But, I have come out of my typical “moving funk” years ahead of normal. All because I kept moving forward, doing the next right thing, even when I didn’t want to or didn’t feel like it. Unpack that box. Accept that invitation from a new neighbor. Decorate that room. Explore your new surroundings. Ask for (or accept) help.
I hate this feeling of distance, like you're holding me at arms length, even if it's just to protect me. Protect me from issues at work. Protect me from hard stories. Protect me from the anxieties racing through your head.
For a Football Coach, this is his greatest fear. And today it came true on the anniversary of the biggest win of our lives. Today I join those who are hurting, confused, and lost.
Heading east on I-40, somewhere between Shawnee and Checotah, the man to whom I had given my heart and my word—“where you go, I will go”— reached across the front seat of our blue 1991 Pontiac Sunbird, placed his hand on my thigh, and uttered these words, “Thanks, Babe. People get divorced over stuff like this. I should have talked to you first. I love you.”
There are no hard and fast rules on when you should move. While some coaching families insist their methods are the best, in reality, they are the best for their family unit. So, while you are processing when to move remember you guys are a team and successful teams communicate.
You, my friend, are in the company of thousands of wives who have thought that very thing. It doesn’t mean you aren’t loyal. It doesn’t mean you aren’t supportive and it definitely, definitely does not mean you are a “bad” coach’s wife.
It means you are normal. And human. And loved … by the rest of us here in this strange little community of coaching.
It just means this life is really hard, so hard sometimes that the compassion in you wants to protect your little piece of the world from the crazy.
Transition is never easy. We’ve been the family that leaves, and we’ve been the family that is left behind. In my experience, staying behind is as hard of an adjustment as moving.
Thank you for understanding it takes time to get all this. The schedule, the time away from home, modifying our parenting, social lives, hopes and dreams and everything in between—there were many lessons and routines that weren’t easy to come by.
My husband began his career as a large high school’s Athletic Trainer and now serves as a middle school Athletic Coordinator. The high school in his cluster has many responsibilities given to their middle school coaches, including scouting trips, sideline responsibilities, game filming and more.
This year has been particularly challenging as the district opted to start a third football team for middle schools in both grade levels, adding another night when coaches stayed later and away from their families.
There were weeks when he had other responsibilities on top of just football, like PTA meetings and Meet the Teacher night. He tried to go cheer on other students at volleyball games and be a representative at Spirit Night fundraisers at local restaurants.
Sunday nights we usually had a calendar run down so I would know which nights we would even see each other before 9:00 pm.
Football season wears down even the strongest families as the weeks go on.
Months of telling your kids, “Daddy will be home after you go to bed, but you can give him hugs in the morning.” Making dinners while trying to help with homework and not just letting your kids zone out in front of the TV. (Trying, not always succeeding!) Happy conversations when his team wins and frustrated rants when something just isn’t clicking and they lose.
Every once in a blue moon, my husband will call me after an event has ended and just ask if I am okay with him grabbing some food and perhaps an adult beverage with another coach.
Here is where I want to share a magical piece of advice that a friend shared with me. She told me that when her husband would ask to go out with a friend, she would say yes unless there was a really big reason to say no.
“Save your no for when it really matters.”
I do appreciate that my husband is considerate enough to ask, and most of the time, it is already so late that all the kids are already in bed. Sure, I miss him and would appreciate some time for the two of us.
But I can also sense that when he asks for this extra time, it is because he needs to relax or build up a relationship with a fellow coach. Maybe they want to celebrate just making it through another week or maybe they want to talk X’s and O’s. I trust that the men that my husband hangs around are good guys and I don’t worry about what they are up to.
Plus, and here is the surprising best part, sometimes it doesn’t work out. There have been times when he texts me to check in, I say “Go for it,” and then he texts back to say that the other guys couldn’t go after all.
No criticism of their wives, because they may have had an exhausting night and really needed their husbands to get their booty back home. But then guess who still gets Wife Points for saying yes – Me!
My husband has learned that when I say no, it is because I genuinely need backup at home.
Maybe I am frantically trying to finish a school project that is due the next day, or I need him to pick up some groceries on the way home. There are plenty of legitimate reasons why it could be an “All Hands On Deck” evening at our casa.
The point is that we have that understanding between us. We respect that there are times when friends can refill your emotional tank, and as football season comes to an end I will try to schedule more of those opportunities for myself too.
It can be really tempting to be greedy of my husband’s time when I feel like it is already in such short supply this time of year.
However, the years have taught me that a coaching staff with great camaraderie is a special thing that can make the seasons better. If an occasional night out is one way to keep it going, I am going to try to say yes.
I am going to save my “Heck no!” for the night when I am up to my elbows in craziness, and then thank my husband for coming to my rescue.
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