Life is crazy and for a coaching family, it is even crazier. Sometimes it feels like we are juggling too much. Sometimes our husbands are with the team more than they are at home. Sometimes it feels like we have to pick up the pieces and do a little bit of everything. Sometimes we need to vent to someone who understands the struggles of being a coach's family. And sometimes that is okay.
In the midst of trying to balance marriage, work, kids, and normal life responsibilities on top of the ever-changing schedule of a coach's family, and maybe squeezing in a little self-care, it can be overwhelming and difficult not to overcommit.
Whatever your life may look like right now, here are some things to remember:
1. You don't have to do everything the other coaches' wives do.
It is wonderful to have a support group of other coaches' wives to connect with, learn from, and get ideas from, but hear me: you do not have to do everything the other coaches' wives do. Understand your comfort zone for involvement. For some, that might be making meals, baking cookies, or doing team laundry every week. For others, it might be showing up as much as possible to the games. It looks different for everyone and you should never feel inferior because the way you support your coach and the team looks different than “everyone else.”
2. You can support your husband wherever you are.
If that means you never miss a game, good for you! If it means going to games when you can, and otherwise cheering from home while you care for your infant, wonderful! No matter where you are, you can show your husband support, and cheer the team on. This looks different for every family and that is completely okay.
3. It's okay to rest.
Read that again. Yes, you heard me. It is okay for YOU to rest. Take care of yourself.
4. Keep your venting circle small.
Sometimes you need to vent, and that is normal, and even healthy at times. But make sure you vent to the right people and not just anyone. If you choose the right people to vent to, you'll likely find understanding and support. If you make your circle too large, you risk not protecting your husband and family, and getting poor advice from people who do not at all understand your lifestyle or what you are experiencing.
5. Be open with your husband.
Communication is so important. He needs to know how you feel, whether it's positive or negative. Try to learn how to keep communication open in each season life brings. This looks different for everyone, and it will not always be simple, but it is important.
6. Keep it in perspective.
You aren't a single mom. You aren't doing it all alone. You aren't living the military or first responder life. When you kiss your husband goodbye before work, you aren't left wondering if you will ever kiss him again. Yes, this lifestyle is unique and sometimes lonely. Yet, even when it is hard, we still have a husband, father, supporter, and protector. We still have someone to do life with and that is a wonderful thing. Sometimes a change of perspective is all you need.
7. Make adjustments as needed.
Your approach to the coaching life doesn't have to be set in stone. Adjust to the unknowns and the schedule changes. Try not to stress about it. It will all work out.
8. Choose to make “no” a part of your vocabulary.
I firmly believe that saying no is a choice. You can always say yes and let your life become overwhelming, or you can choose to say no sometimes. You know what your limits are, and you can set your limits and be firm about it. Simplify and pull back where needed. Take time to rest, breathe, and do what you and your family needs.
9. Learn to let anger roll off.
Would “that one” parent not stop harassing your coach tonight? Take a deep breath, vent if you need to, and move on. It is not worth your time. Did your coach promise to be home at a decent hour for the first time this week, and still hasn't shown? Breathe. He probably had every intention of making it home, and there is likely a good reason for the delay. Give him a chance. It's hard. As coaches' wives, we experience so many different situations, and it can be difficult not to let our negative emotions reign. However, sometimes it just is not worth the energy and stress. Let it go.
Does this one even need explanation? Take a breath. Isn't that better?
Ladies, loosen up, take a step back when you need to, realize that everything will not be perfect. This is life and it will all work out. Choose to take care of yourself and find the joy. I promise you will not regret it.