Blog Posts

An Invitation for You

An Invitation for You

Monthly Spotlight: Wives Who Thrive Lessons from the Sidelines

Last week on Instagram I gave a tiny window of insight into my “real job”. Which is something I realize I don’t talk very much about even though it fills the majority of my time each week. In case you missed it here’s what I posted:

Tiny peek into a “normal” part of life for this #coachswife .
Working remotely means getting to work from home wherever home is and I’m SO incredibly thankful for each and every one of my clients.
If you had told me in college that I would spend time dissecting Google Analytics and website rankings, find researching keywords fun, write blog posts in my head and send a text or email almost every week saying “don’t worry you aren’t being hacked that’s just me”, well, I wouldn’t have even understood what you were talking about ?

I recently had my annual review and set another round of quarterly goals. It’s been a running joke between my boss and me that when he talks about Google Analytics my eyes glaze over and the truth is that I’ve had to fight the instinct to run when he pulls up the stats. However, as I’ve grown in my role as a Content Strategist and my boss has helped me to understand the way behavior analytics helps our clients better tell their stories for their target audiences I’ve become a convert. I even (finally) completed my Google Analytics certification after avoiding it longer than I should have and I’m still alive!

But somehow this job where I get to cheer people on and help them to clearly tell their stories, reach their audiences, and serve their target customers with ethical practices is a natural fit.

Sharing about my day job was so fun! And it also led to a few conversations with people curious to learn more about my day to day work.

That’s Where You Come In

I’m a huge believer in two things:

1) Cheering on women who are flourishing in life

2) Encouraging women as they pursue their callings

These days there are so many women courageously pursuing their passions in unique ways that require out-of-the-box thinking. Achieving any goal takes intentional work, but when you throw in aligning that goal with all the other parts of everyday life that women can’t ignore it’s amazing when we buckle down and pursue our passions. We achieve goals because we understand that even with late hours, or lower starting salaries it’s more rewarding to live life in the sweet spot of where our calling and passions intersect rather than to settle for second best.

Month after month I’m delighted to hear wives announce they are finally taking the leap to pursue their master’s degree, start that side hustle, or turn that side hustle into their full-time job. Other times wives share that they are re-entering the workforce after years home with babies and finding themselves feeling whole again, regaining confidence they didn’t know they lost.

My favorite stories are the ones like mine, where wives step into a career that didn’t even exist when they were in college and yet now somehow it fits them perfectly.

Are You a Wife Who Thrives?

Does this post resonate with you? Do you recognize yourself in these examples? Then I want to share your story!! Fill out this Google Doc and I’ll be in touch! I’ll be featuring a monthly spotlight for as long as the posts keep coming.

And in case you’re wondering, while this blog generally focuses on articles written to coaches’ wives and about coaches’ wives these spotlight articles are for any wife! I have no doubt that sharing your story will inspire someone to pursue their passions and dreams and that’s the goal.

Let’s be a community that cheers each other on as we all thrive in our gifts and callings!

Where Everybody Understands

Where Everybody Understands

AFCWA where everybody understands

Last weekend thousands of coaches and hundreds of their wives headed to Nashville, TN to attend the annual American Football Coaches’ Association Convention and American Football Coaches’ Wives Association Convention

I have been a member of the AFCWA for 15 years. I know this because I attended my first convention when I was pregnant with Elijah. It was in Louisville and Elizabeth Smart played the harp at the luncheon. This was also the year I met Carolyn Allen and discovered she is just as kind and down to earth as her book led me to surmise.

This used to be the one weekend where I knew no explanations were needed. Every year I would look forward to conversations that didn’t start with a lengthy explanation as well as multiple questions about football. It’s almost always been my experience when interacting with coaches’ wives at the convention they ask wise questions and receive experienced answers.

The advice is thoughtful and kind and generally without an agenda or judgement attached. Seasoned wives offer advice with the understanding that younger wives are scared. Many women learn their husbands loose their jobs while they are at convention. Many learn they are moving, others receive promotions and will return home to new responsibilities.

