As I'm reading this thread, I am feeling extremely lucky. I'm 1/2 way through pre-reqs, and as this semester came to a close, I realized how smoothly everything ran--even in the midst of massive change. When I had to study, my husband just picked up the slack at home. He even rearranged his work schedule to be more available for our 2 daughters at night. (He's a flight instructor.) I never saw him roll his eyes or huff and puff...and he never complained. He was encouraging, supportive, and excited--my biggest cheerleader. Consequently, our daughters took their cue from daddy and they got on the 'school' bandwagon of support, too.
I can't imagine this journey without my husband...I told him that we got a COMBINED A+. A+ at school...and A+ on the homefront. This simply doesn't work without him. When I came home from my last final last week, there were flowers on the counter with a card addressed to "Dr-to-Be Mommy..." just saying that they were all so proud of me. I boo-hooed like a baby.
**I've thought a lot about this, and I think the biggest reason my husband is so supportive is because he did it first. 7 years ago, we put our lives on hold so that he could chase a dream. And now that he gets to get up every day and do something he loves and is passionate about? He fully recognizes what a better friend, father, and husband it makes him. So he GETS it. Last year, he looked at me and said, "It's your turn. I'm tired of seeing you go through the motions in a job you could care less about just for money. What's YOUR dream? Figure it out, and we'll find a way to get there." And back to school I went... He saw it for me, because he'd seen it for himself.
Seeing the bigger picture--realizing how it truly is better for your whole family when you get to follow your dreams? It's so important, and really goes a long way towards getting everyone on board with school. We find places to compromise, encourage, and appreciate each other every day. Yes, there have been hard times. Stress. Some tears. Nothing about this journey is easy... but when everyone is working together towards a common goal, and when the whole family feels like they're doing this together (instead of this just being something mommy does without them), I really think it helps everyone see the purpose and the bigger vision.
One thing that I have to remind myself (because I struggle with selfishness--youngest child and all ) is that my husband and his "stuff" are important too. And it's not all about me. I also had to learn to ask for help. He always says, "I'm not a mind reader, and I don't know what you need through this yet...so you have to be clear, and I'm there for you!" I would resent something that wasn't done, and then realize that I never asked him to do it. (That's not fair of me, now is it?) When I DID communicate, he was happily willing. And I had to continually remind myself how much my choice has changed the lives of each member of my family. They are making change and sacrifice for me--so I can do this. And they didn't choose it. I did. So I have to be patient with all of us (myself included) as we find a new rhythm in our home. Their support means so much to me!
I just want to recognize that I dearly love and appreciate my husband, and there's no way I could've made it through this semester without my family. We're a team--and it's the only way it would've worked. I have a full time career and went to school at night. I'm 33 years old with 2 daughters. And we did it. I have a long way to go, but we're making it work one step at a time...
Best of luck to each of you as we navigate through the chaos and transition that is this journey! Remember...if we're not having fun, something's wrong!