Can we live without sports? Yes, of course. We did that for a time. But, if we learned anything from last season, it’s that this is more than just a game.
A couple of days ago I was unbuckling our oldest when she looked up at me and said, “Daddy’s never coming back.” “What?” I was so confused. Then through tear-filled eyes, she whispered, “He’s always at work.” My heart broke into a million pieces. It was true. He had just worked a 90+ hour week …
And in a world, a culture, and an industry where women feel obligated to give until they break, I think that’s the best example of what any one should be, not just a head coach’s wife.
You know what? Nobody's life is perfect. If you realize that now, you will save yourself much anxiety, pain, and stress. During season, schedules are crazy, nights get late, and your home will most likely become a mess. As a recovering perfectionist, this is something that freaked me out . . . especially early on in the season.
6. Bring a friend.
This is for the older ones, but bringing one of your kid's friends along is easy entertainment. Occasionally, it'll be closing in on the end of the fourth, and I'll have no idea where a kid is because they've been playing somewhere with their friend.
The sight that met me inside those doors was one I will never forget—and one I have not stopped loving since. There they were, a sea of men. Old and young, many with excellent beards, all of them wearing football apparel.
Then, on a Saturday in October, which started like any other day, I drove about an hour away with my mom to watch a couple of coach’s scrimmages. Because of the set up of the scrimmage, we were allowed to watch from the sidelines. And that’s where I finally learned the lesson that I was not in control. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I planned, nothing was a given.
Our family is a coaching family. I will never again question that. If and when sports go back to normal, I am not saying I won’t complain when coach isn’t home to help force my 4-year-old into the bathtub, but I will know what it’s like on the other side, the side without sports.
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But I need you to know how much I love you when you are losing. I see you bring out the best you have to offer your athletes when you are losing.
You don’t know me yet but you will! I’ll be the crazy blonde lady in the stands. The one who some days may look put together and other days … not so much.
Always remember that I learn from the examples that I see. You are my first heroes and who I want to be when I grow up. Please set out large shoes for me to fill. I am counting on you.
I see you when you can’t tear your eyes away from your phone
due to the twenty different conversations you’re having with players, parents, school officials.
I see the hurt in your eyes when the first word our one-year-old
son says to you is bye-bye because he’s so used to you leaving.
I see the base running handbooks discarded on the couch that
you pore over after we go to sleep.
So when you come home to visit your family, don’t forget to come visit ours too. If you’re passing our house on the way out of town and you think about pulling in the driveway, do it. That bonus room in the new house is being built with you boys in mind—a place where the boys can always gather. And if you come to a game, you better give me a hug.
I share this story in hopes of being an encouragement. We all come from different backgrounds, have different interests and personalities. We know for a fact that being a coach's wife is tough much of the time, and that some of us adapt to it better than others.
And I promise you, I'm in this thing, 100% – through all the wins, and all the losses. I'll take the grumpiness and the racing mind. I'll take the distractedness and the tired eyes. I'll take the long conversations about the same frustrations over and over again.
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.
Don't feel like you can't miss a game.
Guilt about missing a game is a real thing. I get it. I hate missing a game too. Being a coaching family is our life, and I feel like I am not supporting my coach if I miss a game. Here's the thing though, sometimes it's just too much. Some days, you might be completely exhausted from still trying to get the hang of having an infant, or your 7-month-old might be teething, or your toddler might have been throwing tantrums all day, and even just the thought of getting to the game is too much. Guess what? That is okay. Be honest with your coach about this, and learn the other ways you can support him – even when you are not able to be present at a game.
If I am being honest, it is more about craving control than luck.
Nothing about the coaching lifestyle allows the wife to be in control.
He knew many wouldn't understand the importance of his world, that this life was so much more than blowing whistles and running sprints and charting plays, so much more than a game. He knew he would need someone who got it, who understood that this was a mission field, plain and simple.
So God made a coach's wife.