a far-fetched dream...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Since Joe has posted about his life changes on his blog, I feel like I can bring it up over here. Joe is really thinking about NOT being a nurse, since failing this past semester. He's begun to think about teaching French, possibly, and so he is starting to explore his options.

I love my husband, but I have to be honest: I'm scared.

I know I tend to be really upbeat here on my blog. I guess life just never seems rough enough to have to dump it all here. But frankly, sometimes life isn't rosy, and sometimes I'm NOT happy/comfortable/on top of my own life. And this issue is one of the doozies.

Since being married, I've been able to plot my next few years pretty comfortably, give or take a few details and time shifts. Joe was going to finish nursing school while I taught high school English. He'd finish school right when we started a family, and I'd become a stay-at-home mom. We'd live in the Mason Lodge until he had a year of real nursing under his belt, then we'd go do "agency nursing" somewhere for a year to accrue some money for a house. We'd end up back here in Misouri, buy a modest 2 or 3-bedroom home, and begin our long-term life. Joe: a nurse. Me: SAHM to 3, 4 or 5 kids. Maybe I'd teach again when the kids were older. Maybe Joe would go on to get a Masters in nursing and we'd move on and up to a bigger house.
Eventually, I'd be nestled in my farmhouse on some acres of land (not so ritzy and expensive as it sounds. In Missouri, this can be done for under $200,000.) Joe would wear his sexy scrubs, head off to work with a pager on his belt, happy and fulfilled. I'd be home, teaching my kids to explore, imagine, absorb knowledge, and love life. We'd be in the world but not OF the world. Of course, we'd be comfortable, financially, but not rich.

It was pretty much a 10-year plan, not instant perfection, but attainable over time.

Now I look ahead, and ten years from now, I can't see much. It's all blurry. But I don't think it includes that farmhouse. And that breaks my heart. And then I feel terrible for being so... oh... I don't know. Greedy? Inflexible? Hopeless? Plan-happy?

So I'm scared. In less than seven months, my salary will end, and we will be living on Joe's $10 an hour. We have our rent-free situation for now, but we were only going to continue that for one more year. Then what?

I still believe in being a stay-at-home mom. That hasn't and won't change. It's just that now, I face a reality that is much closer to my own childhood where scraping by and extreme thrift were the norm. I didn't think that would be us. My bad. Counting chickens and all that.

So. There's some of my reality. Not fun. But also probably not going to be as rough and terrible as it feels like it's going to be... It's just still something I'm getting used to. I'm trying to be supportive of Joe's choices. After all, a career is a LOOOONNG road, and he should have some chance of happiness at it if he can.

I just wish it was still the way I was planning for it to be. I wish things hadn't changed so suddenly. I wish I didn't feel so uncomfortable.

(and now that I've opened THAT can of worms, y'all wanna hear about the times I feel a bit of the baby blues? 'Cause THAT takes away from the cheerful baby posts I usually put on here. No one wants to hear about moms feeling incompetent or selfish or...)



  1. jodie6:31 PM

    1. we mom's do want to hear about the not-so-rosy mommy moments b/c it helps us know that it's not just us that feels that way! i think being real is the best and my blog really helped me through the not-so-easy days.

    2. we've been there and are only now on the road heading up financially. when we moved back home from spokane last fall we had no job, no place to live, nothing. but i was pregnant with #2 and I knew we couldn't do it 1800 miles away from family. eventually it worked out and although we're years away from owning our own home or being able to feel "comfortable", we're surviving. if you need to talk, i can feel your pain of the unknown.

    3. start charging people for photography! i started my "business" in aug and by sept i was making almost as much as chris was as a hs teacher. this winter is slow, but i'm hoping it will pick up again in the spring. you are an awesome photographer, you can go on shoots when joe is home and edit photos while noah sleeps. i manage it with 2 and another on the way... a great and fun way to earn extra income!

