No, It Doesn’t Get Easier—You Just Get Stronger
I can’t help but think of “coach’s wife” when I come across a word like resilience. It’s definition, “able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions,” basically sums up a day in the life of a coach’s wife.
The thing about resiliency though is that it only comes from experience.
One must go through hard times, many hard times, in order to gain the knowledge, build the strength, and create the endurance. But, your experiences are only as good as your willingness to learn from them.
As a new coach’s wife, I would always get down on myself because even the littlest things would get to me. Whether it was attending a family function and everyone asking, “Why can’t he just ask for the day off?” Or coach getting home two hours later than stated, or even having to figure out how to put handles on the kitchen cabinets.
Each instance would create more and more resentment—towards coach, towards his job, even towards everyone who didn’t understand what my life was like.
I would look at the seasoned wives on staff and think, why wasn’t I more like them? Why couldn’t I just let these things go?
Even worse, I was sure that I’d never be strong enough for all the things not to get to me. They had more responsibilities and more things on their plate, but they were able to balance everything while maintaining way more sanity and humor.
But, I simply hadn’t been in the game long enough.
The summer of 2019, coach finally got his opportunity to be a head coach after 15 years. But that meant we’d all be leaving a life and a place that we wholeheartedly loved. It was the only home my three kids had ever known. We had spent the past 11 years (2 months shy of our entire married life) within the same 45 miles.
Just thinking about the life and the memories we made there brings tears to my eyes and crushes a piece of my heart.
On paper, this past year should have been the toughest one yet. On top of the move, coach’s season was cut short and the global pandemic kept us from getting to know our new area and make a lot of new friends. We lived a life without sports and navigated (and still are navigating) a world of firsts and unknowns.
Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely stressed and depleted. But what the seasoned wives say is definitely true. It doesn’t get easier. You just get stronger.
Now, I laugh at the mention of an “off-season,” I add two hours when coach says he will be home in fifteen, and I relish the challenge of attempting anything I’ve never tried before.
Because of all that I had already been through in the previous fifteen years, this was my softest landing and quickest rebound after a transition.
But what’s even wilder for me to consider is that this time I wasn’t afraid. I had done it more than once, so I knew that I could do it again.
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.