I Resisted the Coach’s Wife Community for Years … This is Why I’m All In Now
I used to be the Reluctant Wife. I avoided the coach’s wife community for a very long time. Not because I felt it wasn’t necessary, needed, or even life-changing, but because I didn’t want coaching to define one more aspect of my life.
I know that sounds silly or even backwards to most, but it was very accurate in how I felt in the beginning.
Coaching is and always has been the overriding factor in every aspect of my adult life. We had to get married during a specific and small window because that’s the only time we would have off and could follow it with a honeymoon. Coach’s schedule comes before anything else, just short of anything unexpected and tragic. If you want coach at your thing, you better arrange it around his schedule. Since it invaded every other part of my life, I didn’t want it to take over my friendships, too.
If I am being honest, it also took me awhile to be truly okay with being a coach’s wife. I don’t mean in the sense of supporting him. I showed up at all the games wearing the team colors and cheering my heart out. I traveled, tailgated, and stayed up way past the last whistle listening to what went right and where improvements could be made. But in my heart, I didn’t buy into the idea that his calling was also my calling. I didn’t see it as his ministry or his passion. I saw it as his job, one that tended to prevent me from doing many things or worse, had me doing them all solo.
I am not exactly sure my thought process behind the avoidance, if I even had one at all. Maybe I could deny the never-ending sacrifices I make daily if I didn’t acknowledge this role and my peers? Maybe it left open an opportunity for me to blame something else for not being happy with this lifestyle at times. But I was still carrying the extra load that comes with this life whether I hid in the background or I took my place beside Coach. I was still making the sacrifices and picking up his slack whether I admitted it to myself or not. And I was ignoring the one group of people who could say “me too, girl” or “I’ve been there and I survived. So will you”. I kept myself from extremely helpful and positive people who could give advice and encouragement that would actually be helpful.
I was also denying the larger piece that is coaching. It IS his calling and he’s leading and shaping the next generation. I fell in love with him because he’s one of the greatest men I know. So, why wouldn’t I support him in his passion?
Things haven’t changed much since I’ve become the Willing Wife. This life is still hard, even unbearable at times. But I am able to handle it with a lot more grace.
For those of you who didn’t take this approach, you understand just how important other coaches’ wives are, not only to your survival, but also to your flourishing.
For those of you who maybe are doing what I did, I hope you realize you’re making the sacrifices whether you admit it or not. There is no need to deny yourself this one aspect of the lifestyle that could actually fill you up.
Jess Gilardi is a lacrosse coach’s wife who recently moved to Long Island when her husband became a head coach. She has three kids, ages 7, 6, and 3. She was a mental health therapist in the school system before becoming the full time chaos coordinator for the family (a.k.a. stay at home mom). She does manage to fit in a little work here and there. Outside of lacrosse and family, she loves Jesus, the Tracy Anderson Method, and empowering others. You can follow her crazy adventures on social media, Instagram @jessgilardi and Facebook as Jessica Gilardi.