By: Julia Jones | Married to Andrew Jones III, Coaching Staff for the Oklahoma City Thunder
Every year the NBA releases the schedule in August and the first thing I take note of is road games - especially long stretches. The ones that really irk me are any over 7 days...not only do I miss my husband, but I feel bad for our girls. Since I’m a stay at home mom, whenever Dad comes home, he is greeted with what sounds like a Drum Line pep band. Whenever I walk through the door it’s more like “oh hey...” - if that. There’s really no enthusiasm lol. So you get why his presence is everything to us.
I can’t sit here and say that I don’t get super irritated when road trips roll around. Going to bed at night, I get anxiety from being alone with the girls. I should probably stop watching the local news because every noise I hear I swear there’s someone ready to intrude. We don’t have a nanny and the girls don’t go to daycare so I’m with them 24/7. I’ve worked legal/corporate and I think being a full-time parent is the hardest job to date!
Nevertheless, since we’ve been exposed to this schedule for the last 5 years there are a few things I found that helped me with all of the above.
I try to plan out every day Dada is gone. Anything goes - play dates, museum trips, the park, etc. This tires the girls out and keeps them occupied enough so they forget to miss him.
We FaceTime after every shoot around/practice and before bedtime unless it’s game night. Seeing each other and staying updated on what’s been going on is so important. SN: it cracks me up that Ava is the worst at FT - she pays Drew no mind, but in person, she’s his shadow.
We have an alarm system, but another trick - I keep my car keys next to my bed. Best believe if someone breaks in I’m waking the whole neighborhood with the car alarm!
When Drew returns we prioritize family time. I have canceled on so many things and people (sorry) because of random off days. It’s vital that any minute we get together, we are together.
I do feel bad when Ava asks me where her dad is or tells others that he’s working again. My goal is just to keep the girls distracted and I probably overcompensate a tad with spoiling them with lots of attention and activities. Then again they say you can’t ever spoil kids with love! The time away sucks for Drew, but the time together is appreciated much more due to the circumstances!