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Dear Veteran's Coach's Wive Series

Dear Veteran Coach’s Wife: How Do You Handle Young Kids During the Season?

It’s Tuesday, and we’re answering another question in our Veteran Coach’s Wife series.

QUESTION FROM NEWBIE WIFE

How do you manage your first football season as a new mom? I know I’ll basically be a single parent, especially with the school he’s at is over an hour away which means at least an extra two hours he’s away. Just feeling anxious about it all. 

ANSWERS FROM VETERAN COACHES WIVES

Dear New Mama,

First of all, you got this. Pioneer women ran a household of kids by themselves with no electricity, indoor plumbing, and God forbid no formula or disposable diapers while their husbands worked 18 hours a day… so in comparison, we got it good!

By no means are coaches’ wives single mothers; we are married to the hardest working men who work their butts off every day to provide for their families. But I think you’re absolutely right to mentally prepare to handle so much of the day-to-day like you’re a single mom because it will make you strong and help you to realize you can tackle anything by yourself. 

Now some coaching mommas will disagree with what I’m about to say & to each his own, you’ll find out what works for your family but for me, I say “load up the kids and go!” We handle football season by attending everything we can: practice, games, social events you name it. The absolute best part of being a coaching family is watching your kids immerse themselves in the program. Your child will live for seeing Dad on the sidelines and the older they get it’s so fun to see them develop relationships with the other coaches and the players. 

The newborn football season is the best, other wives will volunteer to hold your baby while you get to enjoy the game! You’ll spend the second season chasing the baby all around. I would much rather drive two kids all around the state then sit at home for hours waiting on Dad to come home. Plus, kids tend to sleep in a moving car and you’ll appreciate the silence. 

My last piece of advice would be to stay plugged into the community we find in Friday Night Wives. Every day we see thousands of women across the country who are killing it as coaching wives and mommas. If they can do it, so can we!

 

You can do this!

Jessica

 

Dear New Mama,

First, Congratulations! You’re already doing an amazing job. The thing you may already know about kids is that you can’t think and plan too far in advance. If you do, they tend to catch on and try to outmaneuver your plans. 😉  Just kidding….sort of.

In all seriousness, I understand the tension you’re experiencing as you anticipate all that this season might hold. But you don’t know what will happen. You may find that your child is an amazing sleeper and the drive to and from games is the best thing for him or her. You may discover that a routine that really works for everyone most days and the weeks aren’t as stressful as you have heard from other wives they can be. 

On the other hand, you may need to start looking for a mother’s helper in the form of a young teen who can come watch the baby while you get a few things done around the house. 

Remember that the season is only a portion of your calendar and it’s important to take each week independently with little ones regardless of whether your husband is present or working far from home. Kids rapidly change their preferences when they are young and we must stay adaptable as they are growing. 

Bookmark this post, To the Young Mama in the Middle of the Season, and remember you’ve got a whole tribe of women who are ready to cheer you on when you have a bad day. I say when because you will have them. We all do. No one is perfect. But having a bad day doesn’t require you to have a bad season.

From One Whose Been There,

Beth

 

Do you have a question?

To the Young Mama in the Middle of the Season

It’s the middle of the season.

The excitement and novelty of a new season and new team has died down. We’re not yet to the playoffs when the whole town is vibrating with pride and bleeding school colors. District games are underway and tensions are high with so many must-win games up ahead. Your husband’s hours are getting longer, if that’s even possible, and your schedule is filling up now that school is in full swing.

Your evenings consist of taking the biggest to soccer practice and the middle to piano just in time to turn around and head back to soccer practice to pick her up. Then, the baby is crying because apparently she can’t feed herself.

Some days, you manage to make it up to practice so the kids can see their dad, even if it’s only from a distance.

It’s the middle of the season.

Game nights are … difficult. The kids are exhausted from a full week of school. Whether they make it through the whole game is a crap shoot and even if they do, their little sleep deprived souls will be in shambles for the rest of the weekend. You’ll be the only one around to pick up the pieces.

It’s the middle of the season.

The weekend comes. You get the kids ready for all the things: Big Kid’s soccer game (which never fails to be the 8 o’clock game… who schedules this crap?), middle kid’s friend’s birthday party at 10. You know you said you’d help out at that church event, but you realize by noon everyone is DONE. With fingertips full of guilt, you text to let them know you won’t be able to make it. Stop with the guilt. You’re doing the best you can.

Your friend calls you about joining some girls for dinner tomorrow night, but you don’t have money for a babysitter (“Yes, he works Sundays, too”). And even if you did, you’re not sure you’d have the energy to put a bra on, much less makeup.

It’s the middle of the season.

Your husband comes home after all the kids are asleep and tells you about how the staff ate lunch at Pizza Hut and how the team had a ping pong tournament and he and his partner won. He tells you about kicking that one kid out of practice today and letting another cry on his shoulder about stuff that makes your stomach hurt.

Meanwhile, you tell him about how your middle child followed you around the house all the ding dang day and how the baby smeared poop EVERYWHERE and you didn’t throw up cleaning it. #winningatmotherhood. You feel a little silly telling him about your day and wonder silently if he really cares.

Y’all give each other a tight, lingering hug. Then sit down on the couch together, turn on ESPN, and see who falls asleep first.

It’s the middle of the season.

And you’re lonely.

You love this season. But you also feel like your life is put on hold until it’s over because you’re too busy being everything for everyone.

You need help. You need reinforcements. You need friendship and companionship and just to feel less alone.

Oh, mama. You’re not alone.

You. Are. Not. A. Lone.

Coaches wives everywhere are with you. They are cheering you on and standing with you in your loneliness. They feel it too.

It’s the middle of the season.

And you might feel forgotten. You might feel unseen or unimportant.

You aren’t.

That coach, the one who is working so hard and so long, he knows what you’re doing behind the scenes. He might not say it loud enough but he sees you and he’s thankful for you.

And those other coaches’ wives, the ones whose kids are a little bit older, the ones who sit by you on game nights and help you pack up all your stuff afterward, they know how hard and draining it is. They’ll be there for you if you’ll just ask.

And those players, the ones you cook for and clean for, the ones you loan your children’s father to for a few months to love on, they may not have the words to say it but they are so grateful for the way you’re sacrificing for them.

You, sweet mama in the middle of the season, are not forgotten.

By me, by your husband, or by your God.

It’s the middle of the season.

Hang on. We’re halfway there.

You love this season. But you also feel like your life is put on hold until it's over because you're too busy being everything for everyone. You need help. You need reinforcements. You need friendship and companionship and just to feel less alone. Oh, mama. You're not alone. You. Are. Not. A. Lone.