Every day brings its own set of circumstances and challenges that ultimately build our character and demonstrate our worth. Being able to successfully manage a family fulltime and career on a daily basis a delicate balancing act not only for the Fuller family but for so many others as well. With a nine year old son and five year old daughter, on any given day, we find ourselves somewhere between board rooms and bathrooms, conference rooms and classrooms.
During our stint in the NFL, we made many lasting friendships that continue to yield benefits even today. Although we did not have children at that time, we observed many couples that managed entrepreneurial interests, team functions, family demands, as well as community outreach without ever losing their composure and pleasant disposition. As we attempt to meet life’s expectations, we look to exemplary couples that take “team” off the field and “uniform” their lifestyles with pinpoint accuracy.
Twelve year NFL free safety and cornerback, Brent Alexander and wife, Mari, provide useful advice to those of us that manage hectic schedules on a daily basis. Brent transitioned from the NFL into a professional career as a high school math teacher. His wife, Mari, is a Psychotherapist.
Brent began his NFL career with the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. Later, as an unrestricted free agent, he signed with the Steelers, Panthers and ended his career as a NY Giant. After retiring the couple settled in Brent’s hometown on Gallatin, Tennessee. Together they have four children: Corey, 20, Myles, 18, Nalyss, 12, and Nylan 11.
As involved parents with demanding careers and active children, Brent and Mari time manage by planning ahead and using help when necessary. Wisely, they advise parents to realize both of you may not be able to attend every activity. Do not feel guilty about it. Although sacrifices must be made, remember your family is part of your schedule, so always plan with them in mind. That is not a flexible part of the schedule.
The couple recommends that you do not over do your schedule as it will ultimately result in the inability to effectively balance the load. They set a schedule and stick to it in efforts to avoid spending an excessive of time chasing their kids’ activities. Admittedly, there are times when they have to omit something because there is just not enough time. But living close to their parents offers support and disperses some of the weight.
We asked Brent and Mari if they any pointers for current players with families. Gracefully they responded. “Take advantage of family activities and things you can do as a family. There are a lot of people pulling you to do a variety of appearances, but many are also family friendly. Set aside family time and vacations.”
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