Balancing life as a wife and mom of littles isn't ever easy. Being a wife to a coach and raising coaches’ kids doesn’t make it any easier, but wow do the good times make it worth every hard day.
For those new moms and moms of littles, I’ve got one word for you...GO. Load up the car and GO let your kids experience this coach’s kid thing to the fullest because let’s be real: Gameday is the BEST day! (And in my opinion, it’s a million times better than sitting at the house waiting for Dad to come home).
Hauling around these little coaching kids can be overwhelming but I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years from my fellow coaching wives. I'm sharing my top strategies to help you actually watch the game with kids in tow.
“Coach Kid Bottles”If you formula feed, from day one, make your bottles with room temperature water. When you’re on the road or in the stands trying to warm a bottle is a huge hassle. I preload my bottles with the right amount of water and then just mix in the formula with a travel formula dispenser. It’s super fast and way less stressful than trying to carry around hot water or hope the concession stand will head some up for you. It’s also pretty handy in the middle of the night- no need to leave your bed to feed the baby.
Pajamas & “The Wipey Bath”
One huge plus for me about taking kids to away games is that when you get home they are passed out and there’s no need to be stressed out over nighttime routines while Dad is away. After the game, simply wipe down the kiddos with baby wipes, put on that nighttime diaper with pajamas, and drive those babies to sleep. Disclaimer: Your toddler/big kid will one day start begging for a "wipey bath" on non-game nights and you’ll occasionally give in!
The Game Day Bag
This bag stays in the back of your car ALL SEASON LONG. It should contain: blankets, jackets, sunscreen, mosquito repellent, your cowbell, etc. Keeping the bag in your car all season cuts down on the time needed to pack on game day.
The Emergency StashA couple of diapers, an extra bottle with formula, and a bottle of water, because the time will come when you need it! I’ve actually expanded this to a whole emergency bag in each of our cars with spare clothes for each kid. This also comes in really handy when it’s your husband’s off-season and he calls out of the blue saying, “Hey I just picked up the kids from daycare and I want to swing by this <insert whatever sport is in season> game at the school.”
Okay I didn’t splurge on this amazing and pricey car seat that doubles as a stroller, but do it and do it with baby #1 so you can get your investment’s worth. I’ve been pretty jealous watching other coaching wives stroll up and just sit down in the front row of the bleachers.
Finally, the best resource I have in my arsenal:
Other coaching wives!
Do you know who LOVES holding babies at a game? Coaches’ wives whose kids are too big to sit in their laps. My coaching wife mentor held my five-week-old baby at the state track meet the entire day after the head gatekeeper wouldn’t let me bring the baby carrier inside. I was so grateful and she told me what I’d been hearing her tell other wives on staff for years. She said, “I can’t go back in time and help all of the wives who helped me when my kids were little. All I can do now is pay it forward to those around me.”
Those words of paying it forward have stuck with me over the years. While this season of life is mentally and physically draining, I know all the parenting cliches are true, especially this one: While the days are long… the years are short.
So for now I will keep soldering on and soaking up every minute with my babies in the stands because before I know it they’ll be the ones on the playing field and I’ll be empty-handed looking for another coach’s kid to hold.