Juggling Babies & Football Season

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ellie lizzie collage

When you’re a coach’s wife, there is nothing you can do to prevent the game of football from interfering with your family life.  The long hours & the feeling like you’re raising your children all by yourself — well, that’s just part of the lifestyle.  

Recently, in The Sideline Club, we’ve been chatting about our babies.  Some football wives are finding themselves with near empty nests while others have recently added a new baby into their family.  What’s it like with little ones during football season?  I won’t lie:  it’s HARD.  

Our daughter Ellie was born in the middle of our 2008 football season.  She was due on our bye weekend, but didn’t cooperate {duh!} and was born two days after homecoming and four days before her Daddy hopped on a bus to play Morehead State in Kentucky.  Coach worked long hours & without family nearby, life got pretty lonely.  BUT, I happily rested on the couch, nursing Ellie, reading books, & watching movies.  

With our second baby, we thought we planned her arrival better… ya know, until Coach got fired.  Instead of decorating her nursery, we were dipping into savings to pay for COBRA, saying goodbye to our friends, preparing to lose our house, & praying to find a job.  At 38 weeks pregnant, we moved into a new place, Coach started his new job, the Ravens beat the 49ers, & then we welcomed Elizabeth Clare on a Friday.  

Elizabeth Clare

When you have two kids, reading & resting are things of the past.  If you have more children, I’d love to know how you juggle all the demands of motherhood.  I routinely find myself doing two things at once, like nursing the baby while making grilled cheese.  I have perfected the one handed flip.  

On our new logo, I added a halo because I truly believe that coaches’ wives are saints.  It was something that I didn’t understand until this year.  I had a really comfortable life in Davidson for eight years.  It reminds me of something an elderly coach’s wife said to me when I was first married: “First school together, right?  Good luck, honey.  I moved 7 times.”  

If you’re a coach’s wife, how does football impact your family life?

Do you have family nearby to help?

 

Leave a comment below & get the conversation started.  

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18 Comments

  1. I had mine turn 6 months at the start of the season. my mom made me one of those peanut shell slings and I brought it with me. We started the game watching and at halftime I fed him with a pumped bottle and snuggled him into the shell… he snoozed through the second half! The next year at 1 1/2 he was NOT sleeping anytime! Thankfully we had a mom of 3 as the head coaches wife and she had many responsibilities to meet and greet and make the rounds that she hired babysitters and allowed us to use them too in an area where they could all hang out.
    I often feel like a bad mom because I’m on my own a lot I do a lot of tv/movies for him. I try to pick something more educational but often the disney toons win out just so I can do laundry, vacuuming, dishes etc…
    I also make sure to have a good balance of in and out friends. By in and out I mean, in the football circle and out Those that understand the loneliness and those that make you feel normal
    last tip always have a friend/coaches wife at another school that you can vent to. about anything!! It won’t put pressure on her if you whine about money, long hours, disrespectful head coaches, etc but it will if you whine to the hubs… so she can also tell you when you are being a whiny baby instead of venting about a legitimate issue!
    Having a circle of friends and a reliable babysitter will help you get away from baby/kidville for a bit and feel like a person!! (ps I say babysitter because if you wait for your hubby to be around to watch the kiddo in order to go to girls night, he will be late, won’t show, or won’t be in town, make things happen for you! he can catch up!)
    Amanda recently posted..How To Achieve JoyMy Profile

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    • We use a sling quite a lot — they’re definitely very helpful for keeping strangers a healthy distance from your baby, too!

      I agree, it’s always good to have friends that are coaches’ wives at different schools. I have a very good friend that I can tell anything to her and she totally gets it.

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      • YES! Exactly! you just need that one person that ‘gets it’ you are right… it’s so HARD but I feel like a stronger, more independent woman because I do things the way I have to do them you know?
        Amanda recently posted..How To Achieve JoyMy Profile

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  2. I wish I had all the great advice in the world. With a 9 week old and a 2 year old, my household is total pandemonium. No hubby and no family to help make it really hard. I have literally been shirtless nursing the baby while walking my 2 year old up the stairs and tucking her into bed. How we learn to do these things with only two hands is pretty amazing!

