Family, Journal, Marriage

A Letter to Myself My First Year as a Coach’s Wife

Dear Excited-to-be-a-Coach’s-Wife-Which-Makes-So-Much-Sense-Because-You-Love-Football:

Remember this above everything else – your skin, hair, and legs will never look as good as they do now. Wear the shorts. Let your hair be bouncy and shiny in all it’s Tami Taylor glory. And, wear sunscreen to preserve that skin.

Oh, and here are a few other things to help you navigate this season and the upcoming five, ten, twenty years of being a high school football coach’s wife.

Listen for the cheers.

Sometimes it is hard to hear the positive. The negative commentary really does tend to drown out the good. Find your people. Sit with the coaches’ wives or sit by yourself. Yes, people may think it strange that you are off by yourself, but your sanity most important. The sideline coaches can wear you down and it’s best not to respond.

 White can be a team color.

You can search high and low for a shirt in the team’s colors. You can buy a school spirit shirt from the booster club or the local grocery store. But, if you can’t or don’t, white t-shirts work. Throw on a necklace or bracelet that shows your spirit. Sometimes you can even find a sandal, flip flop, or sneaker that has at least one of the team colors. Last resort, dig around in your husband’s shirts to find one that might work with a half-tuck in a pair of shorts. Make sure you are in the team colors for the program picture. Don’t think the picture is just for your husband and your children. The photographer wants you in the picture, too. By the way, you want to be in that picture. Your legs look amazing and your hair, no matter the time of day or amount of humidity, is fantastic.

 Always have cash on hand.

Stop at an ATM on the way to the game. Concession stands provide dinner. You might need to buy a program (to see your family picture) or pick up a new school shirt. You may also need to pay a babysitter. Either the one that comes with you or the one you recruit from the stands.

There’s always a lot of laundry.

Even if you don’t have children, you will be washing, drying, and folding clothes almost every day. There will be the darks, the lights, the towels, and the athletic wear. You will need to buy a couple of drying racks because some of the dri-fit under shirts, shorts, and game-day shirts cannot be put in the dryer.  And, no matter how on top of the laundry you believe yourself to be, the exact pair of khaki pants your husband needs to wear to the game will sometimes be difficult to find. They will either be in the dirty clothes hamper, the washing machine, the dryer, the laundry basket, or at school. Keep your head about you and just help look. Or, better yet, ask about those clothing items the night before the upcoming game. It’s good for you to know where they are in case you are asked to find them.

The season does not run from September to November.

Football starts in the spring, runs through the summer and then really picks up in the fall. Spring ball, summer camps, strength and conditioning programs, and two-a-days all take the time of your husband. Practice, games, and film are the most predictable, but the schedule isn’t his. It isn’t yours. It’s simply a schedule. And, as soon as you figure it out, it will change. There will be rain. There will be a bus breakdown. There will be injuries which require a visit to either the hospital or Saturday morning clinic. There will be games to scout. It is impossible to lock down times of arriving home or meeting up for a family dinner at a restaurant. Rather, add at least one hour to the estimate of when your coach says he is heading home. Even better, add two hours. Then, when he arrives home earlier, it will be a bonus surprise.

Find an uplifting mantra.

You will repeat a phrase that can get you through the tougher times repeatedly, so find one that appeals to you. You will say it to your husband. You will say it to the fans in the stands. You will say it to your children. You will say it to yourself. Write it down on a piece of paper where everyone in the house can see it.

So, my first-year coach’s wife self, you’ve got this. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, care for you, and have your back. Find the good. Try and ignore the not-so-pleasant.

You’re gonna make it after all.