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Author: Jess Gilardi

Jess Gilardi is a head lacrosse coach’s wife living on the East Coast. They have three young kids and have been living this life since 2004. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She created An All In Devotional to encourage others in their faith, self-love and soon so much more. You can follow her on social media, Instagram @an_all_in_devotional and Facebook as An All In Devotional.

move a lot this is what i know lessons learned

Lessons Learned from a Transient Coach’s Wife

I have always found it frustrating to not get to where I want to be, with new friends, with the new house, in the new community, immediately. I also fall victim to always comparing my brand new beginning to the well developed ending that just occurred. I’ve learned that I need to be patient and realistic. It takes time to get where I would like to be, usually years.

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Fans, Parents, Friends: What We Wish You Knew

He doesn’t have favorites. He’s not purposely or viciously not playing your kid. There’s more than just pure talent that goes into making that decision. Attitude and effort go a lot further than you think. He doesn’t have it out for your kid. He is simply trying to teach them there are consequences for actions and teamwork will always take them further in life than selfish ambition.

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Coach, This I Can (and Can’t) Promise You

I can promise you I will go wherever you go, stay wherever you stay, and your people will be my people. I will put in the extra work to get our family settled and make the new place feel like home. I will be open and flexible to wherever this journey takes us.

I can’t promise you I won’t doubt it, complain about it and/or be about upset it. I can’t promise that the thought of having to start over again won’t frustrate me. I also won’t be able to stay off of Zillow, searching for houses, even with only a mention of a potential job opening.   

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Storms Came, Our House Collapsed—How I Built a Stronger Foundation

It was there, with my metaphorical house stripped to bare studs, that I realized I had built it with all the wrong things.

I started over with the basics, faith became the groundwork on which everything was rebuilt. Finding a church community and reading God’s Word was the first step.

From there, I began to realize how grace (grace for coach, this lifestyle, and most importantly myself) was necessary as the support beams. It allowed me to have the patience I needed to get through the day, the season, the storm.

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What Is A Coach’s Wife

What is a Coach’s Wife?

To anyone outside of the sports industry, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself “What is a coach’s wife?” “Why does she identify and define herself by her husband’s job?” Well, if you haven’t had the pleasure of getting to know a coach’s wife, it might be hard to get it. It’s not just cute game day tees, making goodies bags, and cheering in the stands.

It’s Good

It’s “Hey babe, I forgot my lucky khakis. Can you drop them off at the field house?” only to not know which one of the 50 pairs he’s referring to. 
It’s pacing back and forth in the stands, muttering under your breath and/or bursting into screams, all while managing to keep the kids entertained and well behaved (and wearing your lucky game day tee.)

It’s a hug and a kiss after an exhilarating win or a longer, tighter hug after a heartbreaking loss and lending a supportive ear to go over the rights and the wrongs either way.

It’s having a large extended family that will be there for you in an instant when you need it, without question or hesitation. And vise versa. 

It’s Hard

It’s “I’m sorry, I know I said that we could go to that, but something’s come up. I have to go into work.”It’s biting your tongue and turning the other cheek when someone in the stands says “What was that? Why would he call that play? Does he even know what he’s doing?!”

It’s getting asked a lot “What does he do in the off-season?” “Coaching is a full time job?” And “What do you mean he can’t take the day off to come to my <insert event here>?!”

It’s “Hey babe. So, there’s this unbelievable opportunity that came up. What would you think about moving (again)?”

It’s Impossible

It’s a heartbreaking debate as to whether you go support your husband at his game or stand in his absence at your child’s event.

It’s having a heart big enough so there’s room for so many players, their parents, schools and towns, but strong enough to not break when it’s time to leave them.

It’s a faith strong enough to go through weeks or months of every year staring down the uncertainty of what the future holds and knowing whatever happens will be for your good.

It’s not knowing how you’ll make it through another game, another season, or another move, but digging deep to find the will and the way.

It’s Everything

It’s more than just a game or just a sport. It’s more than winning or losing. It’s more than just supporting and consoling.

It’s handling all the personal logistics, so coach can focus on the program ones. It’s packing and selling the old house, and saying goodbye to the friends and memories made. It’s unloading and settling into the new house, and getting out into the next community to plant seeds.

It’s fading into the background of someone else’s dreams and not getting overcome by the darkness, but instead finding your glow in the silver lining. It’s not playing an active role in the decisions that affect your life but being flexible and open to what may come. It’s going where you’re called, but not necessarily where you want. 

It’s hard times and beautiful ones. It’s stressful times and uplifting ones. It’s uncertain times and adventurous ones. It’s the times that are part of the game plan and the last-minute Hail Mary ones.

We don’t start out as coach’s wives. The road to becoming one is bumpy and complicated. It’s not that a coach’s wife is defined by her husband’s job, but that she is refined by it.

I Found My Faith at a Baseball Field. Twice.

Then, on a Saturday in October, which started like any other day, I drove about an hour away with my mom to watch a couple of coach’s scrimmages. Because of the set up of the scrimmage, we were allowed to watch from the sidelines. And that’s where I finally learned the lesson that I was not in control. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I planned, nothing was a given.

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Being the Head Coach’s Wife is Harder Than I’d Ever Thought

My first year as a head coach’s wife was filled with more learning than all the other fifteen years combined. I wasted a lot of time and energy waiting and wishing. I didn’t use the time I was given to make as big a mark as I could and should have because my focus was elsewhere.

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Learning the Tension of Being Fully Independent and Fully Supportive

The coach’s wife life is this wild dichotomy of having your life (from your daily schedule to your entire future) be dependent upon someone else, their dreams and performance. But at the same time, in order to survive and thrive in it, you must learn to be independent from that person and function solo a large majority of the time.

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