For me, this weekend was the only place where I was able to gather varied perspectives about the coaching life, receive encouragement, and connect with coaches’ wives in person I rarely see any other time of year.

The American Football Coaches Wives Association board members work very hard all year to connect with coaches’ wives around the country. They volunteer their time and the committment is for multiple years. It requires a financial committment to be present at the convention which isn’t cheap, so there is certainly a sacrifice. The board has expanded over the years, as have the sponsors. The impact of awarding a scholarship to a coach’s wife pursuing her education is one of the first things that led me to pay attention to AFCWA and I’m thankful I did because it connected me with some amazing women. I’m also thankful it continues to be an important part of AFCWA.

Much has changed in 15 Years

Over the past 15 years I’ve learned about multiple opportunities for coaches and coaches’ wives to get away, many of them much less expensive and MUCH more restful! If your husband is attending the AFCA convention I certainly encourage you to find the time to join him if you can. However, you should know you won’t see your husband much if at all.

These conventions run parallel to each other. In fact, there are many times when I didn’t see Ordell other than to sleep the first two days. So, it’s something to consider when you are paying that much to getaway with your spouse!

If you would prefer a getaway that focuses on the coaching life where you and your husband will see each other I suggest you consider one of these events.

If you aren’t one for large crowds you may also want to consider whether this is the venue for you. The convention is a wonderful place, however coaching is a cut throat business and I will be honest it’s not pleasant to encounter the wife who you know spoke poorly about your husband to help elevate her own without your husband around. Those things happen at convention as well on occasion and it wouldn’t be fair to only present one side of the experience. 

And if you’re looking for a less expensive coaches’ wives retreat that doesn’t require you and your husband to leave the kids don’t forget there are other options for those too! There is still time to join us at the Pursue Coaches’ Wives Retreat!!

Coaches’ Wives: Your Community Needs You

Coaches’ Wives: Your Community Needs You

coaches' wives your community needs you

There is something that has weighed on me for years. Until recently I wasn’t sure what to do, but then I had the opportunity to spend a week with my friend during her husband’s deployment.

They haven’t lived in their current city very long and they aren’t near family. My friend works full time, volunteers, leads a ministry, and works hard to raise her two young daughters. Deployment adds stress to her marriage as she and her husband strive to parent their daughters, care for each other well, and focus on their daily tasks.

This makes for long, stressful weeks. A Military Times article states only 19% of military spouses report having excellent or very good support during a spouse’s deployment. In 2017 the same survey results reported 23% of spouses had the same response. While neither is great, the drop is important to note.

You may wonder why I’m sharing this here. I’ve explored the similarities between what military families and coaching families deal with for a while now and I believe there is something coaches’ wives should consider.

Did You Notice the Outcry from Bad Memories?

Recently our country faced an extremely tense and confusing political situation. For days we waited and watched Twitter to see when Iran would follow through on their threats to retaliate against our military. Would the United States enter yet another decades-long war costing thousands of lives and wounding hundreds of thousands more?

As reports of troops deployed began to appear something else started to make the rounds as well. Wives of veterans began to share posts. Articles about how hard deployment is, photos of their husbands deploying 20 years prior, stories of fear they fought as they waited for reports after bombings on military bases. Military families across the US are experiencing trauma from their past deployments. And it’s our job to listen.

And while listening is a great first step, we can’t stop there because veterans may be facing bad memories, but there are families of troops that still deploy regularly and with this month’s announcement that is going to increase rapidly.

Coaches’ Wives: There May Be a Wife Who Needs You

I’m not going to put words in the mouths of military wives (they are doing an amazing job speaking up for themselves) but I do want to try to highlight why I believe coaches’ wives are uniquely qualified to step in and encourage and support military wives.

First, those who serve in the military are sacrificing everything for our safety. Regardless of the benefits, they may receive it’s never enough. They are sacrificing their lives, their health, their time with family, and often their mental health.

Coaching families may not have the same stresses as military families dealing with deployment, but the similarities are there and we speak a very similar language.

Consider these examples:

Moving: I wrote a post The Fear that Lingers with Coaches’ Kids and talked about how even when our boys knew we were moving locally they still instinctively had a moment of fear. Several military wives and women who grew up in the military commented that most of what I wrote translates exactly for their lives as well.

