More from CC's wife, Amber.
Amber, what do you do to make it possible for CC to share in the father experience when he returns?
Amber: During the off-season I make him wake up at 7 A.M. and do "daddy duty," which consists of everything I do on a daily basis. I joke with him that he should catch up on his sleep when he's on the road because during the off-season I don't feel sorry for him. There's no need for him to sleep in, because he didn't pitch the night before, so if I'm up then he's up too.
How do you juggle four kids while your husband is traveling?
Amber: I just came to the conclusion last year that every other week I am a single mother. I tip my hat to all of the single mothers out there. It's a job that takes patience, courage, and a lot of energy. I'm so grateful for my nanny. I didn't get a nanny until I had my third child. She was six months old, and would you believe two days went by that I didn't get a chance to shower? It was then I knew I needed help! My advice? Get a break any time you can, even if it's a shower, watching a show you TiVo'd, or sitting quietly for an hour. Carve out some time and take it. That's the only way I'm able to keep sane. I enjoy my kids and try to laugh as much as possible; even when they're crying and screaming, I'm laughing!
Do they ever ask you, "Where is Daddy? When is he coming home?"
Amber: We have made a new rule that has made Daddy's leaving much easier. When he goes on the road, the kids get to sleep with Mommy. We have a custom bed that has plenty of space for four kids. My daughter screamed during CC's last road trip, "Yay, Daddy's going to Tampa so we get to sleep with Mommy!" But, yes, they are so happy to see him walking through the door when he returns from the road. The reason Daddy's leaving is never sad is that they know he always comes back.
Do you let them stay up late to watch the evening games?
Amber: I have four children. When it comes to raising four kids, you need to stay on a schedule. Bedtime is 8:30, so if they want to watch the first few innings, that's fine, but at 8:30 the TV goes off. Once the kids are asleep, it is Mommy time.
Amber: I take a shower, watch TiVo, or read a book. I always look forward to that 8:30 bedtime and, yes, even Daddy pitching doesn't change that.