As another season is upon us, many couples are working out their roles in a new staff or, like us, have experienced a change in family dynamic (thank God our babies were actually born in the off-season).
To the head coaches and their wives: I beg of you to consider your staff. Each member.
That’s the beautiful thing about dreams and plans.
God knows our hearts, and he knows what is best for us. He knows that while some of us thrive in structure, our lists can also create false permission to establish boundaries and limit ourselves where more significant opportunities are possible.
We don’t have to tell you that it’s been a crazy year and some months. We know you’ve been under a lot of stress. We’ve spent a lot of time praying for you. But, you know who has also been under a lot of stress? Your wife.
If you didn’t know it before, 2020 was the year that you confirmed you outkicked your punt coverage when you married your wife. We know you’re already aware of this, but we’re going to document it for posterity. While coaches have been figuring out how to maintain team morale over zoom, install new plays over Hudl and execute team practices without contact your wife has had a lot on her plate too.
Coaches’ wives have adjusted to daycares and schools shifting to online schooling while still maintaining jobs, ministries, and volunteer positions. More than that, wives have mourned the loss of seasons, jobs, family, and friends with you.
Coach, we know you are always grateful for your wife. But some years it’s nice to pause and really say thank you. As we start to see signs of “normal life” returning and we all exhale in relief, we want to encourage you to say thank you before the season’s craziness requires you to dive back in full force. (We know you have a lot of catching up to do!)
We’re making things really easy for you coach! We’ve gathered all our best suggestions into one post.
Gift Suggestions for the Coach’s Wife Who Deserves a Huge Thank You
This year we’re getting very specific with suggestions for wives you can use for Mother’s Day, Anniversaries, and birthdays. You may want to bookmark this one!
The Gift of Music and Podcasts
There are some pretty awesome podcasts out there designed specifically to encourage your wife. The Coach’s Wife Podcast is a favorite if you’re curious. But in addition to podcasts when you have a Spotify Premium membership you give the gift of gab and tunes on the go without taking up your phone data. (For $2 more a month you and your wife can both enjoy memberships!)
Get Away or StayCation for Real
We know travel is complicated right now, but if you can find an Airbnb near a spa your wife would love the time away with your undivided attention.
If you can’t find a sitter for the kids or prefer to invest in something for your backyard there’s nothing wrong with a staycation. However, make sure your staycation also includes eating out or GrubHub delivery!
Tips for a Great Staycation:
No working from home
Consider these Items for a Backyard Staycation that Lasts all Summer:
Over in the Friday Night Wives Marketplace, we also have the opportunity for you to support other coaches’ wives and small business owners. Check out Celia Bella Designs for some jewelry in your team colors. If your wife likes to work out Caylar Harper sells Zyia activewear which is super comfortable and very well made.
As you’re browsing the FNW Marketplace you’ll notice there’s a lot of opportunities for your wife to pamper herself! Whether your wife loves to dive into a new book or likes to pamper herself with spa products you will find a gift for your wife.
Are you on the move? Check out Lavender and Lemonade Design Co. Haylee Pitts custom home decor is beautiful. We are partial to the His Mercies Are New Every Morning sign for this season. But if your wife can always choose her own sign. Haylee also offers gift cards.
Maybe this move has sent your wife into a season of feeling a little lost? Gift her a session with Beverly Phillip. Sometimes the best thing a coach’s wife needs to hear is that her husband believes in her and is cheering her on in the middle of the unknown.
Well, Coach, we hope we’ve given you a few suggestions. We encourage you to bookmark the Friday Night Wives Marketplace and Shop and check frequently because we are always adding new items to both spaces!
Remember you have one more day to order the Summer Bleacher Box!
Do you find yourself lonely, even in the midst of busy stadiums and gymnasiums? Do you know too much about school politics? Do you sit on the visitors’ side instead of the home stands? Do you wonder what a parent’s motivation might be when they initiate friendship?
I’ve come to the conclusion that coaches' wives who develop 4 characteristics—patience, perspective, perseverance, and peace—end up being able to walk through this life with a little more determination and ease.
Whether we’ve been naughty or nice, we all deserve to treat ourselves. But since we are living off of coaching salaries and can’t afford to do that without maxing out our credit cards, here is a gift guide for the coach’s wife that can easily be sent to your parents, in-laws, or anyone else that may feel the need to spoil you this season.
Unlike the score of the big game, gift cards are always a sure thing. Target, her favorite clothing store, Starbucks, Bath & Body Works, her go-to salon, and restaurants are all good options for gift cards.
A Prepared Meal
Our babysitter recently called and asked if we were home. When she arrived (right at supper time), she was carrying a pan of spaghetti, bread, and homemade bread pudding. This was our Christmas gift, and it was beyond appreciated. I was even able to freeze half to have stashed for an emergency. If you don’t cook, delivering a catered meal is just as good. Just feed us!!!
Especially if there are small children in the equation, coaches and their wives do not spend much quality time together. A gift card to a restaurant and the movie theater is awesome (again, budgets), and bonus points if you babysit for the night as well.
