I get excited when the last quarter rolls around and that clock starts winding down. Mommy reminds me that football minutes are a little longer than REAL minutes. But even if my eyes are getting heavy, the excitement around me keeps my energy up.
This isn’t the first season I’ve had to promise Coach that I’ll see him the next one. That’s how I know it will be just fine. Because just like football seasons, marriages have seasons, too.
Today is my husband’s first day of football camp, and I cannot help but get so excited thinking about this upcoming season. It is so easy for us to get wrapped up in the excitement of the beginning of the season, as we anxiously await the first game day. However, as coaches’ wives, we know this time of year brings much more to the table.
I often see coaches’ wives dread this time of year. The term “football widow” is even used to describe what we go through in the fall. A “football widow” often refers to a coach’s wife who must temporarily cope with the death of her relationship during football season.
To be entirely honest, I can assure you this will never be me, and my reasoning is as follows.
For one, when I married my husband, I knew that football was such a major part of his life (well, OUR life) as we had grown up together and football had played such a central role. Together, we have made it through roughly 12 football seasons (playing and coaching); so I knew that come July, his life gets busier, and much sweatier, as he spends countless hours in the hot sun for lifting, conditioning, camp, and two-a-days.
I knew that his dedication to his team would never waiver and that coaching football was something that would always be a part of our marriage.
With having two boys as well, I knew that football would likely forever be an essential part of our lives. Because of this, we plan. We know ahead of time that we typically are not home for dinner and that we have to eat on the fly. We know that our time is limited together throughout the week, so we make the most of our Sundays together. And we know that while times are busy, we have each other’s support, one hundred percent.
I never want my husband to feel like his family does not support his coaching. We are a team, and that team does not split because of other commitments.
And to be honest, football season draws us even closer. We stay up late talking about how practice went and which boys excelled that day. I help talk him through decisions if he needs an ear to utilize. And I help to reiterate how important his role is as a football coach and how much those boys look up to him.
Are there days when we get frustrated with each other and things go downhill? Absolutely. It would be unfair of me to pretend everything is smooth sailing all of the time. There are days when he comes home grouchy from a bad practice or an unexpected loss, but instead of allowing it to dictate the remainder of the day, I talk through it with him and make sure that he knows football does not stop at the door.
Every bit of his coaching life and his team are welcome in our home at any time. Not only is coach there to support these boys, but I am as well. It is my duty as a coach’s wife to support him and his team. I knew what I was getting into.
It is challenging, but it is also the most rewarding life there is. Seeing coach light up after a win and our boys cheering on their dad and the team is something that gives me an unexplainable amount of joy. Hearing those boys thank me for cupcakes will never get old and will only continue to assure me that this is the life we were destined for. This is our purpose.
So, I will never be a “football widow” because our relationship doesn’t ever die in the fall. In fact, it flourishes.
Football gives us life. And what a time to be alive…
But please know, on those hard days, when it seems like I'm SO over it, I don't begrudge this life we chose one bit. I am not bitter. I don't wish you were anything else but what and who you are. Not for one second.
Suddenly I began praying for God to multiply ME during this temporary separation. Multiply my peace, patience, joy, energy, and rest. And do you know what I’ve learned? He still multiplies and it’s not just food! He truly has multiplied ME. He is carrying me through this situation in a way that is not my natural inclination.
What I choose to dwell on will dominate my thoughts, emotions, and responses. So instead of hopping on the roller coaster of preseason camp, I journal, I take a walk, I grab coffee with a girlfriend, and I talk about only positive things.
We asked the ladies of the FNW Facebook group for tips. How do they keep from losing their minds during season? What are ways they keep from getting overwhelmed and stressed out?