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  3. Oh My Sara! Your story sounds a lot like mine. I almost cried reading it, as I relived paying for Cobra and moving during pregnancy. Not to mention changing doctors mid-pregnancy!

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  4. My Coach and I were dating in college when he had gotten his first coaching job at a high school, so he and I have experienced his whole coaching career together. He has just moved us to our third school (post our college years) and we are the closest we have been to family. We have been in SC and in TN but are finally back home in OH. We have 2 children, which is the main reason we wanted back in OH. While we are still 2 and 4 hours from our families, we are at least closer! I still find myself doing all the daily tasks alone, but I know I will have help with my 2 year old and 5 month old during the actual games this year. My kids go to everything football related and while this football season will be nice to have the help, I would have found a way to manage a 2 year old and a baby at daddy’s games! That is what us wives do, we juggle our family and football the best way we know how.

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  5. I just now am starting this journey…. We moved when I was 36 weeks pregnant…. Have spent any money we had on Cobra…. Had our baby during camp…. Didn’t know a soul in our new place. I will say though this football family has welcomed us with open arms and brought us meals and gifts… Our neighbors have reached out and helped us take care of our dogs and house… I’ve been overwhelmed by the care we have received from strangers. This has been such an encouragement to me because I don’t feel alone (even though I am alone most of the time). I share this as a reminder to myself and encouragement to others to reach out to your own neighbors and new coaches families! They would love your support. I just feel so thankful! My question is- the doctor says to hold off until first vaccinations to take the baby to a football game! That’s almost halfway into the season. How soon did you all take your babies to a game?

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    • We too moved to an area where we knew no one, but have been welcomed with open arms. Our last school was nice but did not have near the community our new school has. As for taking your baby to the football games, I would do it. Waiting half way through the season is too long! Taking your baby to a football game would be no different than taking them to the grocery story, as far as people, now outdoor weather may be cause to stay home, but that is up to you. Both of my children were born in March, so they were/are about 6 months at the start of the season. I have layered my 2 1/2 year old up in tons of clothes and took him to all the games and plan to do the same with my daughter who is getting to experience her first season this year. Good Luck this season! The season with kids is much different than without kids, but you learn to adjust!

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    • We are allowed to sit inside in our husbands offices during our games, so for me its different. I have a 6 week old, who will be 8 weeks at the start of season…. With my 5 year old daughter, I took her into public at 2 weeks. I think everyone is different and some people are overly cautious. I wear my babies in a sling, bjorn, or ergo, and I simply don’t let people (strangers) touch them. Most people understand. If I know the person that wants to hold the baby, as long as they wash their hands and aren’t obviously sick, I let them hold the baby. I also breastfeed and feel that breast milk is very good for helping babies stay healthy, and I do think some germs are ok- it helps to build their immune system. Everyone’s different- do what is right for you.

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    • You should heed your doctors advice but vaccines start at 1 month and you get a full set by 2. Maybe Explain to the doc that you’d really like to go, maybe they could provide another solution. If you do go just keep the baby separate from people that may want to handle or help you or grab a sling that keeps them close. Honestly some babies won’t sit and rest in that noise and with all the junk you tend to have to drag with an infant I was so thankful for away weekends because I could have a break!
      My friend has a moby wrap and the baby is so snug and close to her chest most people shy away from touching! at that age if they can stand the noise they should sleep through it!
      Good luck with your season and, I’m assuming your new baby! :)

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  6. We had our first child, Claire Elizabeth, 2 weeks into the season last year. Talk about an emotional roller coaster! Claire was born at 1:25pm and Coach left at 3:00 for practice. I’m so thakful for a supportive family!

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  7. We have three girls (5, 2, 6 weeks) It’s hard juggling, but you just learn to do it. I think it takes a special kind of lady to handle our husbands gone so often, and raising kids “alone”. You also learn to rely on help from the other wives, you become a family……. we’ve been at three schools in 7 1/2 years of marriage. We are finally only 4 hours away from my family, and it’s a blessing. I’m so thankful to be close to home again!……. I’d love for you to check out my blog too! http://www.honeypieaccessories.blogspot.com, and if you need team hair bows, shirts, or tutu’s for your little girls, let me know!

