Big Girl Panties

Just to clarify, these panties I reference are not the actual size panty I wear, but a mindset I sometimes have. We’ve all heard the saying, “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it!” Yes? Yet, how many of us actually own a pair? Well, I do! I even remember the day I got them.

We were coaching at Michigan State, and let’s just say it was not a stellar year. A player made a poor choice and the public clamored for our head coach to step down. What most people who are not in the coaching world do not realize is that with the firing or releasing of a head coach comes the loss of job security for the entire staff. Since this “step down” occurred before season’s end, they named an interim head coach and our husbands were obligated both contractually and morally to coach the last few games. That also meant the families of those coaches had a tough decision to make. Should they attend the game or stay at home?  

As you might imagine, for most football families, not attending the game isn’t really an option. If our husbands/fathers are at that game, then so are we. We need to be in those stands supporting our team. How could we possibly miss our “football sons” last home game? Yet I worried about our own children. Sitting amongst what can sometimes be a vocal bunch of  “fans,” and I use that term loosely, is not easy to do even in a winning environment. Add to that a cocktail or two and a losing season and it can get ugly real fast. You want your heart broken, just watch a coach’s kids face when his/her Dad loses a game while people are screaming “FIRE HIM!” This all brings me back to the Big Girl Panties- how in the world will I be able to attend the game AND keep my mouth shut?   

Then it hit me, I can speak without actually speaking. A friend and fellow coach's wife and I purchased a slew of big girl panties (BGP) for the coaches wives on our staff. Each pair had that famous quote handwritten right across the backside.  A few of us wore those very panties over our jeans that cold and sad day. I remember that day well, because I was able to bravely walk into that stadium with pep in my step and confidence.

From that day on, I have kept my BGP close by. I have donned them while packing up our family’s home. I’ve worn them while driving two kids, two dogs in a Jeep full of miscellaneous items across the country alone. If you’re “lucky” you might catch me wearing them around the house when I am feeling defeated. I’ve even mailed my BGP to a dear friend when I thought she needed them more than me. I’m glad to report that my BGP are back home now and I must say I am sure glad to see them. With my youngest child graduating high school the end of this week, it looks like I will be needing them sooner than later.

So, if feeling empowered comes from a 1.19 pair of underpants from Walmart then so be it. It’s not as if I am alone. I have a team of support “behind” me- pun absolutely intended. There are times when wearing those BGP make me feel a bit like a Super Heroine actually. I face my challenges head on. I can juggle dinner, a job and kid’s homework while being sick. I can drive across country with just one pee stop. I smile when I sometimes feel like crying.

Regardless of whether you are a longtime friend or new blog reader, if you need help or support, send me a private message (astoutland@aol.com) and I will personally whip you up your very own pair of BGP and place them in the mail to you. No one should ever feel that they are alone in this world… no one!

 My very own pair of BGP!

My very own pair of BGP!

Moral: Don’t judge it until you have tried it!

your empowered friend,

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A little thing I have done: Yes, on my really bad days I have worn my BGP under my outfit out in public. So, if you see me and it looks like my pants are a bit tight… you’ll understand why!