Getting Real with Kira Hazledine

It’s not my time yet for soccer mom life. Hallie isn’t old enough to participate in activities more complicated than nap time. Recreational and competitive sports don’t typically start until age four or five. So, no, Hallie is not enrolled in any soccer team despite her love for what she so British-ly calls football. But she might as well be a team mascot.

My husband has been coaching a local recreational soccer league. Coaching and soccer have always been his passion. I figured I would join him for some home games but that this would be his thing to pursue. Ideally, he would love to be paid for coaching someday, so these are all steps in the right direction. The thing is, I’m not just at some home games. I’m at every game, unless Hallie or myself is sick.

This, my friends, is dedication. Some of these games are two hours away. And when my husband first started coaching two and three nights a week, he didn’t have a driver’s license yet. Guess who hauled him to practice every night after finishing a day of work? That would be me. And I don’t hold a grudge, but even I ask myself why I follow a team so religiously when my child doesn’t play.

It’s because I’m the coach’s only real fan. Sure, parents appreciate a good coach. You want your child to succeed and a coach is a huge part of that. However, parents are quick to turn on the coach. Any loss or hurt feelings are immediately the coaches fault, regardless of previous success. Coaches are appreciated, but parents are on their child’s team every time. My husband is so excited about every single player on his team and truly cares about advancing the skills and success of each child. So even he isn’t even on his own team, because the needs of his players come first.

So I’m on the coach’s team, because win or lose, Hallie and I are his biggest fans. My husband enjoys traveling with us, especially since he would miss a lot of family time otherwise. I never imagined my weekends to involve two to three different soccer games, or spending eight consecutive hours on a field, but we do it. Because my husband needs me there to support him and wants me there to be a part of his success. It may not seem like a huge gesture, but for our relationship, it means a lot.

Sometimes supporting your spouse isn’t just about good communication or hearing their frustrations about work. Sometimes it’s about packing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and spending your own birthday or Mother’s Day at a soccer game your child isn’t playing in. Sometimes it’s about adopting a passion that isn’t quite your own and knowing that the scales aren’t always balanced. It’s about understanding that support isn’t about equality or fairness, but about being in someone’s corner when they need you.

I’m a soccer wife, and it’s definitely not what I expected to be, but I love every second. On the sidelines is where my husband needs me, and that’s exactly where I will be. And I’ll admit it, I’ve got a soft spot for his team now too, and Hallie has the best time participating as much as she can. It must be contagious, because we are all invested now.