Lately I have been thinking about who I am, who I want to be and who I always thought I wanted to be. There are some days I get lost in all the swords, cartoons, runny noses, attitudes and everything else attributed to little boys. I never realized how important poop, guinea pigs, legos, and skateboards would be to me. My two boys changed my life dramatically and forced me to put part of me on the back burner and other parts of me off the stove all together.
Somewhere in the last six years I lost myself. I am not saying I have changed completely, but the dreams, thoughts and hopes of the future have adapted to what has come along in my life. I see parts of the girl from the past, the girl who had intentions of being an advocate for change, a teacher who was going to inspire and motivate. I was going to be a wife and the epitome of motherhood. I would make the perfect lunches and dinners.
I became a mother, but I was ill prepared for the sleepless nights, the chaffed nipples, gassy stomachs. I never imagined my husband would be a soldier post 9/11 and I’d rarely see him. I imagined a home where dad comes home every night and tells me what a great wife and mother I am; how I’m everything he dreamed I would be when he imagined being married. I started losing my way when I moved from the East coast to the West coast and left my entire family and all I’d ever known behind. A little more of my former self croaked after I realized my husband would be gone more than he would be home. I heard the stats that reported we’d be in the lowest percentile of Army marriages if we stayed married for more than three years, through multiple deployments and in the Special Operation community.
He worked long hours, I finished school, he deployed while I spent the entire time alone and pregnant. I realized the importance of irreplaceable friends and he had no idea who they were. As I dealt with emergencies at home, he spent his time in foreign countries doing things I’d never know about. As we grew further apart I realized my life was nothing I ever wanted. I wanted children, but I wanted a husband who was there to help. I wanted a husband who appreciated what I went through, who saw my daily life and told me how much he loved me for being a mother and his wife.
I ended up a mother of two boys, a history degree and no teaching job, a wife who was away from her husband more than with him. We dealt with so many issues I began to wonder if we would be happier apart than together. Deep down inside I began to see that my life was nothing I had dreamed of.
Then I started seeing the parts of my life that were the surprises I had never thought about. I would never have visited the many different places I saw all over the United States. My husband forced me to watch almost every movie ever made and I feel more versed in cinema because of it. I have felt proud of my husband being deployed so many times, we’ve almost lost count. I also realized my life was becoming more about who I was married to and less about who I was.
In the past few months I have started reevaluating what I want in life. I still want to teach, I still want to be a mother, I LOVE being a mother. I want to make a difference in other people’s life. I want to make a difference in my own familie’s lives. I want my husband to know that as we come on nine years of marriage I am not sorry for what we’ve been through and I don’t feel cheated. I did lose who I thought I wanted to be, but I’m learning there are better things in the future.
Those parts of me that I lost were changed when I found them. My dreams had been lost along the way through real life, but they changed and became part of who I was becoming, not part of who I wanted to be. My husband may not be around for everything, but he is my hero. My children may yell at me and call me names, but they are the most handsome, most intelligent, and funniest boys in the world. I may not be a teacher, yet, but I am still holding out hope that I will have my chance. I may not be making a difference in many lives, but I have friends who make a difference in mine.
The bottom line is being a wife and mother has always been my dream, but I never dreamed it would happen this way. I am learning to take what life throws at me and use it to the best of my ability. I want to share my life with other mothers in the hope that they realize it is not always bad to feel like life did not turn out how you wanted it. I may be lost sometimes in my life, but when I do find myself I’ll celebrate those moments. I will embrace the good, learn from the bad and relish my triumphs. One day I hope I find me and that I’ll stick around for a while.