When You're Far Away From Family
In this blog I am teaming up with a fellow coach's wife I
have met from our current school Evangel University.
Nikki DeSoto has been living the coaching life for about 10 years
and she and her husband, Jeremy, have a one-year old son.
Jeremy is the Defensive Coordinator at Evangel, and they
have been at 4 schools in their time together.
They are currently 7 hours and 455 miles from family.
The Positives of the Coaching Lifestyle
My favorite part of being a coach’s wife is the community. Although we tend to move far more often than typical families, we are able to move into an instant community of family and friends. I love having a special bond with the other coach's wives that others just don’t understand.
Even more than the community though, I think I love getting to love on and root for my “other” kids.
My love language is cooking for others and I am able to “love” on these boys very well! It’s great to be able to cook for and root on these boys when they are away from their families, as well.
During football season, my work schedule is a little crazy at first. I am a Special Education teacher which is great for timing up holiday and summer break schedules with my husband's, but back to school time and fall camp occur right at the same time, which can make it tricky when trying to arrange childcare.
Because my son goes to my school’s daycare, I do not have childcare options until school starts for the children, which ends up being about 5 and a half days where I have to improvise with childcare. As you can imagine, this is when it is more of a struggle to be a coach’s wife with no family close by.
When you are single it is a little lonely and can be boring, but once you have children the struggles shift. You now don’t have your partner in crime with you during the season to help split up the duties of a baby and housework. Additionally, as mentioned above, you have a harder time when trying to figure out child care options; especially when you do not have family close by you can just call.
Lastly, as moms know, the struggle is real when you are just craving some adult-to-adult time and conversations!
Making the Most of it
When it becomes difficult I reach out ot my friends. Whether it is for a little help with child care or just a walk to talk.
If friends aren’t available, sometimes I just need to get out into the fresh air. I will take our son to a park, play in the backyard, or go for a run once the hubby is home and the baby is asleep.
Meeting people in a new town (who you also trust to take care of your little one) can be tricky. I made my friends at work, my gym, and other coach’s wives. For the 2 years living in Springfield before having our baby, I was able to build some strong and meaningful relationships that have allowed me to have a small circle of ladies I can call when I need some help with Knox.
So much so that when I went into labor, one friend from each of those areas of life was at the hospital with my husband and I until my parents could make the 7 hour trip to Missouri! Talk about some awesome ladies!
This is some of our football family at Knox's dedication at church
When raising children away from family as a Coach’s Wife, I feel like the best advice I could give is to
lean on others. When people offer help or say “If you need anything let me know,” tell them, "Thank You, I will most likely take you up on that one day!"
It is hard to do this (believe me I know), but I don’t know that I would survive with my sanity if I did not allow others to help me! Build those relationships, help them when they need it, and invest in your people!
The coaching lifestyle comes with a lot of difficulties, but it also comes with a lot of positives!
Coach's kids get to experience things other kids don’t get to…like game day, a team of “big brothers," and behind the scenes access to the field! They also get to see their parents loving on players that may not have the best family life.
Even though it can sometimes be hard to be away from family when it comes to needing help with the kids or when you might be feeling lonely, that's when your football family comes in. Or baseball or basketball, or whatever sport consumes your life!
Your child will always have a group of people who love them and will be there to watch them grow up, even when your family isn’t there!
What is your experience like being away from family? What are some things that have helped you?
Please share in the comments below!