Half A Dozen Truths from "Cheaper by the Dozen"

Half A Dozen Truths from "Cheaper by the Dozen"

Growing up, Cheaper by the Dozen was single-handedly our favorite family movie. I think both me and my two siblings had both movies completely memorized. To this day, it's my comfort movie. You know, the one that you can play in the background  of whatever chaos is going on around you, and it still brings just such nostalgia?

It's funny how life works, I guess, because I am quite sure that as a young child, the fact that Tom was a coach never resonated with me the way it does now.

Here are some cool notes from the movie - from one coach's wife to another. Things may, in fact, be cheaper by the dozen, but you get half a dozen this time:

  1. Coaches' families are really good at raising kids. Let's be honest: not everyone is meant to have 12 kids of their own. However, it's a well-known fact that every coach gets a whole team to raise year after year. If you're lucky, you might even get a single guy on staff so you can help continue his raising, too! 
  2. Coaches' families are really good at chaos. Mass chaos always. As a type A, very organized wife, I do my best to wrangle the chaos, but at some point during the week, things are bound to hit the fan, if you know what I mean. Whether that means the Goldendoodle rolls in mud and then tracks it inside before Dad is home, kids do their best to tear down the house, or the staff wives have to meet three days early to feed the team spaghetti because of an impending hurricane. Whatever the chaos - I can promise you, we're experts. 
  3. Coaches' wives' sacrifice is unmatched. The entire first movie is about Kate exploring her own career, something she was never able to do prior because of Tom's career. In the first meeting with her agent, when she mentioned an entire book tour, Kate said, "Oh no, I can't leave Tom with the kids that long." We could continue that line and say, "for that long in season." In my short time in this life, I have learned that most wives are also in education, nursing, or something that gives them complete and total time freedom (which is a lot of the reason why I own my own business). This is for one reason only: we must be all hands on deck from July to December. Most of us would trade it for nothing in the world. It's just FACT. 
  4. Coaches' families aren't in it for the money. Hand-me-downs? Yep. Clothes, trucks, etc. That happens in the movie and in real life. I can promise you that coaches aren't in this career for the money. Coaches choose this because they love the game and love the kids. Not that coaches' families do without, but there are choices and sacrifices we make as a family that might look different if our family chooses a different career. Don't be dismayed, though. There is a high calling on our lives.
  5. Coaches' kids have a bond like no other. We can see this all throughout the first movie when the kids fight other kids for picking on their siblings and when they go to bat for each other time after time amidst the stress of moving, etc. I like to think that Tom and Kate's kids, just like all of ours, see how the team has each other's back and also how Mom and Dad support each other. And they know that nothing is more important than loyalty. 
  6. Coaches' families know who's on the varsity team. And by varsity, I mean family. My favorite part of Cheaper by the Dozen 2 is when everyone walks away, and Sarah is left. Her Dad hands her the football and says, "You just made the varsity, little lady." This life is challenging, demanding, and draining, but at the end of it all - coaches and coaches' families know who's on the varsity - THEIR FAMILY. Because even if coaching goes away tomorrow, we have each other. 

Here's to raising babies, managing chaos, choosing sacrifices wisely, and having each other's back season after season!

Elizabeth K. Oliver is married to Austin Oliver, offensive coordinator at Jeff Davis High School in South GA. She's a business owner at EK Creative, a small business marketing company, and mom to 2 boys Taft and Clay and a goldendoodle, Miller. In their spare time (when is that?), they love going to the beach. 
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