About thirteen foolish years ago, I did a very unwise thing. No...it wasn't marrying my husband; that was a great thing. But it did involve him.
I was pregnant with our first son and along with expecting him, we were also expecting a PCS. Talk drifted between what kind of awesome parents we were to be to just what the heck we were going to do about me and the six years of school (and umpteen dollars) I had spent on my then profession. My husband was/is not as foolish as I, and wisely said, "I will support whatever you decided you want to do. If you work, great. If you choose to stay at home, great." So I decided to wait it out until after the move and see what I felt like doing then.
No, that wasn't the unwise thing, either. Ready for it? Here it is....
About a year later and pregnant with our second son, I said these words:
How about this...I stay at home with the boys now, and you stay in for 20. By retirement time, I will be back at work and then it will be my time to be the bread-winner. I'll be your sugar mama! Cause I love you and am awesome like that.
Truthfully, I could completely blame the pregnancy for my statement. Hormones are nasty vicious critters. But I won't, because I honestly thought I had all the time in the world and enough gumption to make it happen. Foolish foolish Heidi. Look at her trying to be all modern-day and promising to take care of her man. Wasn't she cute?
He is just four years shy of that golden day and I am still trying to figure out how to make good on that deal. Going back to my past profession will merit me next to nothing; I will earn waaaaay less than his retirement pay which is a far cry for that sugar mama promise. I come up with million dollar ideas just to have a friend tell me it is already in Sky Mall. I substitute teach, but when you consider what full-time teachers are paid, buying him that fishing boat he has always dreamed about is out of the question. And with our luck, I'd buy him that boat only to move to a landlocked state.
Oh he is kind, in his smartypants ways, and jokingly reminds me of my promise. He can't remember to throw away the milk carton or the details to that important life changing argument we had ten years ago, but he remembers that one statement.
He will ask: Sooooo.....how's that sugar mama thing going anyway?
Me: Ummmm, just trying to come up with that million dollar idea. It is taking a bit longer than expected. Ya know, you can't rush genius.
Him: Apparently. And for the record, I'd be happy with the next thousand dollar idea.
There was once a blissful time in my life where I was gung-ho about having it all. Then I had a baby and then another baby and then became CEO of our lives. I make this family run like the
rusty well-oiled machine it is. I never thought I would say these words, or even admit to saying these words, but I am a stay-at-home woman and I like it. Don't confuse me for the Real Housewives of Anywhere...I do not spend my days with a personal trainer, getting my hair blown out, and bossing around nannies. I treat my stay-at-homeness like a job, which includes all the cooking and cleaning, playing barber to the whole house, cutting coupons, and squeezing every penny till it bleeds.
I have my master's degree for crying out loud. I had ideas. I had plans for my life that did not involve creating menus, learning all things military, removing stains, counseling a ten-year old boy on the craziness of ten-year old girls, or mandatory fun created by the military. While I still have plans, they are now focused on the PTO's book fair, what soup I am bringing to church Wednesday night, where we are moving next, and why my dog has diarrhea again.
And I like it.
So sad. Or is it smart?
I love not having the stress of succeeding or finding a job immediately upon setting up house after a move. I love not having to fit one more schedule onto our full calendar. I am filling a need and filling it well, in my
biased humble opinion. My husband knows all this and has always left the decision to stay at home up to me. He is happy with our life, but he would be equally happy if I were bringing home a paycheck.
We don't live outside our means. We don't go on expensive vacations, buy our kids everything, or eat out all the time. We have adjusted our life so one income works and still save for our future. I am not suffering by my lack of a life outside my home. I do however, have to suffer through the weekly reminders that my sugar mama role is rapidly approaching.
Which is why I keep hinting to my husband that we should ride this military gravy train as far as it will take us. Maybe by that point, I will have figured out just what I want to do when I grow up, because he deserves it. He deserves to be thanked for giving us this great life which allows me to be full-time hands on with our kids.
And maybe those extra years will buy me a bit more time for that next thousand dollar idea.
Heidi is an Air Force wife, mother of boys, and has been blogging for four years. She was an athletic trainer in her "past life" and finds that her prior profession of working the sidelines of football games has adequately prepared her for working the sidelines in her day to day military spouse life and enables her to deal with just about anyone.