Hands up if you are tired of people telling you to stop living through others and live for yourself. My hand is WAY up! For those who say we do too much for others and for those who say we have no life of our own, I have one thing to say – Stop telling me how I should live and ask me if the life I am living is making me happy!
This life I have is of my choosing; it is who I am. I have NO desire to do anything else and if I do, I will.
Okay, let’s back up. I define myself as a woman, wife, and mother. What do I do for my family? I cook. I clean. I do laundry. I book travel. I order what my family needs and I help them from the background. But, I am not THAT MOM or THAT WIFE. I don’t tell my kids or their coaches how to do their sports. I don’t have a clue how they score diving and I have no idea who is trying out to be cast in what dance. And, I don’t micromanage any aspect of my husband’s life, but I am there for moral support and to make both of our lives easier.
But, I also have a life for myself. The life I went to school for. The life I studied for to be exact. For goodness sake, I have my BS and MS in Child Development and Family Studies and have held many positions over the years. But, long ago, I knew that I also wanted to be a great wife and a fabulous mom. Well, check and check. I’m doing it and I am so happy.
Recently, I flew from Omaha to Atlanta to see my son dive in his first ever college UAA championship. He is a first year student at Brandeis University and a first year diver. He was a gymnast in high school and as the path of many other gymnasts, he became a diver in college. As I was in flight, I started to cry happy tears. The caring flight attendant even asked me if everything was okay as I was tearing up so bad; nothing a little glass of bubbly didn’t fix. Once I was able to pull myself together, I wrote my husband a quick text. It started like this:
You see, before the twins were born, we knew we were a great team. David loves a challenge and loves to work. He loves numbers and building business. He thrives on working with others and making businesses ever stronger. He is, as many would say, a true businessman. Me, I am a true nurturer. I love helping others. I love kids, families, dynamics, and I love home. This is what gives me true pleasure.
Although I worked outside of the home, I never really sought out a career. As David’s work moved us around, I always seemed to be volunteering or something would fall in my lap. I wanted the challenge, but it was ALWAYS second to supporting David and the kids. That is what I love to do most. I know that their success is great because I was able to provide the physical environment, food, time, and nurturing they needed. He worked endless hours outside of the home, while I worked endless hours in the home and well, outside too, just not at his level.
Through our dedication to his work and our family, together we are able to do what we do. You see David was to go with me this week to Atlanta, but work called and he couldn’t, so I changed our plans and went solo. I get it, the kids get it, and David gets it. I mean, how fortunate are we that I can board the dogs, book a plane ticket and hotel, and be away for 5 days to support our children?
It was hard on David not being there and hard on me being there alone, but these are our roles and we accept and appreciate them. David does not get upset that I get to go and he doesn’t and I don’t get upset being left to travel alone. This is just how we built our lives.
People often tell us how “lucky” we are. But, we don’t look at it as being lucky. Rather, we made a conscious decision to build our lives this way. We chose to raise our children like this and me, well, I am living my dream. As the children continue to grow and thrive, I am able to be with them and support them. And, as David continues to grow in his career and race, I continue to support him.
So, the next time you want to look over the fence and wonder about me or my family, take a moment to appreciate how successful and happy each of the four of us are as individuals and how strong our ties are as a family unit. I am truly not being critical of how anyone else lives their life, which is my point. I am living MY dream, stinky piles of triathlon clothes and all! And, I want you to live yours…