Faith, Family, Friendship, Journal

Friday Night Wife of the Week: Kelsey Jones of Junction City, Arkansas

Each week, Friday Night Wives recognizes a coach’s wife by asking her the same five questions. We go through lots of submissions to find entries we think are especially encouraging or insightful. We hope this gives our readers a chance to connect with others’ through their struggles and hardships, as well as learn from someone who has come out on the other side.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I’m wife to Steven and mommy to a 4-year-old, an almost 2 year old, and twins coming in April! My first and most important job is wife & mommy! I am also the Director for our church’s preschool program and have a background in early childhood education.

2. How many years have you been a coach’s wife and what schools have you been to?

We’ve been married for almost 8 years and have been together for 9 football seasons. We’ve been in Dewitt, AR; Searcy, AR and are now in Junction City, AR.

3. If you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself as a first-year coach’s wife, what’s one thing you would tell yourself?

If I could go back to that first season, I would tell myself to get in my Bible consistently, that is the all-sustaining energy and source of grace, and to find that core network of other coaches’ wives and friends early and cling to them hard.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that, especially when kids come along, you need help – even if it’s just someone to talk to about some of the “yuck” that comes with the season.

One verse I keep in mind during the season is Psalm 60:12, which says, “With God, we will do mighty things!” I remember this verse when I’m overwhelmed by our schedules, I’m feeling lonely, or I just want some help with these crazy children! I know I am seen and loved by my Heavenly Father, and He has the power to carry me through despite my total lack of energy and patience. Sometimes making it through all the million little things with grace is the MIGHTY thing!

4. How do you find balance between supporting your spouse and supporting yourself so that you don’t lose your mind?

Communication! During the season, he’s under LOTS of pressure, so chances are that he won’t automatically know what you’re needing when you’re feeling low. Don’t be afraid to communicate your feelings.

Also, self-care is crucial all the time, but especially during the season. If you need to pick up your kids a little later from daycare so you can get a 30-minute run in, don’t feel guilty about that! I used to get out of school at 3:30 and wouldn’t pick my kids up until about 5 just so I could workout in and maybe get a little jump on household chores before I dove into the mommy role again. It’s a sanity saver! Whether exercise is your thing or even just a nap, make some time for yourself to clear your head! You can’t pour from an empty cup.

As far as supporting your husband, be ready to listen. Sometimes he just needs to vent. Sometimes you’ll have no idea what the heck he’s so cranky about, but I try to remember that the self-care I’m so diligent about, he has even less time for in this chaotic season, so he’s probably running on close to empty. If he’s home for the day, maybe offer to let him go do something for himself for a little bit. He may need to clear his mind, too, but he feels like he can’t because his home time is limited. I’ve learned that sometimes a 30-minute window of my husband getting outside and clearing his head does a world of good!

Lastly, be there. I have a strict policy about being at games. It’s okay that the kids are little, and outings are wild, and no, I have no idea what goes on in the actual game. But we’re there. Taking kids to a football game is not that hard in the big picture, so just jump on in and get it done. The hugs after the game mean a LOT, so the minor inconvenience of road trips and shuffling kids around is worth it.

5. What encouragement do you have for a fellow coach’s wife who currently finds herself in a difficult season and doesn’t feel like she’s measuring up?

Stay connected with your husband and lower those standards! Football season is NOT the time to start expecting a Pinterest-worthy house or beautifully-behaved children. In season, my house is centered around crockpot recipes and a clean, but certainly, not tidy, house.

On the husband front, be intentional about finding time to spend with each other. It could be as simple as staying up a little later and having a show you watch together or stealing a breakfast date on a Saturday before the kids wake up, and he must go to the field house. It’s hard to find time to date your husband during the season, but it can happen if you get creative!

Most importantly, remember who your measuring stick is. It’s not another coach’s wife, it’s not a family member, it’s not even your husband. You answer to the Lord, and the Lord alone. He sees you and knows your heart, so if all that checks out, and you can confidently say you are doing your best in Him, you’re good! No other praise is necessary or standard need apply.

* If you have a coach’s wife you’d like to nominate to be the Friday Night Wife of the Week or your husband is also a Director of Football Ops at the College level, please contact Lindsey Thompson at lnipaver@bellsouth.net.*