Ditte Wood and her husband Bobby Wood, football player for HSV, had their first child in April 2019. Ditte was only 23 when she got the title “mum”. I met her in their home in Rotherbaum to talk about her life as a football wife.
How did you meet Bobby?
We met each other in 2011, when I was 15 and Bobby was 18. I was living at home with my parents in Denmark and it was the summer before I started high school and Bobby was in Munich playing football at that time.
By chance we were both on this chatsite Chatroulette. I was together with my best friend Clara and Bobby had visitors from California where he’s from. We ended up in a conversation with video and audio and I thought it was really fun to speak english, which I at that time thought I was really good at (laughing). My friend Clara hated speaking english, so I had to keep the conversation going. After a while we continued on skype instead, and since that we talked on skype pretty much every single day that summer. At least that’s how I remember it. In the beginning, when I had a skype date with him, I was nervous to do it on my own, so I persuaded my cousin, who was really good at english, to call him. So you can imagine I was spending a lot of time with my cousin that summer.
How did your parents handle that you met an 18 years old guy online?
I kept it a secret for my parents for a long time. I don’t know how I managed that actually. Sometimes I would even fall asleep with my headphones on and my laptop in bed, surprisingly my parents didn’t notice. After a few months my sister told my parents, so I lied and said we met at a party in Copenhagen, because I wasn’t sure they would approve him.
How did the first real meeting go?
Bobby took the initiative to come to Copenhagen to see me. First I said no, because I was too scared. But he came, and I sneaked out and told my parents that I would walk the dog. And then we met in Frederiksberg Have (Frederiksberg Garden), which is near where I lived. It was really special and after that we had a long distance relationship, for 3 years while I finished school and he was in Munich.
You had your first child at 23. What was it like to become a mom at that age?
For Bobby and I it felt like a natural next step. All of the things we have done, like moving in together and getting married, felt like a natural step in our relationship and in my life. The most concerning thoughts I have had, is what other people would think about it. In Denmark, and especially in Copenhagen where I am from, it is very unusual to get married when you are 22. Bobby is not concerned with what other people think, but for me it took over my mind for a while.
As a young mom I felt very isolated. It think it was a bit more difficult to connect with other moms, because I was so much younger than everyone. Throughout my pregnancy where I did yoga and mom meetups, I was always et least 10 years younger than most of them. And it always felt a bit like they thought I knew less than them. Maybe it’s only in my head. But sometimes on playgrounds people assume I’m the babysitter. They would even ask if Ella is mine – what a weird question.
What is it like to start a family, when your husband is a football player?
It can be really hard. It’s really difficult to “grow roots”, you always have to be ready to move somewhere new. I’m not even used to this life now after 5 years. But I kind of just jumped into it without knowing what I got into. Both Bobby and I are family people, so it’s hard for both of us to be away from our families. Knowing you might have to start all over again with finding friends and getting used to another city can be pretty stressful. But you have to find a way to live with it. You have to be good at being alone and enjoy your own company, which I am. I love meeting new people, but I’m also a bit introvert . I know many people who are too social to survive this lifestyle.
But it is also a good life of course. Most people only see the good aspects on social media. That we travel a lot and so on, it’s definitely a privileged life, but often no one gets to see that it’s really mentally hard too. Bobby is mentally really strong. I think 50% of a football players’ work is mental work. Especially when you think about the fact that most don’t have family around.
Text and photos by Kajsa Englesson