    4. i feel a coffee in our future! :)

  2. i WANT to hear bout the not so good times. honestly, it helps us to feel more normal when we know others are going through it. changing professions is stinkin scarey. every time matt would change his job, i would panic. it is terrifying!!!!! i understand. and all the while, he was just trying to support our family better than can still be can still be good.
    i agree with jodie. start charging for taking their pictures!!! i think you're good enough that you could do this and be a stay at home mom. i think you would do great at it. start making a portfolio. i would hire you!!! be scared, its ok. and then when you have adjusted your 10year plan, come back and tell us how much better you feel. and i actually went to a doctor after i had lucy because i thought i was losing my mind. do it if you need to. we've all been there.

  3. how boring would the good stuff be without the bad? trust me- i'm kind of at a similar stage: we're doing okay right now, but I can't keep working for 9 bucks an hour (actually a little elss than that) at a dead-end station and keep picking up serving shifts at the Rube. we're kind of trying to formulate our long short-term plan, but it's scary.
    you have a great husband- i love him to death- but if you ever want a sister-to-brother chat, just give me a ring. you know i'm up at night, so if you're feeding noah and want to vent or someting, shoot me a call.
    love you, sis- hang in there!

  4. Holy Hell... what a bummer. There's no way to not let news like that get you down, at least a bit.
    I sure hope you realize it's not a far fetched dream.. just a farther off dream.. You guys are both so brilliant and capable, you'll pull it off even with setbacks.
    We believe in you. I'm so sorry though for the setback...
    I need to call you.. Love you..

  5. Even before your 'baby blues' comment at the end, I was thinking this whole situation is probably even more poignant with the little one in tow now. I think we all are entitled to worried, inflexible, 'plan-happy' times when the babies come. Don't feel bad. We all have the crap, just most of us aren't willing or courageous enough to put it out there. So good for you. Not that that makes it any easier, but I'm thinking about ya.

  6. As has been said - people do want to hear the not so rosy stuff because it helps us feel normal and we can all relate. It is really hard to adjust to changes in life's plans so don't feel guilty for feeling that way. And this change won't be the last and it may open the door to have great things that you can't imagine right now. You have so many talents that you can do while being a stay at home mom and maybe this will motivate you to do them!

  7. Emily,
    I can so understand what you're going through right now and how you must be feeling. It's hard to have a plan and see that it could all change in a something that seems so unsure. I'm sure Joe is feeling equally confused and just wants to do what is best for his family (and his career). I think it's only natural to question everything when things don't go as you planned. I'm speaking about you and isn't going as he planned, so now he's questioning it all. I think many of us have been where you are. It seems like life is full of constant adjustments to long-tern plans. Sometimes they're not so great, other times they end up being the best thing that could have ever happened. I'm thinking about you. I wish you the best with the decisions you will make as a family. Prayer really helps.
    Love you,

  8. jodie8:50 PM

    emily, i have never even met you but feel like i know you at least a little bit and that last comment infuriated me! of course you talked to joe first! and if you want to share you views, your happiness, your frustrations and your sorrows with us, more power to you. I think it takes bravery to open yourself up to the world and USUALLY it will bring you support from all of us that have been there and understand. I am just shocked by that comment! please ignore it!

  9. jodie--

    thanks... I'm actually going to delete it b/c I have really been lifted by everyone's positive support and don't need any negativity to crash that feeling. So I figure if I delete it, I don't have to even remember it was there. Also, I'm going to shoot you an email. I think. Do I know your address? Well, I;m gonna try.

    Thank you again... you're a sweetheart.

  10. ... and now that it has been deleted, please guys-- don't think Jodie was referring to Lauren!! The comment we were referring to is gone now.
    Lauren is awesome.

    Well, so are ALL of you. Truly. I really questioned posting this whole thing, but I needed to explore my own feelings and ultimately my blog is for me, with a few really cool "voyeur" readers that I love and whose opinions I respect.
    So thank you all for coming here with such loving support. It helps me more than you can know.