On any given day, my house is a DISASTER. Deep in season, you pretty much need a hazmat suit to walk through the door. Ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am feeling pretty good about myself if the laundry isn’t backed up and there are no dishes in the sink. I rarely find time to mop or clean the bathrooms much less dust or clean windows. Having someone else come in to clean my house every so often would be a game changer. I guarantee you that any wife would be happy with this gift. (Please don’t offer to clean the house yourself. Even though it is a sweet gesture, I know that I would be cleaning before you got there to clean. We don’t want people we know seeing our dirty laundry or dust/ hair piles in the corner of the bathroom.)
Game Day Babysitting
If she has small children, offering to babysit for the game will ensure that you are literally her favorite person. If you are really good like my father-in-law, you can show up with happy meals. She will worship you if the kids are in bed when she gets home.
Stainless Steel Cup/Water Bottle
These are awesome for keeping drinks hot or cold. My favorite brands are Yeti, RTIC, and Contigo. My ride or die is the Contigo autoseal water bottle. Friday Night Wives also has a design customized for coaches’ wives that might make her giggle. I can throw it in my purse or diaper bag, and it WILL NOT spill. If you really want to make her happy, find out her favorite drink (or adult beverage) and include that in her gift.
Coaches’ wives often find themselves entertaining for team functions or spur of the moment get-togethers with the other coaching families. Pretty serving ware is something that she really could use but probably will not buy herself. Wilton Armetale is a good option for something neutral but still pretty. This brand boasts that it keeps food hot or cool longer, and I have seen platters stuck in the oven for a quick warm-up with no major consequences. Recently, a fellow coach’s wife of mine was gifted the cutest platter with our mascot and school colors painted on it. This is an amazing gift if you are super creative or happen to find something similar at a local shop.
Chances are, she already has a ton of team t-shirts. Lots of small online businesses sell cute graphic tees for coaches’ wives, not to mention yours truly. You can also have a shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket customized for her. Scarves, beanies, and raincoats are other necessities that she would appreciate having in team colors. Pay attention to what she does not have or ask Coach to do a little detective work.
Game Day Blanket
When it is cold, nothing is better than sitting at the field bundled up in warm clothes and a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate (that will stay hot in your new stainless steel cup). Currently on my wish list is a blanket in school colors with our mascot embroidered. If you want to be extra bold, you can find blankets with a ginormous image of a team’s mascot, like the lion blanket below.
Game Day Chair
Any mom with littles would probably love a portable folding rocking chair. Chairs with mesh backs, cup holders, and snack trays are also nice. For the brave wife who dares to sit in the bleachers (or has no other option), stadium seats can help her to sit a little more comfortably.
Coaches’ wives are a special breed and definitely deserve to be treated every day of the year for putting up with their husbands’ demanding, crazy schedules. I hope that these gift ideas inspired you, but if all else fails, there is always wine.
Each week, “Friday Night Wives” recognizes a coach’s wife by asking her the same five questions. We go through lots of submissions to find entries we think are especially encouraging or insightful. We hope this gives our readers a chance to connect with others’ through their struggles and hardships, as well as learn from someone who has come out on the other side.
Meet Brittany Sloan
1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m 30 originally from Spartanburg, SC and graduated from Clemson University. My husband and I have a one-year-old son and I work from home as a bookkeeper for Firehouse Subs thru a CPA firm and I am a MONAT Market Partner.
2) How many years have you been a coach’s wife and what schools have you been to?
My hubby and I have been married for 3 years and this is our 4th season together but he has been coaching for 15 or so years. He coached at Chapman High and Byrnes High school before we got married. Then we got married and moved the next day to Marietta, Ga to Walton High School and now he’s the head coach at Kell High School in the same town.
3) If you could go back in time and have a conversation with yourself as a first year coach’s wife, what’s one thing you would tell yourself?
To not let the fear of not being in one place long keep me from investing in community while I am there. I was pretty miserable our first year because we moved 2.5 hours from my friends, family, and a job I loved to a place I knew no one and a job that I hated. With of the potential of moving, and the fear that comes with that, I waited to invest in the community around me, so I felt so alone most of that first year.
4) How do you find balance between supporting your spouse and supporting yourself so that you don’t lose your mind?
Still working on this one! I think it’s changed since we had our little one, before him it was easy to take a night to myself, grab a drink with a friend or get a pedi. Since having our little guy it’s harder to find the balance in taking care of myself and my family. We spend a lot of time at the school and field to see my hubby. With the hours football season entails it’s harder to get time without feeling like we are being a burden. Right now, I am really just having to force myself to take a break and have some me time.
5) What encouragement do you have for a fellow coach’s wife who currently finds herself in a difficult season and doesn’t feel like she’s measuring up?
Know your life will not look just like anyone else’s, including other coaches’ wives, and that’s perfectly fine! Everyone one must figure out what works best for them, their marriage, and their current stage of life. You do what you can do and don’t feel down on yourself for not doing more. Find yourself a community, in and out of the football world! Know where your entire identity and purpose come from and cling to that.
