“Coach’s Widow”

I am not a fan of that term.

I’ve heard several coach’s wives use this term, including this blogger who named her blog after it.

This weekend I survived the first in-season road trip of 2015. But it’s not the road trips that lead coach’s wives to consider themselves “widows.” It’s when our husbands are home but never at home, or at the house but unavailable. It’s because of the extra household responsibilities we must pick up during the season that are shared other times of the year. And this is exponentially amplified for coaching couples with kids.

Despite those truths, the term “coach’s widow” is entirely inaccurate.

First of all, we are not actually widows. I would never wish to compare my situation to that of the actual widows I have known. There is nothing even remotely similar about it. Need I say more?

I also think of other wives whose husbands are away or working a lot. The most significant is military wives. A military wife whose husband is deployed would never dare call herself a widow because she understands the reality of what that would actually mean for her. Police wives share that mentality.

Yes, I realize the women who use this term do not use it literally. They are lighthearted about it. Perhaps I need to lighten up and learn to take a joke. But I do not think a widow or a woman whose husband risks his life daily would find it very funny, so why should I?

Mostly, though, I don’t like what the term implies. Even when it is used lightheartedly.

I am married, and marriage requires work and intentionality. Baseball season does not grant either of us a hiatus from caring for each other and our marriage commitment.

Like all other married couples, we must work at maintaining our marriage. Like all other times of year, we must work to express love, honor, and respect. We must apologize, and we must forgive.

It may be true that my husband finds it more difficult to show me I am a top priority during baseball season. It may also be true that I am more easily discouraged when I miss him more than usual, or more easily frustrated when we cannot eat dinner together or I am stuck cleaning the house alone. But it is also true that the busier our lives get, the more we learn to appreciate the time we have together, and the more grateful I am that I am not a “coach’s widow” but a coach’s wife.

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