I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had it insinuated to me how lucky I am to be able to be stay at home mom. And it’s true, I feel like I hit the jackpot when it comes to that.
But really, the reason I am a stay at home mom is more out of necessity than anything. We can’t afford for me not to be. This sense of stability is necessary for us during this chapter of our lives.
People will say “You knew what you were signing up for when you chose a man in the military.” To be fair, we chose each other and that happened way before any visit to the recruiters office “for shits and giggles” with his friends happened.
I didn’t stop him though. Who am I to tell someone not to follow their heart? Who am I to not follow my own heart when he asked me to marry him at the ripe old age of twenty one?
If we’re talking truths I guess it’s also true that we could have waited. I think I remember some whispers from the older people in our lives saying “what’s the rush?”
Young love, you know?
Before I knew it there was a baby on my hip and one in my belly as I walked across the stage to accept my degree. And to be honest, after busting my ass to get there, I didn’t care that it wasn’t the way I pictured it would be.
Still, I had it all mapped out, how I would work and pursue my masters. How I would become a therapist with a home office. How I might go on to do some really deep and meaningful research – even though I really hated every Research and Development class I was forced to take.
The plans were there, in my minds eye. But then we moved. And he deployed. And we moved. And moved again. And it never felt right.
I’m almost there now. That place where I let myself dream about having a career. It almost does feel right. Almost, but not quite.
And I think that’s gotta be okay, because I chose this life. I didn’t know what came with it when I chose it. I didn’t know I would miss every time my younger brother comes home from being overseas.
I would miss the birth of my sisters first baby.
I would miss the opportunity to help plan one of my friends weddings, and miss the opportunity to see another one get married altogether.
I would miss the opportunity to be there for one of my other friends as she came face to face with her worst nightmare.
I would miss being home to spend time with my parents, and that would mean the same for my children.
No play time with cousins, or friends who might as well be cousins.
No Sunday dinners at their grandparents house.
No career as a marriage and family therapist.
I don’t get to know what’s coming or when.
I don’t get to have the late nights with a close friend speaking and spilling the secrets and desires of our hearts.
When it comes down to it, I hate that we have to miss out, I hate that we have to miss people and that we forfeit bonds we dreamed of cultivating for our children.
But I also am so deeply thankful for this life I chose.
It’s tough, and sometimes comes with the type of anxiety that you just can’t prepare for. It comes with worries, distance, and sadness. Not everyone makes it out with their relationship in tact.
This life truly isn’t for everyone, I get that now. But I feel a certain sense of pride for thriving in it.
I don’t talk to my favorite people every day, but I am blessed to have favorite people.
I don’t get to buy a forever home, but I get to make new memories in a new town every few years.
I don’t get to make plans, but I get to dream of a million possibilities. That’s got to be worth something.
In fact, I think it’s turning out to be worth everything.