** If you have a wife you’d like to nominate as our FNW Wife of the Week, please email Lindsey at email@example.com **
So, to the new wife who’s learning to cope, to the one trying to dye her socks pink, to the one bleaching her pink socks white, and to the new mom with a 6-day-old determining if she should go to the game … I’m right here with you. Reach out; make the connection; I’ll accept you just as you are, as God tells us to. No judgment, no make-up either – because girl, I ain’t got time for that.
Fridays are not always the … easiest days of our week, so we thought we might bring a little therapy to your Fridays. Not necessarily of the retail variety either. Because budgets. Instead, we wanted to share all the things with you that bring us JOY.
I won’t lie, sometimes a cute jacket I found 40% off at Target brings me a lot of joy. But most of the time it’s an easy recipe all my kids happily eat, a new worship song that makes me cry in carline, a podcast I randomly come across while wasting time on the internet researching important things. It’s stuff I’ve tried, loved, and kept using. If it doesn’t bring me pure, 100% joy (thank you, Marie Kondo), or if I don’t think it will bring YOU pure joy, it won’t be on this list. That’s a promise.
Here are this week’s Friday (Night Wives’) Favorites:
A small group of women in the Friday Night Wives Facebook group read this book last month, and I did a very poor job of keeping everyone accountable by finishing the book two weeks late. #stillreallysorry #somuchguilt This book is for any woman who wants to read and study the Bible more often (or start for the first time) but doesn’t really know where to start, or any woman who has read the Bible a thousand times but is wanting to go deeper in her study. Jen is clear, concise, and offers practical examples on how to use her techniques. At the risk of sounding melodramatic, this book has changed the way I view and approach the Bible.
Do you want to get back in shape but you are struggling to find the discipline or motivation? This is the app for you. Here’s gist: the app offers several different “games.” Each game is a running program, typically 6 weeks long. I signed up for a 5K trainer that which requires me to run four times a week and put $40 into a pot, and then it uses a GPS to track my runs each week. BUT HERE’S THE AWESOME PART. As long as I complete all my runs, I’ll get my money back. If I don’t? My $40 goes into a pot for the winners to split amongst themselves (after fees are taken out). You know what hasn’t motivated me to run every morning? My health (or my cellulite). You know what gets my butt out of my house four times a week? The thought of losing $40. It’s sad, but it’s true.
Listen, Netflix. I blame you for the fact that it took me two extra weeks to finish that book (refer to #1). If you haven’t watched all the way through since 2004, take it from me: somehow, it’s better fifteen years later. Also, Rachel is about to be 50. What is life.
I would think most of us are trying to feed very hungry men. And while my favorite food is chocolate, my husband ismore along the lines of grilled chicken and quinoa. These pancakes are our favorite easy and filling meal. They are “protein-packed,” so they fill him up more than a regular pancake, and you can just add water so they are perfect for the busy season in which we currently find ourselves. Pair with bacon and fresh eggs from the backyard and you’ve got a meal that pleases everyone. They also make these on-the-go snack cup thingies that my husband goes bananas for.
I binge-listened to this podcast on a six-hour road trip by myself this summer and only stopped because I had a headache from the emotional roller coaster. Headed Someplace highlights stories of real women going through real struggles and the ways they’ve seen God show up. Sometimes, okay most of the time, in crazy, unexpected ways. Kara will make you laugh hysterically and cry alligator tears. Her latest interview with Natalie Yurrita is so stinking good … and I’m now convinced Natalie and I would be besties in real life. (Also, so that I’m being totally transparent, Friday Night Wives has an interview on there … we just don’t talk about it much because I’m SO awkward in interviews.)
So there you have it. Anything you’re familiar with? Let us know if you’ve tried any of these out – we want to know if they bring you joy, too! Happy Friday, friends! Wishing everyone the best of luck tonight (or tomorrow).
If you’re interested in partnering with Friday Night Wives in any way, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** Heads up! There are a few affiliate links included in this article. **
Humans are icebergs and we never know what someone is going through, and today they took it out on our partner. It’s hard to not strike back, especially when it’s it front of our kids and they don’t quite understand adult misgivings. The best we can do is protect ourselves, realizing that we do not know what that person is going through in their own life.
This is a daily battle for us. We do go to bed angry at times. At least I do. In the end it’s that choice I talked about, that I chose him, and wouldn’t choose any other because when we are able to communicate, and we are amazing together.
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.
Choose the tribe member you know will help you see the bigger picture, not the one ready to pile on more muck. While a mud bath can be a good thing for your pores in the short term, it does very little other than make you stink if it stays on too long.
Near or far, a coaches’ wives tribe is one of the most amazing parts of this crazy coaching life. I’m so thankful friendship is not defined by distance. This life has connected me with some of the most inspiring, talented, and thoughtful women in my circles of influence, and I know my life is better for knowing all of these amazing ladies.
Slowly, one by one, I started to weigh things that were important to me against how much of a disruption it would cause the schedule. More often than not, and mostly because it was something important to me and not the kids or coach, I decided “it wasn’t worth it.”