Game days always carry a string of emotions. An exhilarating win. A heartbreaking defeat. The chatter from the parents. The comradery among the staff. Beautiful fall weather (or scorching heat, or freezing cold). My admiration for Coach.
And at the end of the night, I plopped on to my couch and tried to soak in the emotions of the day.
I had been a coach’s wife for eleven years. I had seasons of nursing babies in the van, running down the sidelines with a toddler on my hip, and chasing down a preschooler who was eating concession stand food from under the bleachers.
I’d seen championship wins, near-perfect seasons, and seasons with no wins at all. Sometimes you are showered with gifts and praises, while other times you are excluded from the backroom conversations about how Coach should “improve.” I had seen it all.
I came home and my emotions flooded me. I needed an outlet. I needed an escape. I needed a funny meme or an inspired post, because no one understood the emotions that came with being a coach’s wife. So I opened up Facebook and for the first time I searched “Football Coach’s wife.” And what I found changed me.
I regained an identity.
There were half a dozen groups, but as I scrolled down one group caught my eye. It said “Friday Night Wives” and it had such a captivating logo. Like a badge of honor. That’s what I am, I thought. I’m a Friday Night Wife.
That was the beginning. I spent hours reading blog posts and many of them made me cry. I realized, These people get me.
I discovered good company.
Then I joined the Facebook group (Behind the Lines) and that’s when I found out that there were thousands of you out there. Just like me. Your stories and questions and emotions were similar to mine. I laughed at your memes and jokes and stories, because I was so glad to find someone that knew what it was like to live this life.
I was so used to being alone… in the stands, on my couch, taking care of my kids. Then I found out that you were there. In my solitude, I had this community, and I wasn’t alone anymore. I was strengthened by scripture, by jokes, and by real-life stories that I didn’t know other people told.
I spent days with you and it helped me. So I headed over to the store and put the cutest sweatshirt in my cart. I knew that you were my people.
I found support.
I joined Friday Night Wives at just the right time because there were things I didn’t know.
I didn’t know Coach’s role would change unexpectedly and shake up our lives drastically. But some of you had experienced that before.
I didn’t know that we would watch each sport shut down, one-by-one. But even when the stadiums emptied, there you were.
Some lost seasons. Some lost jobs. Many wrestled with their mental health and moves and the new normal. But we didn’t face these things alone. But we figured it out together.
I caught the lifeline.
One day, I came home from a game ready to throw in the towel. But I found “Friday Night Wives.” And you gave me enough courage to move forward.
So this year, as summer workouts turn to new seasons, let’s remember who we are. We cheer loudly and cry silently. We give, we cook, we wash and we travel. We struggle and we celebrate. We love our people in big ways.
We support our Coaches in every victory and defeat like no one else.
We are Friday Night Wives.