One thing that we’ve learned through the years on Friday Night Wives is that every coaching family represented is striving to do their best to support their spouses. We’ve also discovered that outside observers often have grandiose ideas of what actually goes on under the roofs of a coach’s home.
If you’re wondering why your coach’s wife friend disappears during the season this post is for you. If you’re dating a coach and dreaming about what your married life will look like, where’s one possibility! If you’re a fan who wonders why the coach’s wife always looks exhausted when she arrives at the game, well…read on friend.
A Peek Into The Life of One Coach’s Wife’s Typical Day
5:00 am: My alarm blasts me out of my quiet slumber. My brain isn’t functioning yet, even though my feet have already hit the floor. Mounds of laundry peek out from behind the closet door and I am reminded that I desperately need to do some housework.
The kids and I got home late from my husband’s ball game last night and he stayed the night in a hotel with the team while I battled two screaming children into the bath and bed. And now, I’m up extra early to get them ready for school on my own so I can get to work on time.
6:50 am: I hold my preschooler’s hand as I walk her into school. Her eyes are still red from crying this morning. She is beyond tired and has been out of her routine since the season started three months ago. Her brother, whom I have already dropped off at the babysitter, was feeling the same way. She hugs me extra hard and holds on for a moment longer than usual when I tell her goodbye.
Despite all my good intentions, I am still running behind. I try not to squeal tires as I peel out of the preschool parking lot. At a red light, I thumb a quick message to my husband wishing him good luck at today’s game and send a picture of the kids I had snapped before we headed out that morning. When he asks me how last night and this morning went, I tell him fine.
7:30-4:00: Work passes at a snail’s pace as I am tired and thinking of a million different things I should be doing at home. I make it through on a steady stream of coffee and try to keep to myself. My coworkers are familiar with my struggles during baseball season, no one really understands the stress unless you’ve lived through it yourself.
The disconnect of my marriage during these months bothers me, even after all these years. I am always the last one to know things. I feel like I’m at the bottom of my husband’s priority list. In fact, I was asked by a parent last night what my husband thought of the last game. So, I told them the truth. I didn’t know. I hadn’t talked to him. Our communication exists through quick texts and kissing face emojis. At night, when he finally trudges in the door around 11:00, I am too exhausted to do more than say hi.
During these months, I am a full-time employee, a supportive wife, a mother who is handling the kids alone most days, and a below-average housekeeper. I always start off with the best intentions but will always inevitably forget to sign the field trip paper or to thaw the meat for dinner. Who am I kidding, anyway? Most of our dinners come through a drive-thru otherwise our kids wouldn’t eat until 9 pm. Such is the life of the wife of a high school baseball coach.
4:30: Now that my workday has ended, I am in the process of picking up the kids. I have snacks at the ready and prepare the kids for what lies ahead in the evening. We have to go home and change, grab our gameday bag. Then we have to drive an hour to watch tonight’s game. My daughter asks if we have to and I tell her because we love daddy then we want to support him.
6:10: I pull the wagon loaded down with two kids, 3 stadium chairs, a bag bursting with snacks, insect repellent, rain jackets, toys, and sweatshirts over the bumpy terrain to the field. Sweat rolls down my forehead and I can feel my makeup running. The national anthem has already been sung and the game is underway. Crap, late again.
We get settled and finally sit down to watch the game. My son has to use the bathroom. I locate the bathroom and attend to his needs. Of course, the kids spot the concession stand and we have to get drinks and nachos. As I juggle our purchases, we head back to our seats. I can feel my adrenaline pumping. Our team is winning and things are going well.
Game nights are my absolute favorite, once we get there. I’ve grown to love the game of baseball and I love seeing my husband’s dedication and sacrifice come to fruition. It’s far better than the long evenings at home by myself with the kids when he is at practice or has traveled to a game too far away to bring the kids. That feels lonely. Being at a game, feeling the energy and excitement, that’s where the magic is.
8:30: The game is over after going an extra inning. We won and I am so thrilled about that. We hang around the field waiting for my husband to complete his postgame speech. The second he’s finished, he is bombarded by other coaches, parents, umpires all with something to say to him. I try to get his attention. I push away the negative thoughts, “Is he ignoring me or does he just not see me?”
The kids are tired and just want their daddy. I am now out of “game mode” and now back into “I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do” mode. Finally, I sigh and tell the kids to go interrupt him and give him a hug. I let them have a few moments with each other. After a quick hug, I tell my husband congrats and begin loading the kids into the car for the long ride home. He thanks me for coming and tells me he’ll be home soon. “Soon” in coach time that is.
9:40: I arrive home to a dark house. Both kids have fallen asleep and I’m trying to figure out how to get them both upstairs in their beds. I’m also cringing because I know a bath won’t happen tonight even though they really need one after playing outside at the ballpark. I manage to get the kids changed in pajamas and tucked in bed.
10:30: After winding down a little, I wash my face and brush my teeth. I send my husband a text to say I love you and set the alarm on my phone. I am drifting off to sleep when I remember the load of laundry I never started that we need for tomorrow. I groan and try to think of a way to get around washing them. I’m so tired I want to cry.
The clothes have to be washed so I climb back out of bed. Once the load is started, I fall back into bed and finally, finally drift off to bed. When the morning comes, I’ll be ready to do it all again because that’s what you do when you are a coaches’ wife.
Soon enough we’ll have a reprieve from baseball season and we’ll have the opportunity to reconnect as a family, catch up on housework, and rest. Everything in life is a give and take regardless of your choice of employment.
During the season we give a little more because as coaches’ wives we understand the seasons that our kids are young will only last for a little while. Meanwhile, our husbands are investing in the next generation for a lifetime.