My husband is a dedicated teacher. He is also the coach of his school’s hockey team. If you have ever been exposed to high school hockey, you know that it’s one long mo-fo of a season. It starts right after Thanksgiving and continues straight through mid-March with tournaments. When you are a coach’s wife, you quickly realize that coaching is a lifestyle and need to be prepared for the extra time commitments that are expected of your spouse. There are games and practices, sure, but there are also team building functions like pasta parties before big games and fundraisers and such. There is also the notion in this electronic world that he is available for players and their parents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is always a text or an email that needs to be replied to, usually right before, during or after dinner…or on Sundays, his one true “day off.” Due to these great demands on my husband’s time, I become a “hockey widow.”

Most wives would be annoyed that their husband’s time is so occupied during the winter months. That many weeknights have delayed dinner due to practices or games. Or that a lot of the childcare ends up on my plate. Or that many Saturday nights are spent as “girl’s nights” with just Zoey and me hanging out. But not me. Here’s what I love about hockey season:

I love the extra paycheck. Yes, shallow, I know. But without the extra pay that comes in from this gig, we wouldn’t have a nice Christmas or be able to pay our taxes come April. Also, my husband is one of the few teachers I know who doesn’t need a summer job. He uses the summer to do whatever the heck he wants and that’s fine by me. You will never hear me nagging him about it. He already works two jobs and earns his summer off. (He actually has a third job coaching the golf team, but he gets free golf out of that so is it really work?)

I love the bonding time with Zoey. We get to do some super girly things together on the nights when Daddy has hockey. I try to keep things interesting to keep her mind off missing Dad. Whether we go out to dinner or to a special Disney on Ice event, I always enjoy our time with just us. ‘Cuz it’s GIRLS NITE!!

Disney Princesses? Bam What! Photo: K. Stevenson

Disney Princesses? BA-BAM!
Photo: K. Stevenson Selfie Collection

I love the ME time after she’s in bed on weekend game nights. This is the time when I get to do the things that a tired mom wants to do by herself without interruptions or guilt. Can you say Chick Flick? Browsing Pinterest without watching the clock? Hell yeah! Ok, sure, this week I said I was going to use the time to learn how to use my sewing machine (after wiping the dust off it) but ended up on Facebook instead. But who cares? It’s my time and it’s bonus time. Whatever I end up doing, it’s the right thing. (And yes, sometimes I just sleep.)

I love how Daddy misses Zoey. Due to his schedule, there are days when he leaves for work before she gets up and comes home after she’s in bed. Sometimes for a couple of days in a row. It’s very difficult on both of them but seeing them reunited is the sweetest thing. He learns to savor every waking minute that he has with her, making the case for quality time, if not quantity.

Game-free Saturdays mean date night! We barely see each other during the season with such a hectic schedule and when we do see each other we’re usually exhausted. So we learned to make it a point to seize the moment and secure a sitter on the rare Saturday that there’s no game scheduled. You learn to appreciate the time together.

So there you have it. It’s taken me a few years to get to this point and I admit I’m just as happy to see the season end as he is. It’s a long marathon. But I can do anything for a few months of the year right? And the good news is, once hockey season is over…golf starts!

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