I had a miscarriage on the sidelines of my husband's scrimmage. Instead of telling him, I sat through that scrimmage, another scrimmage and the tailgate afterward. I held it together until it was just my mom and I driving home in the silence of my new reality.
"Why would you keep that to yourself?" is the question normal people would ask.
But if you're a coach's wife, you know the answer. Because I didn't want to be a distraction.
I have talked to too many wives and heard countless stories of similar circumstances and I have realized that this is the quintessential coach's wife reaction.
But let me tell you something…You are NOT a distraction.
Most people don't realize how many balls coach is juggling in the air at any given time. But a coach's wife does. If he looks away for even a second, he might drop one (or them all.)
Most people don't realize that he already has an entire team full of players' health and well-being on his mind. But a coach's wife does. If he adds one more issue, it might harm his welfare.
Most people don't realize how vital this recruit, this practice, this game, this meeting is to the team, the season, the program, his dreams. But a coach's wife does. If he misses even one of those, it might literally risk it all.
But let me repeat myself…You are NOT a distraction.
Even with that being said, I don't think I would have handled that situation differently. One reason is because the fact that he got to remain blissfully unaware of the heartbreaking turn that our future just took was my only source of comfort. But also, what could he have done? I wasn't even sure what was happening and what to do, so he would have been of no help.
Please, don't get me wrong. I am not saying that you are not a distraction, but still don't tell him. Each situation and scenario is its own case that needs evaluation and consideration.
I didn't hesitate to call him when he was with a recruit because I was admitted to the hospital to monitor the baby's elevated heart rate during my second pregnancy.
I didn't think twice before calling his athletic trainer to have him alert coach during practice to the fact that one of his kids was injured.
I even didn't mind calling him when pipes burst and our house flooded in the middle of a prospect camp.
And every time, he proved that he could handle one more thing. The game wasn't lost, his season wasn't ruined, and his dreams weren't destroyed. And he was always a calming and helpful addition to the situation.
What I would have done differently, though, was that I would have reached out to the other wives at the time. The head coach's wife was right there, standing next to me, but I couldn't bring myself to bother her. Another assistant's wife was a phone call away, and I knew she had been through this situation before. But I couldn't bring myself to ask for help.
Let me also point out…You are NOT a distraction to the ladies around you.
They not only understand your overall lifestyle situation, but also your automatic and ingrained reactions. Do not hesitate to open up to them.
And most importantly, do not be afraid to be the type of person they feel like they could open up to as well.