Written by Nicole Johnson
Wife to Elliot Johnson
Editor of The Life of the Baseball Wife
This past weekend I went out with friends from my neighborhood to celebrate my friend Stephanie's birthday. We hit up Durham and enjoyed Six Plates Wine Bar, Criterion, and Bull McCabes as a group of about 20 people.
In the past couple years, I've spent so much of my time at home while Elliot traveled. I made the decision to do this after we were moved several times in just a couple seasons, and the weight of caring for a preschooler and twin babies was too much for me. After finding new preschools and babysitters enough times, I came to the conclusion that I had reached my limit, and decided to be home where I could have some stability for myself and my kids.
In the time I've spent at home, I have acquired a great set of strong and supportive friends that know me as "Nicole" or "Blake's mom" and not "Elliot's Wife." I have as much of a social life as you can have as a mom of 3, and have found that real life isn't as competitive as baseball life.
In the 8 years we have been married, something that has always annoyed me is the dazzling look some people give my husband just because he plays ball. It's like he walks on water. I've been brushed off by people because I was just his wife and they assumed I was just here for the ride, and not because, regardless of his career, we wanted to spend our lives together.
I'll be honest, sometimes I want to scream at those people that he's just a man, and he makes mistakes and has faults just like any other man. I love him in spite of those faults, but he isn't perfect, and neither is any other athlete.
I don't feel that I'm looked at in that way here at home. My friends see the work I put in, they offer to help carry one of the twins, they give Blake rides to baseball practice, and offer for him to come play at their houses. We talk about normal things like marriage and kids, and we are real with each other. Some of my friends have husbands that travel or work long hours, too, and we lean on each other for support.
Some of my friends have never even met Elliot, and to be honest, it's a relief to make friends that get to know me before they get to know him. They will meet him when the offseason rolls around, but it's nice to have people be my friends first.