I’m writing this as a gentle reminder that all of us have been there. We’ve all been the New Wife -- the one no one knows. And sadly, some of us have even been the New Wife that no one ever knows… the one that no one ever reaches out to before the transient nature of the football life has its way with us, and we move on to our next location and our next potential football family.
QUESTION FROM NEWBIE WIFE
How do I deal with being home all the time by myself with just the dog?? I’m going crazy!!!
Going Stir Crazy
ANSWERS FROM VETERAN COACHES WIVES
Dear Going Stir Crazy,
Figuring out large amounts of time by yourself is a hallmark of the coaching life. When I was sans-kids I filled it with being in control of the remote, working out, and connecting with friends. When we had kids, I found other women who had coach/pastor/farmer/doctor/police husbands who also had weird hours. These women helped me remember that coach’s wives are not the only ones who deal with this. There will be days in your future when you’ve finally adjusted and may find yourself craving time alone when the husband, dog, and/or kids are home. It’s a season of life. Enjoy that puppy and all the interests you can pursue on your own until it changes!
Your Fellow Social Bug
Dear Going Stir Crazy,
Even though your letter was written when it was more difficult to get out and about we know that loneliness isn’t something that goes away just because shopping is more accessible. On paper, it sounds wonderful to have your days to yourself to read, exercise, and chip away at your bucket list. But, in reality, you can only clean your kitchen counters so often and your bucket list isn’t all that fun to chip away at by yourself.
You haven’t offered many details, so we aren’t sure if the hours you’re referring to are all through the day or after your workday is complete. Certainly, this will impact the number of hours you will want to fill each day, however, I want to encourage you to make sure you not to OVERfill your days. Soon enough the time will come where you will want to spend a lazy weekend with your coach before the next season is in full force again. Regardless, I’ve learned that it’s best to look at the empty calendar space as an opportunity rather than a burden.
For those weeks when the calendar is looking empty and you know you’re going to feel like climbing the walls try sticking to a routine. Create a plan that includes a list of things that need to get done as well as some fun things you want to do. Is there a new store you’ve been meaning to explore? Take time to grab a coffee and check it out one afternoon.
If you have a lot of extra time on your hands seize the day! Do you love photography? Check out the local park district or community college to see when the next photography classes are offered. You will sharpen your skills and keep yourself busy doing something you enjoy. As a bonus, you’ll be around people who also enjoy the same hobby!
If all else fails, bake some cookies for the team. They will love it and your coach will know you’re thinking about him while he’s on the field.
Every Season is an Adventure, Embrace it!
Do you have a question?
I promised myself I’d never let that happen again, that even if I knew I’d only be somewhere for a short time, I would trust that God had planted me there “for such a time as this” and jump in with both feet and a whole heart to the new life he had for me, in that exact place, for that exact moment.
I knew it would be sad to lose a game. Or many games. Losing is never fun. Sure there would be sad times. But I didn’t know that we would always keep disappointment in tow. As a coach’s wife disappointment follows you like a flatbed truck and manifests itself in so many ways that can be hard to breathe.
For this reason, I do feel that I often have difficulty connecting with other coaches' wives who lament about traveling to games solo with children, getting up during the night to care for children, worrying about their children finishing their homework, making it to their own extracurricular activities, the list goes on. We all struggle, but the struggles look different and sometimes I feel there is an unbreakable barrier between us.
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.
But Coach, it’s important to remember that while she CAN independently handle the flat tires, collapsed pipes, and mice even when they happen all in the same week, the more she handles alone, the more she can begin to feel isolated.