A day in the life of the coach's wife

Monday, January 19, 2015

I'm a Mum, wife, daughter, sister, friend and also a writer, family memory-keeper, volunteer event planner, Sunday school teacher, co-owner of a small business, and in-home chef.

But during the months of November through February, I am predominantly the Coach's wife.

Each morning, Coach and I sneak out of bed without waking up two of our kids who have found their way to us in the middle of the night while it is still dark outside.  He gets ready for work while I start coffee and pack food that will serve as his breakfast, lunch, and pre-practice snack.  A quick kiss and he's out the door for work while I attempt to get things prepared for a long day with three kids under five.

Then its breakfast, home preschool lessons, nursing the baby, breaking up fights over who started being rude first.  It's laundry, and lunch, emails sent for an upcoming event to benefit the high school, and multiple glances at the clock.  Gemma catches sight of a college basketball game on the television as I flip channels to cartoons and she shouts out gleefully, "Let's go Valley!"  Greyson insists I watch him play basketball in his room while I feed the baby as he provides commentary on who he is pretending to be the entire time (Look, Mum, Dante has the ball!  Nice shot, Jake!  Drew from downtown!)  Gemma provides the halftime show as 'the little kids get to play on the court.' Once the baby is burped, I am enlisted to stand in as a 'bad team' (the "Yellow Jackets" or the "Shade") as Grey giggles and calls out his 'friends' names all of whom play on Daddy's team.

Early afternoon sets in and I'm overjoyed to receive a text from Coach that he has a minute to swing by to pick up Grey to go to practice with him.  "Make sure he's ready though, I'm going to be cutting it close" says the text.  Grey is ecstatic and dresses head to toe like the teenage players do and even packs his Spiderman backpack with a change of clothes so he can shower after practice.  He wants so badly to be like those big boys.  'Mum, do I look like a real player?' he asks as Coach swings in the door, swiftly changes into his practice clothes, smacks kisses on his three girls and he and Booboo march out into the cold for practice.  I'm down to two kids!  

I get Gem bathed, feed the baby again, bathe the baby and get in some playtime and snacks with our two sweet, silly girls.  Gemmi gets some much deserved choose-her-own movie on the iPad while I fold clothes and iron Coach's work/game shirts.  Gemmi announces, 'I want my Daddy' before falling to sleep on the couch.  I move her up to her bed and I'm down to one kid.  Violet hangs out with me in the kitchen while I start dinner at 8p so it will be ready by quarter of nine when the boys should be getting home. 

At 9p I wonder where they are and finally call to check at twenty after but it goes to voicemail.  At 9:40p they finally make it home, Grey still wide awake and dinner in the oven staying warm.  A player wanted to stay after to run through some workouts and a parent had called on the way home.  I finish feeding the baby for the last time today and Coach gives her a kiss and puts her to bed himself while stopping in to kiss Gemma while she sleeps soundly.  

Dinner starts at nearly 10pm and even though he knows its late Grey still begs to play basketball before bedtime (we don't but promise to tomorrow).  Once Grey is fed and in bed, Coach and I talk about his work day, practice, and which players are doing well and which are not.  We talk about the team we play tomorrow and who will start and why.  

I sit and listen in complete pride that those teenage boys have my capable, dedicated, and loyal husband as their coach.  I also feel entirely grateful that my husband has those talented, hilarious, inspiring teenagers in his life.  That we have those kids in our life.  

I clean up, Coach takes out the garbage, organizes stuff for work tomorrow, and gives the dogs much needed attention while catching a college basketball game and rewinding it to call out to me, 'Babe, come watch this.'  We both wearily make it up to bed before 11:30p.

And today, we'll do it again, but it's game day - so later tonight, I'll feed the baby right.before.we.go and then I'll get three kids bundled and loaded into the car by myself and drive twenty-five minutes to the gym talking and telling stories so the kids don't fall asleep on the way there.  

I'll remind Gemma that we can't see Daddy until after the game even though he's close enough to call out to, I'll take pictures for the senior day program I'll need to make in a few weeks, I'll sell 50/50 tickets, I'll  allow the kids to buy a vending machine or concession snack (or the equivalent of dinner tonight, oops!).  I'll keep a running tab in my mind at how much longer I have until I have to feed the baby again and double check that I packed my nursing apron in the diaper bag.  

I'll cheer enthusiastically for players who are not my own kids,  I'll be able to guess what Coach tells a player he just pulled from the game, I'll bite my tongue when I hear negative comments about Coach from the fans behind me who don't know who I am, and I'll recognize the clench in Coach's jaw after a bad call and know it will be a point of discussion later tonight when we get home.  

We'll wait in the gym lobby, saying goodbye and 'good game' to all the players as they head out to their cars to go home.  We'll talk to the AD and her kids and joke with the custodial staff and security guards as Greyson and Gemma run circles and Violet starts to get a little fussy as she'll be well ready for bed.  

We will be the very last cars to leave the parking lot, driving separately home for the twenty-five minute ride hoping the kids will fall asleep before we get to the driveway.  And then we'll stay awake chatting about the amazing moments in the game, and the frustrating moments, and whether or not things could have gone differently.  I'll ask about the post-game locker room chat and we'll talk about how things will go at practice tomorrow and who we have next game.  We'll try to get to bed before midnight.

It's our Daddy that gets quoted in the newspaper, and our Daddy who gets congratulated or blamed after wins and losses.  It's our Daddy who proudly wears a blue jacket that has the word 'Coach' embroidered on the sleeve. And our Daddy who rides the bus to games, attends weekend practices on his only days off from his full-time job, and who answers calls from parents, players, and notes from teachers about his players' behaviors in class.  It's our Daddy who stays late after practice to give personal attention to players who ask for it or need it, who shows up late or leaves early from birthday parties, and who's basketball schedule determines where, when, and how we make plans for most of the winter months. 

Our Daddy is the Coach, but it is our entire family who is committed to the Blue Jays.  

And quite honestly, we wouldn't choose to have it any other way.

let's go valley!


  1. You are an amazing mama and wife. So inspiring to me. (And also, your crazy schedule makes me grateful for our everyday.the.same.monotony. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for it! It can sometimes make me crazy!)