Growing up I wanted to be a teacher. I would play for hours with my stuffed animals and remember assigning writing assignments for homework. I knew that when I went to college, I would major in teaching and I would change the world by being a teacher.
Fast forward to our first meeting with our NFP practitioner. A month before our wedding we were instructed on how to use the Creighton Model to avoid a pregnancy because we were certain we weren’t ready for children yet. We wanted them oh yes, but not until I was teaching and established in my career. I envisioned summers spent with my children and during the school year I would help my students learn to love Shakespeare, as much a I do.
Three months after our wedding the little blue lines on the pregnancy test appeared and I was floored. I just knew that my ideas of a career and being a mother weren’t going to mesh. I knew our world was now turned upside down and in a brief moment I thought my life and my marriage had imploded. Looking back on it, my life got better at that moment. At 20 I was petrified of the change but at 27 it was a blessing in disguise.
I tried teaching for a while, I loved it and I loved having the best of both worlds. I knew it was time for a change when my husband was offered a job two hours from our home and there was no way my paycheck would even cover the cost of day care for our two boys. Realistically we couldn’t afford it and I knew I had to stay home. My dream never included becoming a stay at home mom but somehow, God knew it was my vocation and because of him, I’ve become a better wife.
Staying at home was a difficult transition. It wasn’t easy to learn how to deal with the isolation of not having a coworker or friend to talk when I needed to vent. My husband works a nine hour day and we are blessed to have a 20 minute commute round trip but even on the best days, I was left alone with a four and one year old for almost 10 hours a day.
At the beginning of the move it was hard to settle in. I was bitter, tired and very lonely. I had to learn how to make myself happy and how to keep my little ones occupied. It was at this time that I filled my days with reading mommy blogs and praying. I prayed so hard for God to help me through this transition. I asked for patience and I asked him to help me forgive. I wanted to embrace my life and I wanted to be happy and content with the gift of raising my children.
During this time our marriage was at its lowest point. I began to resent my husband for moving our family two hours from our friends, from my work, and from our home. I knew God had a part in it because his timing was perfect and it was the right time for my husband to leave his private engineering firm but I couldn’t see it. In that first year, I was so bitter and angry. I felt as if I had no control in my life and I missed what I was familiar with. My husband had prayed for a better workplace with less stress and more time for family and all I wanted was to go back to work. I hated being at home and I felt as if my husband was an awful person.
I’m going to be honest and say that our marriage and my acceptance of being at home and embracing my vocation didn’t come over night. There are still days where I have my weak moments. With my husband’s help, we talk more and discuss my feelings about the move. We pray together for peace in our vocations and I try my best to be present in this moment. We’ve surrounded ourselves with a great support system in our new town and things are slowly getting better. We are still working on our marriage and learning to be content with where we are. We both pray before bed for our marriage and for God’s will. We aren’t perfect but we try and I owe our marriage and our ultimate goal of making it to Heaven together because of my vocation as a mother.
Motherhood made me a better wife because at my lowest point God used my situation as a way to become a better wife to my husband. God showed me that forgiveness in a marriage is so imporant. There are times when I forgive my children so often that I forget what their offense was. With my kids there is no gruge, there is no getting even, I forgive them and I move on. With my husband I wasn’t doing that and now that I’ve learned that I need to forgive, our marriage is stronger.
My children have taught me to embrace the moment. I was stuck with the what could have been, but with my kids there is no room for those thoughts. Things are happening now and if I blink I will miss them. With my husband it is the same way. I have to embrace this moment, this season of life because I only get to be his rock and the mother to his children right now. I can’t go back once my children are grown and wish for what I could have done. I need to do what I can now. I need to be the best wife I can be today and I can’t wonder what could have been, it isn’t going to happen and I have to be ok with it. Someday it may happen and if it does then I will savor that moment.
Everyday I learn something new from my kids and I am so grateful that I get to witness those small lessons. Even though my dream never included changing diapers all day and watching new episodes of Curious George, my dream did include these children and this marriage. My children changed my life and my marriage but never in the ways I imagined. They made things better and because of that I am so grateful that God placed them in my life when he did.