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  8. Question for all you football wives. Is it worth all the moving around with kids if I already have a WONDERFUL support system that includes a fabulous childcare provider for my 4 year old and 9 month old, grandparents/aunts/uncles/cousins/in-laws, friends who I have play dates with, a great job with an incredibly understanding boss and would not really see my husband anyways? This is my first true season as a coach’s wife. He is coaching at Simon Fraser in Canada. I stayed in KC, MO with my girls. I am not thinking it is worth moving all over the place so would love your feedback! It is nice having you all to chat with, as some of my friends think I am crazy.

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    • The only thing I would say is it really is nice to have a support system but it’s also nice for that system to include your husband. Having a dad in the picture even a few hours a week (at the worst)is really important for any kid. Just speaking from experience my husband wants to be involved and be part of our lives and loves family. Some men aren’t like that. If your hubby wants to be with y’all and you are a coaches wife sometimes that means having to move. But believe me, if you are choosing to move because you have to or because you need a change in quality of life you will find friends. It takes effort but it’s worth it! But Canada… hmmmm that’s a different world than moving from Georgia to Texas or something like that. I’d encourage him to start looking in the states and in the section of the country that is close to your supporters! We have lived at least 6 or more hours from family my whole marriage which is so hard! But, it brought us closer together because we needed each other and only had each other to begin with to do things with! There are always negatives, you just have to decide what works for you and your family… even if coach is away most of the time, make sure he’s part of the choice/decision and that will keep the harmony in the fam!

      Reply
  9. Our daughter was born on a Monday during football season in 2010, so my husband was literally at practice that afternoon. It was convenient that the hospital was right across the street from the stadium, so it made his trips back and forth much more tolerable. We also had a lot of people always offering to run errands for us or bring us food when we needed it. It was definitely tough the first season with a child and being a “single parent”, but my daughter and I survived it and I laugh at all the crazy things that happened during that season (like locking her and I out of the house with no cell phone and no keys to the car on multiple occasions).

    We have been spoiled though by the fact that we have been at the same school for almost 5 seasons. We are within an hour of both our parents and a lot of friends and my husband also coaches alongside his brother, so my SIL is a 5 minute drive away. The staff has also become very close over the years and all of us would do anything to help the other out if we needed it.

    Now that we are pregnant with our second I do worry about the possibility of having to move away from our amazing support system, or how the heck I will handle next football season with a 4 year old and 6 month old and working full time. I know it will work itself out though and I love my crazy life and wouldn’t change it for anything.

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  10. Our twin boys were born last August, two days before the first game of the season! It. Was. Crazy. The boys were in the NICU, so I was able to hang out with the boys when daddy coached.

    This year, they celebrate their FIRST birthday on Friday, which is also the first game of the season. Bringing two 12 month old boys to daddy’s football game = crazy. Seeing coach’s face light up when he catches a glimpse of his boys from the sideline? Priceless.

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  11. My sweet little one will be attending his first game tonight! I made him a onesie that says “I poo maroon and gold” hahaha, maybe distasteful, but I think it’s funny! He’s almost five months old, both my mom and mom-in-law will be there, so I’m really looking forward to it!

    We live really close to coach’s school, so far, he’s getting to spend a pretty good amount of time with the little one…well, about the same as me. I’m commuting 90 miles to work each way, so we both get about two hours (me in the evening, him one in morning and one in evening…) fortunately, little one is a great sleeper. Whew, I’m still up in the MOTN to pump, tired right now, I think I’m rambling…

    anyways, it’s about to get hectic with the season really getting into full swing and them team having good chances at state, but I wouldn’t change it for anything!

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  12. I am not a football wife, but I am a wrestling wife!
    I feel the same struggles you do during our season!
    We have five children and I try to juggle it all. I find that routine and meal planning works best for us. It’s especially hard when Coach has to leave for days at a time….especially near the end of the season!
    I am very blessed to have a great family support system close by.

    Reply

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