To the coach’s wife in the trenches: this stuff is hard for him, too
When I first entered this journey of being a coach’s wife, it was easy. I never missed a game, looked my best, had a clean house, and was a supportive wife.
Then, the kids came along.
My appearance has turned from my old normal to my new normal: leggings and a ponytail almost every day. My enthusiasm has dropped. I am tired. I am raising kids “by myself.” My husband leaves for work before the kids even get up and usually doesn’t get home from practice until after they are in bed.
When Friday night comes around, I am exhausted. Let’s not talk about baseball season when there are 2 or 3 games a week. I don’t want to haul the kids and the entire house to the field to watch the game. I don’t want to sweat, swat gnats, and chase kids all night.
I am resentful because I feel like I have to go to the games. That is something that is so hard for me to admit. I am resentful towards my husband who is living out his dreams.
How terrible does that sound when you say it out loud.
Well, let me take it a step further and make it sound even worse.
I am most resentful when he does actually come home early enough to spend time with the kids. This tends to be right before bedtime when they should be gearing down for our nighttime routine. In comes Daddy who they may not have seen in a few days and stirs them up. Running, jumping, screaming, laughing, all at 7:30 when we should be brushing teeth and getting into bed.
In comes Mom, the bad guy, who has to say time for bed.
I am resentful. Why do the kids seem happier with Daddy than me? Why does Dad get to be the fun one and Mom just gets to be the fun sponge?
Then there are nights when he rushes in the house as if he is on fire and asks if the kids are awake. When I say no his face drops and the disappointed is written all over him.
I started thinking, maybe he is resentful of me.
I get to see everything.
I see their sweet little faces when they just wake up and want to snuggle in the mornings.
I get to pick them up from school and see their excited little faces run up to me screaming “Mommy Mommy.”
I get to snuggle with them at night, read them a bedtime story and tuck them in.
He rarely gets to do any of that. I am sure cutting grass, watching film, meeting with Coaches, washing uniforms etc. was not included in the dream. Sure, it comes along with the territory but he wants to coach kids and make a difference.
At no time did he say he wanted to miss out on his own kids lives, it just happens.
So, maybe when he gets home right at bedtime and messes up the whole routine I could just let it happen. As I hold on to my own resentment at times, I need to be mindful of his too.
I have learned, especially as our kids seem to be growing up way too fast, that I am lucky to be able to spend every second with them. We have our own special time so when Daddy comes home and their time seems to have more meaning, I am learning to just be grateful. Grateful for both Daddy and the kids.
So this is me telling you it’s ok to have your own resentment. Especially when you are alone with the kids and one kid is screaming because he doesn’t want to wear the dump truck pajamas because he wants the dinosaur ones and your other kid just pooped during bath time.
Remember, your Coach would love to be home with you and the kids to help with the pajama problem. Let’s be honest, no one wants to deal with the poop in the bathtub.
Think of this time alone with your kids as a gift. Your kids are only this little once. You get the privileges of soaking all that time up.
So take them to the ball games. Even if you all look an absolute mess. Let them cheer for Daddy, let them run around and get filthy, let them wait at the fence for the post game huddle to break so they can run and give him a giant hug.
I know it’s just one more thing that you feel you have to do so the kids can see Daddy, but just know how much it means to him to see his beautiful family in his cheering section.
If you miss the game, don’t feel guilty. It is ok to admit that you just don’t have it in you that night. Send him an encouraging text, a recorded video of the kids wishing him luck or telling him goodnight. If the kids do or say something new, do your best to record it so he can watch it when he gets home. If you really want to give him something to miss send him picture of the whole bathtub event.
Try to do whatever you have to do to let him know that everyone is thinking about him, cheering for him, and that he isn’t forgotten during his time away.
My name is Chelsey Edens. I am a 6th year coaches wife. My husband is an assistant coach for our local high school football, a head coach for the same high school baseball and American Legion ball. I am a mom of two amazing tiny humans. My oldest is 3 years old (born at the beginning of football season) and our daughter is 18 months (born during the middle of high school baseball season). My favorite things include having my husband home, pepsi icees, leggings, and naps!