DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married just short of one year and are expecting our first child in about four months. Our marriage is a good one. We communicate well and love each other. There is one area, however, that continues to be problematic.
I have been a youth basketball coach for three years. I was a coach before I met my wife and throughout our courtship. I have coached the same group of players, many of whose parents attribute their higher grades and better teamwork to their participation in the sport.
My wife insists that I quit coaching these 11-year-olds once the baby arrives. Practice takes me away from home two hours, one night a week, and the games are two hours once a week. I don't think that's a lot because I'm home all of the other "free time."
I love my wife and the fact that we will be parents. I don't think I'm asking too much when I tell her I'd like to continue coaching. I get a lot out of the experience and, honestly, I need some time to myself each week. Am I unreasonable or selfish in expecting her to support my coaching? I love her and she loves me -- but I love coaching, too. I think it makes a huge difference in the lives of my team members. -- IN FOUL TROUBLE
DEAR IN TROUBLE: Your wife may be a little insecure about her ability to handle motherhood. She needs you to acknowledge her feelings right now. Four hours of personal time a week may not seem too much to ask for. However, it might be better if you took a short leave of absence until the baby is on a regular schedule.
I sincerely hope you'll return to coaching youth basketball in the future because you are doing a wonderful thing for those boys, and it's something they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.