Preparing: A military wife posted: Is nesting before deployment a real thing? If not I may need to get a pregnancy test! I knew exactly what she was referring to because I “nest” at the beginning of every football season. We joked a little about it, but I also made sure to let her know we’re praying for her family. Their sacrifice is different, but I understand the stress she is facing.

The unknown: As coaching families, we often hear rumors that we’ll be facing job searches soon. How much longer will we live in our home? Where will we go next? Military families deal with the same rumors.

Building community far from family: Coaching families go where the job is and military families go where the orders move them. Both require that we build support systems in our local communities that often don’t include family.

Burdening expectations: Recently a military wife shared with me that she realized she was still carrying unnecessary guilt due to the language the military uses during deployments. Wives are told that when their husbands are deployed they need to do everything they can to let them focus on their deployment. They shouldn’t fight or upset their husbands because if their husbands are distracted lives could be lost.

THINK ABOUT THAT. What kind of unrealistic expectation does that place on a marriage during deployment when a wife, carrying the burden of everything going on at home is also afraid of distracting her husband if she SAYS THE WRONG THING?

While coaches’ wives certainly don’t need to worry about a conflict leading to the type of tension seen on the battlefield we are very familiar with burdening expectations. Whether it is the parent who expects you to act as your husband’s secretary and mouthpiece or that family member who places unrealistic demands on your time during the season, the reality is that we understand what it’s like to bear the brunt of other people’s disappointments and expectations for us about our husband’s job.

Why Should I Reach Out?

The truth is that we have an opportunity to not only build a relationship with a family in our community who needs support but to build a bridge where the media has worked to create a divide.

There are some sections of the media that are strategically trying to create a division between athletics and patriotism. The rhetoric is exhausting but the only way to fight against hateful words is to prove with action that their words are lies. The best way to prove those know-it-all opinionists wrong is to actively and intentionally serve one family at a time the best way you can.

Actions speak louder than words. Coaching families value, appreciate and respect the tremendous sacrifice of military families and it’s time to show the military wives in our communities a little more activity how far that gratitude extends. We don’t need to make a public spectacle of our gratitude. That’ s not helpful. But as coaches’ wives, WE KNOW what is helpful, loving, and caring in overwhelming situations.

Still looking for a little guidance? Check out this recent article 6 Ways to Help a Military Spouse Dealing with a Surprise Deployment

Veterans who Coach

One of the main reasons the media rhetoric surrounding a division between patriotism and athletics is false is that many veterans adopt second careers as coaches. There is a significant overlap within these careers on the other side as well in that it is not uncommon for high school and college athletics to enlist once their playing careers are complete. Military and Athletic ties run deep and because of this, I believe it’s a natural fit for coaches’ wives and military wives to pitch in and support each other when they can.

The Most Important Reason to Reach Out to a Military Wife

I can list many additional reasons why I believe you should consider reaching out to a military wife in your community. Instead, I’ll say that the most important reason to reach out is that just like you, my coach’s wife friend, military wives are used to doing things without asking for help.

They are also used to not having the option to share openly about stressful situations, and they understand that there are days when cereal is a perfectly acceptable dinner. You have more in common with the military wife in your community than you realize and my guess is that you will enjoy spending time together as well as helping each other out in stressful seasons. It’s a special thing to have a friend you can count on when family is far away. It’s even more special when that friend just gets the why about your crazy life.

So, here’s my encouragement to you. Stay attentive to who the military families in your community are and reach out to them and let them know you are glad they are a part of your neighborhood. Do more to thank them for their service. If your kids are similar ages invite them over or meet up somewhere to get to know each other better. You’re resourceful, you know what to do and if nothing else, rely on the Golden Rule. Remember, your community needs your support just as you need the support of your community. Show your local military wives your home is a compassionate and safe space where they can talk freely. You know how important it is to have someone to listen when your husband isn’t around. Military wives need that too.

Editors note: This post was originally written September 2019 and was updated for accuracy January 2020

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