6. Bring a friend.
This is for the older ones, but bringing one of your kid's friends along is easy entertainment. Occasionally, it'll be closing in on the end of the fourth, and I'll have no idea where a kid is because they've been playing somewhere with their friend.
I’ve come to the conclusion that coaches' wives who develop 4 characteristics—patience, perspective, perseverance, and peace—end up being able to walk through this life with a little more determination and ease.
That said, a healthy sex life can look extremely different for different poeple. We heard from plenty of wives who are multiple-times-a-weekers. But, there are also plenty of couples who are once-a-weekers, once-a-monthers, or sex-less-marriagers (yep, that’s a thing).
In case you are eyeball deep in a playoff run, constantly scrolling Football Scoop, about to start coaching yet another sport, or already looking at next year’s prospects, let me remind you that it is already December. This means your amazing, remarkable, beautiful, intelligent, epic wife/fiance/girlfriend is soon to need some gifts that match her amazing-ness.
We have been a part of some teams where I think all of the above affected the players’ willingness to approach me. BUT if I am on the field at the end of the game and have something sweet, all of sudden I’m not big and bad and scary.
These are stories we hear every year —
Coaches developing chronic panic attacks. Players suffering from depression or anxiety. Coaches becoming physically ill due to mental distress. Coaches and players struggling to navigate online criticism.
A free communication app, sportsYou is created specifically for the needs of coaches. It gives coaches the ability to privately communicate, schedule and share media with their team. With no character limits and the ability to send one-way messages, sportsYou is the most versatile communication app for coaches to use with their team.
You put the backpack straps on and there’s a little bar/swing where their feet go instead of where the “pack” would be on a backpack. It holds up to 50 pounds and allows him to jump on and off as needed rather than having to constantly take off and on. It saves me time and mental stress as we tote around stadiums—no more waiting for toddler speed, he loves getting the view from the top and it's super unique design makes us friends every place we use it!
So how do we figure out our season budget? Here are the tips we go by for our family, which includes twin 10-year-old girls who look at the candy in the concession stand as if they are seeing those brightly wrapped balls and ribbons of sugar for the first time every time.
Whether we’ve been naughty or nice, we all deserve to treat ourselves. But since we are living off of coaching salaries and can’t afford to do that without maxing out our credit cards, here is a gift guide for the coach’s wife that can easily be sent to your parents, in-laws, or anyone else that may feel the need to spoil you this season.
Unlike the score of the big game, gift cards are always a sure thing. Target, her favorite clothing store, Starbucks, Bath & Body Works, her go-to salon, and restaurants are all good options for gift cards.
A Prepared Meal
Our babysitter recently called and asked if we were home. When she arrived (right at supper time), she was carrying a pan of spaghetti, bread, and homemade bread pudding. This was our Christmas gift, and it was beyond appreciated. I was even able to freeze half to have stashed for an emergency. If you don’t cook, delivering a catered meal is just as good. Just feed us!!!
Especially if there are small children in the equation, coaches and their wives do not spend much quality time together. A gift card to a restaurant and the movie theater is awesome (again, budgets), and bonus points if you babysit for the night as well.
On any given day, my house is a DISASTER. Deep in season, you pretty much need a hazmat suit to walk through the door. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am feeling pretty good about myself if the laundry isn’t backed up and there are no dishes in the sink. I rarely find time to mop or clean the bathrooms much less dust or clean windows. Having someone else come in to clean my house every so often would be a game changer. I guarantee you that any wife would be happy with this gift. (Please don’t offer to clean the house yourself. Even though it is a sweet gesture, I know that I would be cleaning before you got there to clean. We don’t want people we know seeing our dirty laundry or dust/ hair piles in the corner of the bathroom.)
Game Day Babysitting
If she has small children, offering to babysit for the game will ensure that you are literally her favorite person. If you are really good like my father-in-law, you can show up with happy meals. She will worship you if the kids are in bed when she gets home.
Stainless Steel Cup/Water Bottle
These are awesome for keeping drinks hot or cold. My favorite brands are Yeti, RTIC, and Contigo. My ride or die is the Contigo autoseal water bottle. Friday Night Wives also has a design customized for coaches’ wives that might make her giggle. I can throw it in my purse or diaper bag, and it WILL NOT spill. If you really want to make her happy, find out her favorite drink (or adult beverage) and include that in her gift.
