As a new football season begins, so does a new chapter for the coach’s wife, girlfriend or fiancé–whether she realizes it or not. I’m beginning my 10th season with my coach and every season has looked different. Some seasons are exciting, some seasons are lonely, and some seasons are even painful. I’m not an expert on being a coach’s wife and I still have a lot to learn, but if there is one thing I’ve learned it is that no football season is ever the same and this season will pass. The highs? They will pass and become some of your all-time favorite memories. The lows? They will pass too. You won’t forget them but if you’re lucky you will learn from them. In honor of entering my 10th football season, I’ve decided to recap the seasons that have made the most impact on my life as a coach’s wife.
The season as a coach’s new girlfriend who doesn’t have a relationship with other wives on the staff:
I remember the season when I was the girlfriend and never held a conversation with the head coach’s wife. I’m not sure that she would have even recognized me. In her defense, I didn’t live in the same town as my coach and I was focused on a job and career that demanded a lot of my time and energy.
If this is you, keep your head up. I know that this time can be challenging and lonely but this too shall pass. I started my first season with my coach not knowing any other women on the staff and now going into my 10th season some of my best friends are coaches’ wives. I don’t use the term best friend lightly either. I’m talking about women who will stand by you and support you through the best times and the worst of times. Women who will cheer you on and wipe your tears away.
The season as the coach’s girlfriend who is insecure about her relationship status:
I remember multiple seasons as the coach’s girlfriend–the only coach’s significant other without a ring or long term commitment. Yes, at times I did feel out of place or not as important. Thankfully, the head coach’s wife and other wives acknowledged and taught me that the commitment and sacrifices of dating a football coach are really no different than being married to one.
If this is you, don’t let your relationship status make you feel insecure or like any less of a support system for your coach. As you are probably learning, being a coach’s wife comes with its own set of different challenges. Being married to the coach might give you the title of Mrs. Coach but the challenges you face now will not change once you have the ring. But that weird insecure feeling you get when you’re the coach’s girlfriend and everyone else is engaged or married…that feeling will pass—and hopefully you won’t forget how it felt when the newest coach’s girlfriend shows up in town.
The season as the coach’s fiancé and new wife:
I remember being the fiancé on a young staff with several other coaches’ fiancés. Our football staff attended weddings three weekends in a row during one summer because we were all trying to marry our coaches and get settled before another football season started. Even though it feels like forever ago, the friendships and memories we all made that year are ones that I cherish and know will last a lifetime.
If this is you, embrace these moments and this time. There will never be another time like this. You will have a lot of fun and probably make a few mistakes—and that’s okay. The new will eventually wear off, and then it becomes more work. These memories and lessons learned will carry you through the hard times—and there will be hard times.
The season as a coach’s wife and new mom:
I remember my first season as a coach’s wife and a new mom. I prepared for a week to be ready for the first home game with a newborn. Little did I know, we would have to leave because of the weather and listen to the game at home on the radio. That game ended up being called due to lighting and I didn’t actually make it through an entire football game until the 6th game of the season. Even though I had the most encouraging coaches’ wives as friends, there was a part of me that felt defeated for not being able to be there. No one made me feel that way except for myself.
If this is you, give yourself a break and a lot of grace. Your worth as a coach’s wife isn’t determined by how many games or events you make it to with or without your kid(s). Do what is best for you and your family, the rest will fall into place. And those days when you feel like an emotional and exhausted mess because you’re alone and doing it all. These days will pass too. Before you know it, you’ll be the one watching a new mom trying to survive the season with her baby and be the one to tell her that it’s never easy but it does get easier.
The season as a coach’s wife in the midst of tragedy:
I remember a season when we tragically lost one of our football players. I remember during a game that same season when a fellow coach’s wife grabbed my arm, with tears in her eyes and whispered in my ear “I’m having another miscarriage.” Some tragedies are public and some are private. There becomes a point when you feel like you are just going through the motions. You don’t understand why certain things are happening or not happening. There’s really no way to describe this feeling.
If this is you, you can get through this. Whatever struggle you are facing this season, it will pass. You will NEVER forget it, but it doesn’t have to define you. You might feel like no one understands what you are going through. Someone does…Find a way to grieve and don’t be afraid to lean on your fellow coaches’ wives.
None of us can predict the football season we are about to go through. So whatever season you are about to embark on, embrace the journey and know this season too shall pass.