Growing Up on the Sidelines
I have known my whole life I wanted to be a mom.
And when I became a coach’s wife eleven years ago I knew my children would get to live their best lives on the sideline.
I have been raising the ball boy and two mini cheerleaders for the past 5, 7, and 9 years. My kids, the coach’s kids, have been on the field since the beginning. All of my pregnancies were planned around football season and my babies haven’t missed more than a few games each in all of their years living.
As a mom and a coach’s wife it was important to me to have my kids be involved, at all ages. That meant their first seasons at 5, 6 and 7 months old they were there.
They were around the lights and the noises. There was no filter, they were just there. I learned with each game and each kid what adjustments needed to be made to make my evening the best it could be.
With each passing season one child would get slightly easier and then I would bring a whole new child to the stadium. It was the life I dreamt of being married to a coach and raising the ball boy.
As a coaching couple we have moved three times for better opportunities each time; our kids have moved twice with us. It was our last move, five years ago, that my coach became the head coach.
My kids went from being coach’s kids to the head coach’s kids and while that may not sound like a big change, it was! Now, my kids were known. The entire stadium looked out for them. I literally had an entire student section of babysitters. My Friday Night Lights just got better!
My kids all started out as little fans in the stands with me. Depending on our school I would either hang out in the endzone or sit with the other wives in a family section.
Regardless, my kids were there eating all the snacks and testing all my sanitary patience using the stadium bathroom ten times a quarter.
I learned what snacks were best to bring, how to dodge and shimmy through the crowd with a squirmy toddler and how much to bribe them with concession stand treats.
No matter how trying it got, I stuck with it and made sure they were at everything. They were bundled up for those cold November Ohio nights; they played in the rain puddles and played football with other kids off to the side.
They were the first ones to run up to daddy after a game and after a loss they were the only ones who could put a smile on coach’s face.
They were and are just as important to our Friday nights as the play calling.
For all the wives who are still in the baby and squirmy toddler stage, just know, it truly gets better.
This past season was a dream. My son ran to the sideline instantly, kept the game balls and met with the refs before each game. He made sure the quarterback had what he needed and did his job with pride.
I love watching my coach on the sideline, but seeing my ball boy out there too may have been a tad sweeter. He knew not to repeat what he heard from coaches, including his dad, and the players. He made sure to pay attention and he personally made sure to find those TV cameras! I think he was on the news more than his dad was!
All while my ball boy was doing this thing, my two mini cheerleaders were doing theirs. No, I don’t mean cheering with me in the endzone; I mean cheering with the cheerleaders on the sideline. My girls might be the two most famous Celts cheerleaders at our school.
Our cheer program is amazing and the fact they let my girls stand with them during the National Anthem, hold pompoms and cheer and dance right alongside them means so much to me.
Friday Nights are so much more than a game.
Friday Nights are the players, the coaches, the cheerleaders, the band, the crowd and one, big family.
All coaching families do what is best for them, but for us, I couldn’t imagine not having our ball boy and cheerleaders on the sidelines. I couldn’t imagine not seeing their excitement of having a front row seat to living their best life.
If you are a new mom and not sure how to navigate the season with your baby or now multiple kids, just know that when you have the coach’s kids, there are others in that stadium willing to help. The games may be hard at first, but it gets better! I strongly believe that coach’s kids have the best life!
I have been a coach’s wife for eleven years and am raising 3 kids, ages 5, 7 and 9. I currently am the wife of a high school head coach in Dublin, Ohio, a mom to 3 active kids and a local photographer. I love documenting our experiences through writing and photos. We have been at an inner city school, a rural school and a suburban school. We have been part of State Championship teams and teams who finish .500. Through our years we have gotten to be a part of different football dynamics and have learned and grown with each season as a family.