It’s been a loooooooonnnnnnnggggg couple of weeks in our house.
Life hasn’t been easy, and we’ve been faced with some huge decisions that will ultimately effect the way our family currently operates. I wrote in a previous post that I was excited to start a new chapter.
Did I write that? On the internet? For everyone to see? Um, rewind please.
What I meant to write was this: “I’m so excited to start a new chapter, and I want the new chapter to be easier and better than the previous one, okay?”
Of course, I know and understand that life doesn’t work that way. Ever. You plan and plan and plan and plan and plan and then it rains on your wedding day, or you have 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife, and it all becomes a bit too ironic. (Did ANYONE break into Alanis Morrisette there? Please tell me I’m not the only one)!
One of those big decisions being thought out is my current work situation. I work full time. To be honest, on most days, I dislike it. Immensely. This is not how I imagined my life at age 34. If I reach deeply into the recesses of my tired Mommy brain, remembering at the tender age of 16, what I thought my life would look like at the very old age of 34 (and, in bullet points, no less), it would have read something like this:
- Happily married, to a successful handsome husband
- 3 kids running around (and I had them all before I turned 30, maintaining every chance of keeping a toned body)
- House. Check. Decorated. Check. 2 car garage. Check. Vacations. Check.
- Fabulous stay at home Mom, making other PTA moms jealous with my amazing baking skillz
My current life looks nothing like the above (with the exception of the happily married, to a successful handsome husband part). Most of my expectations have been shattered, on more than one occasion, and for most of the time, after the fact, I am glad they were.
But (you knew there would be a but!)….there is one expectation that I can’t let go of, that constantly nags at me: I am not my son’s primary care giver. Which is fancy speak for ‘I wish I were a stay-at-home Mom.’
I am not bitter. I am not angry. I am not resentful. Although, I will admit that in the past, I have let those emotions take my heart hostage, and I’ve said some very mean and hateful things to the man who brought me on this journey. I knew this graduate wife journey would be difficult, but I never imagined the level of sacrifice it would take from me for my husband to pursue his dreams. Our lives seem to have a big ‘pause’ button written across most areas. I know it’s hard for me, but I know it’s equally as hard for my husband, as he watches me go off to work in service and support to our family, fully knowing that I’d rather be home taking care of our son.
On the positive side, in the last 7 years, I’ve been able to work for some amazing companies, connecting with some of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever met. I’ve grown in ways that I wouldn’t have had it not been for those experiences, and for that, I’m thankful. I know that even though this isn’t my first choice for my life, it’s absolutely what I’m supposed to be doing right now.
This morning, as I was trying to move myself and a very excitable toddler out the door to start our day, my husband stopped me and said, “Thank you for all you do to support our family, and for sacrificing your dreams to make it all happen. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and how much I love you for it.”
I still have so much to learn about sacrificial love.
What has been the biggest sacrifice you’ve had to make in your graduate wife journey?
6 thoughts on “Great Expectations”
Very sweet post, Mandy! We all can relate on some level.
TEARS! Thanks for that Mandy. I love you and am so proud of you. I connect with this in so many ways. Caleb continues to pray for his friends in Oxford, Jack by name. I miss you.
Beautiful post, Amanda. I admire so much your perseverance and your desire to live in the present moment.
I really appreciate your honesty and transparency, Mandy.
Just so you know my friend…I am quite jealous of your mad baking skillz :)