouse has a hobby that takes them away from your family life, is it the same for your family life? Is the hobby helping your spouse grow in virtue and happiness – to bring back to your family?