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What Football Has Taught Me About Family

Yes, football and being a football family requires physical demands and emotional commitments from everyone involved. There are so many lonely dinners and difficult bath times. There are so many rushed labor-day cookouts and daddy-less trick-or-treats. There are so many tears from kids who miss their daddies -- and occasionally from mamas missing them too. Because there may not be crying in baseball, but believe me, there is crying in football. A lot of crying.

But most of those tears are the good kind.

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i married my coach during football season and it was wonderful

I Married My Football Coach in October—And It Was Wonderful

So you just got engaged and now you’ve been Pinteresting wedding Inspo like it’s your job! 
 
Okay fine, yes, your bridal board has actually been active long before you met Mr. Coach but now you’re Team Captain and you’re determined to get that W.
 
After sifting and sorting through pins for the umpteenth time, you finally decide that all of those dreamy and romantic Fall wedding images are it! You can picture it all: the light breeze whispering throughout the evening, the colorful leaves serving as a breathtaking backdrop for photos, and the sweet taste of the rich pastries the guests would enjoy on your special night. 
 
And just as you’re in the height of experiencing true visualization nirvana, a yellow flag penalty is thrown and instantly brings you back to reality. A little yellow flag I like to call, Football Season. 
 
As most little girls do, I always dreamed of who I would marry, what my dress would look like and of course, what kind of amazing party I would throw. So, If you would’ve told me in my single years that I would be planning my wedding around a football game, I would’ve laughed. 
 
But that’s exactly what I did. 
 
You see, where I live we get all of the seasons. This meant, my wedding would be any of the following: Winter and Wet, Spring and Sinus, Summer and Sweat or…Fall and Football. 
 
October 6th, 2018 was the date our venue was available so we signed on the dotted line and handed over one of our many wedding deposits. Soon enough, however, comments started rolling in like “In football season? Well, good luck on planning it all” and “You better hope you have a BYE week”. 
 
By then, I had been involved in a few seasons and knew what the whole Coach Wife Life would entail but I’ll be honest, at times, some of those comments hurt. It’s true, my life at that point had heavily revolved around my fiancee’s passion but that didn’t mean our lives together outside of football automatically became second string. 
 
In case you’re wondering, our team did have a game that week which also happened to be out of town. We didn’t have a dinner rehearsal, well, because of Team Meal. And honeymoon? Yeah, we saved that until the following summer…because we got married during football season.
 
Our wedding ended up being an amazing night to remember. Couples told us for months just how much fun they had with so much love and friendship in the air. They appreciated all of the details of our heritage, culture, and daily lives we incorporated into the wedding, including a handful of the Varsity squad welcoming our guests as Valet and traffic directors. 
 
Because I got married during football season, I know I’ll never get to celebrate my wedding anniversary with a spontaneous getaway or a romantic Friday night dinner. I know these are some of the compromises I’ve accepted in exchange for my Pinterest-inspired board.
 
But if I were given the opportunity to reselect a season for my wedding, I’d still choose “Fall and Football”. I’d choose it because no matter how the current season is going, my Coach and I know that together, we’re undefeated. 
 
So if you’re hesitant about getting married during football season, just know that there have been countless coach’s fiancees who’ve conquered the practices, the flowers, the games, the tastings, the clinics, the guest lists, the forgotten playbooks, and then some. 
 
Who knows, you may actually luck out on a BYE week or better yet, end up receiving a huge chocolate shaped football wedding gift from the Varsity squad, too. 
hell hath no fury coach's wife mess with husband

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Coach’s Wife When You Mess with her Husband

Most of us know what we want to do: use that big love to defend and protect our coach!

But what does that look like? Should we call out those who are actually at fault? Tell the bleacher coaches they have no idea what they are talking about and to zip it? Highlight the inequalities? Underscore the unfairness?

Most of the time we are silent partners in this deal, but we have to ask ourselves: are there times when enough is enough?

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marriage support coaches wives

Save Your “No” For When It Matters

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.

Are you a coach’s wife? Join our online community and connect with other coaches’ wives in the same season as you.

coach this i can and can't promise you article marriage

Coach, This I Can (and Can’t) Promise You

I can promise you I will go wherever you go, stay wherever you stay, and your people will be my people. I will put in the extra work to get our family settled and make the new place feel like home. I will be open and flexible to wherever this journey takes us.

I can’t promise you I won’t doubt it, complain about it and/or be about upset it. I can’t promise that the thought of having to start over again won’t frustrate me. I also won’t be able to stay off of Zillow, searching for houses, even with only a mention of a potential job opening.   

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wedding vows for coaching couple wedding

When a Coach Gets Married, Here are What the Vows SHOULD Be

I, Mr. Coach, promise to:

Recognize that this woman is an actual superhero and treat her as such
When she is sad just hold her, don’t coach her
Make a valiant effort to not wait until the last minute to ask for something
Brag about her to my friends
Get her swag asap, especially at a new school
In a spare moment, keep the kids and send her out on her own
Remember that she is the one who is still there when the lights go out and the career is done
Love on my kids after wins AND losses
Consider that your career moves are her moves too
Find her before talking to the media
Recognize that I am a better coach because she is by my side

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marriage coaching football change growth spouse wife

Dear Lord, Are You Sure This Guy is My Coach/Husband?

I have loved him through the perfect, undefeated, state championship seasons, the heartbreak of great competitive losses, and the fickleness of high school athletics. After years of learning how to accept that he’s perfectly alright with doing NOTHING for literally H O U R S at a time except watching game after game, he began more than one morning of this holiday break with something like, “Babe, which of your projects would you like me to help you with today?”

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Dear Coach, A Little Help Buying a Gift for Your Wife

In case you are eyeball deep in a playoff run, constantly scrolling Football Scoop, about to start coaching yet another sport, or already looking at next year’s prospects, let me remind you that it is already December. This means your amazing, remarkable, beautiful, intelligent, epic wife/fiance/girlfriend is soon to need some gifts that match her amazing-ness.

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Learning the Tension of Being Fully Independent and Fully Supportive

The coach’s wife life is this wild dichotomy of having your life (from your daily schedule to your entire future) be dependent upon someone else, their dreams and performance. But at the same time, in order to survive and thrive in it, you must learn to be independent from that person and function solo a large majority of the time.

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