How did we meet?
My name is Amy Jo Miller. I met my Coach as a freshman in high school from a dirt road town. By the beginning of my senior year, I knew he’d be the one I’d walk down the aisle to. Throughout our now 14 year relationship and five year marriage, I’ve cheered him on as a catcher, pitcher, outfielder, third baseman, short-stop, JV coach, assistant varsity coach, and offensive coordinator (you read that right, that’s a football term). For as long as I can remember, the diamonds talked about around our house are the kind lined with chalk and boasting fresh cut grass. Baseball has been our life – through high school, college, and life after that – but the boys of fall have recently made their debut as well.
I used to daydream as I watched him play in high school and college, of someday sitting on those same bleachers to watch him coach. It was a glamorous role in my naive little mind, Coach’s Wife. Players would know me by name. Parents would ask when they didn’t see me in the crowd. The other coaches’ wives and I would share stories over drinks at ladies night out. My babies would grow up in the dugout. Oh, it was going to be something else, and I just couldn’t wait.
Now in my third year as a coach’s wife, I’m feeling more of this camaraderie, but in the beginning it was tough, and I was still figuring out how to balance it all.
A little about our team.
Right now we bleed maroon and gold for a 4A high school baseball team in Northern Colorado. It’s been fun to be along for the ride and see these young men grow through their high school careers. We’re seeing the state tournament this week for the first time in my life as a coach’s wife, so that’s something new and exciting and scary all at the same time for us. I’m so thankful to have a career that allows me to take time off to be there for my coach…through all the rain delays and schedule changes!
What is my most memorable sports moment? Worst sporting experience?
February 2013 will forever be a turning point in my story. That month I added “Mom” and “Coach’s Wife” to my resume. Both of which I had been eagerly anticipating since the summer of 2001.
Our lives changed that February in more ways than I could have ever imagined, or, as it turned out, handle. I’m not sure I would call it my worst or best moment by any stretch of the imagination, but rather the experience that taught me the most.
To say that I floundered in my first two years as a Coach’s Wife would be an understatement. My Coach has been at it for far longer than February 2013 in various forms, at various levels, for various sports, but this was his first full-time, coach title, real responsibilities kind of position, and I wasn’t prepared to lose my husband and gain a child all in one month’s time.
My Coach was busy, so I focused all of my energy on this tiny person who was depending on me to keep him alive. I lost any other identity I may have had before “mom,” and considering “Coach’s Wife” was the newest added to the list, it was the first to go. It’s hard to fill the shoes of a coach’s wife when you sluff off the role of being a wife all together. I was a mom, and without even realizing it, that’s all I was.
Our little tornado is now just over two years old and I’ve learned to not only handle, but embrace this life, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tips for other coaching spouses?
Get involved. If you sit back on the sidelines and fail to make this a lifestyle, eventually, that nasty little resentment bug will creep in and destroy you. You’ve been handed the life of a coach’s wife, so you might as well make the most of it – learn the sport, find your place on the team, and own it.
Find something for yourself. He’s always had baseball, and I’ve always wanted something that will give him a reason to look at me the way I look at him on the field. I think I’m getting close with the blog I launched this year, Confessions of a Coach’s Wife, in that it’s something I’m passionate about and something he can relate to. Much of your life is going to feel like it’s all about him – his accomplishments, his events, his schedule – until you stake your claim.
Build your village. Surround yourself with people who get it. No, they won’t always be affiliated with sports, but they should understand your lifestyle and what that means. Find people who understand when you flake out because a game was rescheduled. Find people who get on board with your team and don’t mind hearing about your wins and losses. Find people who expect you to show up to events minus one and are pleasantly surprised when Coach evens the score. And perhaps most importantly, find people who can fill in for all the little things when you’re on your own…or it could get lonely.
How does coach motivate me?
Without even realizing it, he pushes me to want to be better. Seeing him on the field in all his glory, teaching young men about so much more than baseball makes me want to be the best version of myself for him, for my son, for my family, for my career, for my friends. It makes me want to fight for that kind of happy in all I do. It makes me want to leave a mark on this world just as he’s doing.
I have to admit, it was really awesome to hear Coach’s response to this one:
“She makes me want to be a better coach. Seeing her in the stands and knowing I’m making her proud means the world to me, and I absolutely love how she’s embraced her role as a coach’s wife. The sacrifices she makes every day for me to live out my dream make me want to work harder to make sure it’s always worth it. I feel like she lets me let go of home so I’m able to fully focus at the field. I know my son is taken care of; I have dinner waiting for me every night; she does it all so I can do what I love and for that I’ll be forever grateful.”
One word or phrase to describe our uncommon life. Explain.
Go. That’s what we do. We go.
I think it’s a combination of adding in all the extras that come with coaching and taking away all the help I’d have if he weren’t at the field. Result – I go. Daycare, laundry, dinner, groceries, errands, yardwork, housework, bath time, bedtime, games, packing for games, unpacking from games, full-time job, 40 minute commute, work out, oh, and sleep…sometimes sleep.
Things experience as a coach’s spouse has taught me.
I’ve had a chance to learn the ropes of this Coach’s Wife gig. To let reality take the place of my fantasy, and know that nine months out of the year, I own the single mom card. To understand that if it’s May and the lawn needs mowed, I better pay the kid down the street or do it myself. To get used to cooking dinner and eating once with my son when it’s hot, and again with my husband when it needs to be reheated. To get good at sending good night kisses through photos and FaceTime. To embrace game days with all the maroon and gold I own and cherish my afternoons at the field. To accept the fact that for most of the year, I will do laundry every day because “look good, feel good; feel good, play good.” And to humbly welcome it all with grace and gratitude because this is what I signed up for. This is one of the many reasons why I married the Coach I call my husband – for his passion and dedication.
And even though sometimes I don’t show it like I mean to, this is every bit the life I dreamed of.
Amy Jo Miller.
Thank you, again, to Amy Jo! She is so right when she says she can see all the happiness in her coach’s eyes when he is in his coaching state of mind. Like Amy Jo, I too, strive for the kind of happiness I see in my coach when he is doing what he loves.
Can we also take a moment to adore Amy’s CUTE little boy!!
Thank you, again, Amy Jo, for sharing your uncommon life as a baseball wife.
Please head on over to her blog, Confessions of a Coach’s Wife, to see how she enjoys her wife life.
The Uncommon Wife.