Written by Nicole Johnson, Wife to Elliot Johnson
I never realized just how strong I could be until I was forced to be strong. Many other women have written about what it's like to stay home with a baby while their husbands are away, and I commend them. I didn't have to do it until my baby boy was 5 months old.
Something you may not know about baseball families is that they *try* to get pregnant during spring training. This is common among a lot of families, and if it happens that way, it's awesome. The reasoning for this is that if you get pregnant in February or March, you'll have a baby in November or December with plenty of time left in the offseason before you head back to spring training. I realize that you can't just get pregnant when you choose, but Elliot and I had this plan as well, and had we not gotten pregnant during spring training or the first couple months of the season last year, we may have pushed it off and waited to start thinking about it again the next year. We were lucky, though, and I found out we were expecting at the end of spring training.
We had Blake at the beginning of November, which is pretty much perfect in terms of baseball. We had most of November, December, January, and part of February before we even had to report to Spring Training. Elliot still did lessons during that time, which got me accustomed to him leaving the house, but he was home every night. During spring training, he was home every night, too, so I didn't have my first taste of being by myself until he left on his first road trip of the season.
I was really nervous. I was afraid I'd be calling him all the time, freaking out. What I found though, was that each transition had gotten me ready for the next. When he would leave for the field for a few hours a day in the offseason, it got me ready for hiim to leave for a few more during spring training. When he would go on far away trips and we were practically asleep by the time he got home, it started to get me ready for the road trips that were coming soon. When he went on his first road trip, it was split in half by the team coming back to Durham for a night. And finally, on the second road trip, I spent 8 days taking care of my son on my own.
I feel like the first couple days are the most shocking. There isn't someone to play with the baby when you need to go do something, and you can't go do all your errands because some places (like the hair salon) just aren't the kind of places where you can pick your son up from his car seat and hold him. I've learned to work around the schedule, and Blake and I get into a routine. I feel bad for Elliot because he has to spend that time away from Blake, and I know he misses him. It breaks my heart when Elliot calls on the computer and Blake is sleeping.
I have it made compared to a lot of other wives. My son sleeps in his crib, I sleep in my bed, and we get to hang out in our own house. It's awesome that we all get to travel, but it's definitely a change when children come into the picture. You can't really wait on baseball to have kids, because then you never will be ready for them. You just learn to work with the changes that God gives you each step of the way.