To the girl that’s just starting out,
You’re not ready, I can promise you that. You’re not ready for what’s to come and there’s absolutely no way to prepare you for it.
There’s no way to explain how lonely you’ll be on the first road trip of the season in a new town with all your friends and family hundreds of miles away. You’ll start off strong and tell yourself, “I’ve got this.” And then on day 9 of the 12 day road trip, you’ll lay on the floor and question every decision that led you there and if it’s going to be worth it.
There’s no way to prepare you for finally meeting other girlfriends + wives and the unparalleled, lifelong friendships you’ll build with them. They’re the toughest women you’ll ever know, from all over the country and in all walks of life—the only ones who will truly understand your life.
There’s no way to prepare you...
…for how proud you’ll be after his first game.
…for the first bad game, when words fail to make things better.
…for how weird your sleep schedule is about to become.
…for the first time you see someone slam your guy in an article or on social media.
…for using only 2 pans and 1 pot all season long or sleeping on an air mattress for 6 months.
…for the baseball family you’ll form over crock-pot meals, cards, and wine.
…for the moments when life happens—you lose a loved one, a tire blows, the house floods, or you've just had a horrible day—and you need him, but he's in the middle of a game so you just have to wait or do the best you can on your own.
…for all the weddings and parties and family events you’ll attend alone or miss altogether. Oh, and all the times you’ll be asked, “Why can’t he just take time off to come to my [insert important event here]?”
…for being a married couple with roommates because you can't afford anything else (and loving those guys big time).
…for the local community that will welcome you with open arms and feed your hunger—for dinner and for connection.
…for how much better red wine tastes out of a plastic cup, sitting on the floor in an unfurnished apartment.
…for the love you’ll feel for a teammate’s kid when you can’t have one of your own.
…for how you’ll lose yourself and find yourself—a better, stronger self—at the same time.
…for the person that’s mean to you without even knowing your name.
…for how much you'll look forward to one off day a month.
…for how good you’ll get at being alone, packing up your whole life 3+ times a year, and summarizing your current situation in a way that people outside your world can understand...or at least stops all the questions that you have no answers for.
…for the panic and adrenaline rush that comes with a mid-season move.
…for host families that have no reason to take you in but do it anyway.
…the love you’ll have for the 4-legged “pet” that will become your best friend, your protector and, at times, the only reason you smile during the day.
…for the unknowns of where you’ll live in 2 days once spring training comes to an end.
…for scheduling your pregnancies and births around seasons and games...and the very real possibility that your guy still won't make it there in time.
…for being a single mother for the better part of 8 months every year.
…for 22 flights in 11 months, just you and your infant, to keep your family together while daddy’s on the road.
…for the heart wrenching sobs of “I want my daddy” when he leaves for a 10-day road trip just a few days after returning home.
…for every time you have to bite your tongue in the stands when someone bad-mouths your guy, and each time someone comments on how rich you must be, how easy your life is... or asks who you belong to.
…for the memories you’ll make with the man of your dreams, laughing on an air mattress at 2am.
…for how comfortable you’ll get with being uncomfortable and never knowing what comes next.
…for the moment you finally realize that it really is just a business and that most people will never understand the reality of the game.
…for how much you’ll long for the off-season and a normal life, and how much you’ll miss the rhythm, excitement, and friends of the season.
…for the way your heart will burst with pride the first time you see the love of your life accomplishing his biggest goal in life—stepping foot on an MLB field after years of hard work, with only pennies to his name.
…for the words “I got released”.
…for how much he'll inspire you every single time he gets right back up after he gets knocked down.
…for the adventure of a lifetime and actually living the dream.
There isn’t a way to prepare you for any of what’s to come. But when the time comes, you’ll be ready. You’ll conquer it all, you’ll get it done, and you will get through it.
You’re not prepared—but you will thrive.
The girls who’ve been exactly where you are.
**written in collaboration Brittany Ross, Chancelee Taylor, Korrin Torres, and Meghan Layne**