Coaches’ wives often find themselves entertaining for team functions or spur of the moment get-togethers with the other coaching families. Pretty serving ware is something that she really could use but probably will not buy herself. Wilton Armetale is a good option for something neutral but still pretty. This brand boasts that it keeps food hot or cool longer, and I have seen platters stuck in the oven for a quick warm-up with no major consequences. Recently, a fellow coach’s wife of mine was gifted the cutest platter with our mascot and school colors painted on it. This is an amazing gift if you are super creative or happen to find something similar at a local shop.
Chances are, she already has a ton of team t-shirts. Lots of small online businesses sell cute graphic tees for coaches’ wives, not to mention yours truly. You can also have a shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket customized for her. Scarves, beanies, and raincoats are other necessities that she would appreciate having in team colors. Pay attention to what she does not have or ask Coach to do a little detective work.
Game Day Blanket
When it is cold, nothing is better than sitting at the field bundled up in warm clothes and a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate (that will stay hot in your new stainless steel cup). Currently on my wish list is a blanket in school colors with our mascot embroidered. If you want to be extra bold, you can find blankets with a ginormous image of a team’s mascot, like the lion blanket below.
Game Day Chair
Any mom with littles would probably love a portable folding rocking chair. Chairs with mesh backs, cup holders, and snack trays are also nice. For the brave wife who dares to sit in the bleachers (or has no other option), stadium seats can help her to sit a little more comfortably.
Coaches’ wives are a special breed and definitely deserve to be treated every day of the year for putting up with their husbands’ demanding, crazy schedules. I hope that these gift ideas inspired you, but if all else fails, there is always wine.
The less planning we need to do during the season, the easier life is for everyone. It doesn’t matter how busy our week is, my kids insist they need dinner every night! I’ve yet to convince them a bowl of popcorn and some apple slices is a well-balanced meal, so instead I’ve learned to keep a few things stashed in the freezer to avoid the drive-thru as often as possible.
Apps such as Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Berry Cart pay you a small amount for scanning your grocery receipt. Each program is different but a few minutes scanning your receipts can add up to a few hundred dollars cash back over the year.
I love feeding our staffs. For me it’s a simple way to say hey, I see you working hard and I appreciate you. I noticed recently when meal planning that many of our favorite family recipes are those I’ve contributed to staff dinners through the years.
Don't feel like you can't miss a game.
Guilt about missing a game is a real thing. I get it. I hate missing a game too. Being a coaching family is our life, and I feel like I am not supporting my coach if I miss a game. Here's the thing though, sometimes it's just too much. Some days, you might be completely exhausted from still trying to get the hang of having an infant, or your 7-month-old might be teething, or your toddler might have been throwing tantrums all day, and even just the thought of getting to the game is too much. Guess what? That is okay. Be honest with your coach about this, and learn the other ways you can support him – even when you are not able to be present at a game.
For many of us, the busiest time of year is upon us. Our calendars are starting to look more like essays, filled with practices, games, church events, kids’ activities, work functions, and school requirements. And most likely, the responsibility to get everyone to everything (on time?) will be falling squarely, and solely, on your shoulders.
How are you feeling?
I hate busy. But even when I try my best to simplify our schedules and say “no” to as much as possible, the fall always makes me feel like a chicken with my head cut off, fried, and salted.
And you know what the first thing to go is?
The thing that I know is the answer to the anxiety and chaos and pressures — the thing that would provide peace and calm amidst the insanity.
My time with my Father.
It never makes sense.
I like to muscle my way through the craziness under my own strength, where I inevitably end up in a muddy ditch sometime around October.
Why do I do this when I know this is a time to lean into Him, not away from Him? This is when I should be pressing into his truths, slowing down long enough to hear his whispers, instead of drowning myself in the anxieties of my everyday.
So for 31 days, each morning of August, I will be writing a prayer … one for patience, one for endurance, one for steadfastness, one for selflessness, etc. And I’d love for you to join me, as we pray for the season ahead.
To pray with me, enter your name and email address below. Each morning of August, you will receive a short prayer in your inbox. At the end of the month, I will compile all the prayers into an eBook that will be free for anyone who signs up now.
I’d be honored to join with you as we cry out for God’s overwhelming presence these next few months.
We know coaches are a tough crowd this time of year. So to lighten your load, we thought we'd do the heavy lifting for you. We asked over 150 wives in the FNW Facebook group which Christmas gifts their coaches loved most and compiled a list of our 10 favorites to help you out this holiday season.