Most of my life as a coach’s wife, I haven’t fit in.
In the beginning, we weren’t married. I didn’t fit in.
Then we got married, and everyone else had a family. I didn’t fit in.
These days, we’ve been married for 8 football seasons and we have two spunky, football fanatic children. We are part of a staff where only two coaches are married and none have children. We live 45 minutes away. I have a full time job that is demanding. I still don’t fit in.
It’s a lonely world.
As another season is upon us, many couples are working out their roles in a new staff or, like us, have experienced a change in family dynamic (thank God our babies were actually born in the off-season).
To the head coaches and their wives: I beg of you to consider your staff. Each member.
I’ll admit, over the years I have created that mental list of “Things I’ll Do/Won’t Do When We are Head Coaches.” I’ve learned that just because there is something I want to do, that doesn’t mean it will work well for our staff. Think carefully before you plan something that will leave out any coach’s wife.
We’ve been part of staffs that have “guys trips.” I am alone at home doing the whole parent thing. It’s easy for me to fall prey to the thoughts, “I didn’t choose this job, why do I get the raw end of the deal?” There have been ladies’ spa days. But I have two little children. I don’t get spa days. I reserve babysitter time for the opportunities my coach and I can spend time together.
On the other hand, we have been part of a staff where everyone helped the new family move boxes and furniture into their newly rented home; and then we had a cookout to welcome them and get to know them.
The beautiful part of it all is that my coach and I have been put in situations to evaluate our family priorities and define some boundaries. It’s been tough through the years. No coach wants to go against the grain.
When I see my coach assert that something won’t work for our family or make adjustments to include our family, my heart swells with love and respect for him. It is those times where I see that he actually does love us more the football (hey, I question that sometimes).
Hopefully, I’ve reached out in time to the coaches’ wives. For now, I am adding to the top of my list (just above 2. “Survive” and 3. “Win!”):
When I am a head coach’s wife
- Don’t plan anything that will ostracize another coach’s wife. Prayerfully consider your staff.
This journey is lonely enough. As with any career, some people just won’t understand. Let’s not make it worse.