  11. Sometimes it's easy to forget the people we lean on are human too. But thats what we are. Human. It's ok to be scared and confused, and even disappointed. But I know you, and I know how much faith you have. Plus, I'm a self proclaimed cynic when it comes to this stuff, but you and joe have what I believe marriage was meant to be. And a baby you wanted nothing more then to have, and he's healthy and beautiful. So your words of wisdom from this teenager are to feel through it all, breath, freak out a little, its alright and I think you'll realize you have everything you had wished for, and what isn't necessarily there in money right now, will be made up for in the love and faith your little family is just bursting with. It might be rougher then planned, but you wouldn't give up the thriftiness you grew up with if it meant the love of life had to go too. And it will all work itself out in time, but until then Noah won't notice what brand of diaper he is wearing, or if it's two years at the lodge instead of one. You can still teach him all you had planned on teaching him, and when you do, his life will be rich. Plus, it feels good, but life doesn't let you plan it, you can try and try, it just wont work. lol But life is spontaneous and abstract and thats what makes it beautiful. Well, I hope my dime store advice helps you breath at least a little easier, & if not, just know I'm thinkin of you!

  12. At Enrichment on Tuesday, we talked (a lot, actually-I don't think that's really where the teacher was planning for it to go, but that's where it went)about supporting one another and actually admitting that we need help/support/to vent. And one of the things said was that when we share each other's burdens, the Spirit is there and it becomes more of a blessing than we expected.

    So bless you for reminding the rest of us of the value of sisterhood, in good times AND BAD :-)

    I'm so blessed to be your "real" sister, but you are even more blessed by all the other sisters you have out there.

    Love you

  13. I am going to e-mail you about this EXACT same topic!! It's crazy how similar our lives are right now ... :o) Love you!

  14. First of all, in case you're wondering who the random comment-leaver is, I also have a November 2007 baby. So that's where you know me from. :) I enjoy keeping up with your blog, even though you're pretty much a total stranger to me. Um, yes, I realize that I might be starting to sound creepy here. Anyway.

    Let me share my similar experience with the hubby making a major career change at a very inconvenient time:

    I returned to work shortly after my first kiddo was born, but after two months, my husband and I agreed that it would be best for me to quit my full-time job and stay at home. So I quit. My husband was a grad student at the time, but with his income and my income from a part-time job, staying at home was feasible. Tight, but feasible. Then there was a conversation something like this:

    DH: I'm not going back to school next semester.
    Me: [look of shock] Seriously? Why? You're so close to finishing your degree.
    DH: I'm not interested in engineering anymore. I want to start my own business.
    Me: Um, you know I just quit my full-time job, right? My current paychecks are maybe $400 a month. And we have a baby.
    DH: Yeah. You should just trust me. I have a plan.
    Me: [silently freaking out]

    Long story short, my husband did quit school, cashed out an inheritance and started his own business. It was terrifying for me (I'm a major planner when it comes to things like this), but so far we're hanging in there. We lived on our savings for about 6 months until he was able to start paying himself a (pathetic) salary.

    It's been over two years since he dropped the bomb that he was going to make a major career change. There is something to be said for having your significant other be happy with their career. Mine loves what he does (most of the time). Likewise, being home with my kids is important to me and I can't imagine being happier doing something else. Well, except maybe when my 2-year-old is dumping the silverware tray upside down on the kitchen floor...

    Not sure if that makes you feel any better, but just thought I'd share my experience now that we're on the other side of my husband's mid-career crisis. Hang in there. Things always have a way of working out, even if it is totally stressful waiting for that to happen.

  15. Sandi4:47 PM

    I think we all have moments in our relationships where we can relate to the struggles you write of. Don't worry, things will get better and this blog will give you an emotional place to escape. That can be the best "free" therapy there is.


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