Dear Future Self,
“It gets easier.”
“Enjoy it while they are young.”
“It will be over before you know it.”
“Let them be little.”
These are just a few phrases young moms hear from empty nesters.
These phrases are true. These phrases should be lived by. These words often come from wisdom and encouragement, but when you are in the trenches, it’s hard to believe.
“He is making a difference in those young kids’ lives.”
“He will realize one day all that you do so he can live out his dream.”
“It’s worth it, I promise.”
These are a few phrases young coaches’ wives hear. These phrases are true. These phrases should be lived by. These words often come from wisdom and encouragement, but when you are in the trenches, it’s hard to believe.
While you, sweet and strong veteran wife, know that it truly does get easier with time (and adjustments), that young one is not quite so positive that it’s true.
She is in the trenches.
You are on the other side.
While hindsight is 20/20, the trenches can be dark. Sometimes we only remember the rainbows but forget the hardships in the middle. Why else would mothers have more than one kid, am I right?
You can help!
Be a wife of fellowship.
That young wife is most likely lonely.
She knew how much time coaching took, but she didn’t really knoooow how much time that left her alone after getting married.
If she has kids, she most likely feels like she is raising them alone for most of the year. She does not have much time for herself, and the time she does have may be spent replaying her failures over and over again.
Take the initiative to introduce yourself. Make it a point to gather as a team with the wives. Invite her to coffee or invite her to your house. Make sure you force your friendship over those walls that may have been built.
Be a wife of encouragement.
Comparison is the thief of joy. But that new wife can’t help but compare herself to the “ideal” coach’s wife.
Veteran, you know by now that there is no true mold for a “good coach’s wife.”
But she is trying to figure out what that looks like. She may feel inadequate if she doesn’t have the time or mental space to bake cookies or cook meals for the team.
She may feel overwhelmed with the many schedules in the house and isn’t quite sure how to make time for even more people who aren’t even under her roof.
She may feel unappreciated and unseen while she spends all her time serving others and may not be having her needs filled in return.
Remind her that Jesus is the only well that does not run dry. Write a little note to show her that she is seen for all she does. Teach her that it takes time (sometimes years) for her and her coach to find a groove that works for them. Encourage her to keep trying and never give up.
Be a wife of servanthood and integrity.
Ask her what she needs. Keep asking, because she most likely won’t tell you the first time. Then make it happen.
If you’re comfortable with it, offer to watch her kids once a season so she can run errands (or take a nap). Cook her a meal or save her a seat at games. Teach her the traditions of the program or school. Invest in relationships.
Don’t make a habit of talking about others. When you do speak of others, be sure it’s only the good things. She isn’t quite sure who she can trust around town, so be sure that she can trust you.
As time passes and the Lord works, the young wife will be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. She will start to appreciate the joys of being a coach’s wife.
Her kids will be able to carry their own luggage to the games and her hands will feel a little freer. Her head will gain more space for conversations and friendships again.
She will start to see the legacy that her husband is leaving as he helps to shape young boys into men.
And soon enough, before you know it, she will be a veteran wife encouraging the rookies out there too.
So future self, when you become a veteran coach’s wife, please don’t forget the struggles that made you into who you are today.
Share your journey with the new wife and invite her to embrace her own journey as well. Befriend, encourage, serve, and walk alongside that rookie wife.
You will soon realize that your husband isn’t the only one leaving legacies and shaping futures.