I am a graduate school dropout. Not a title I am exactly proud of, but it’s my reality. I withdrew from my classes the week they started. I was so excited to start this chapter in my life but when it came down to it, I’m just not ready.
To some, I am a quitter. I own that. I am okay with that. I only had a few days to make my decision before it became a financial commitment I couldn’t back out of and I just could not justify more student loan debt when I had so many reservations.
I actually completed my first few assignments the weekend before classes started. I could physically do the work. It would be hard, and, a big change. But I knew I could do it. However, it came with a sacrifice - time with my family.
And my sanity.
Work would have to be done during naptime or after bedtime, maybe even somewhere between. I envisioned my stress levels increasing and my patience lost as I tried to get the boys to bed on time so I could finish my assignments. I could already feel anxiety taking over my body. I know myself and how I handle stress. I did not want my family to feel the effects of that.
The night I decided to drop out of my classes, my son woke up sick. I never thought about those nights when I was planning my classes. My kids need me 24/7. Usually, by the time my Marine is on his way home from work, I am already cleaning up dinner and starting the boys’ nighttime routine.
Although I know my husband will support me 100 percent, and try his best to help when he can, the truth is, his career is demanding. Was I ready to sacrifice our weekend family time for school work? During the week, much of the work already falls on me: the house, the kids and school. I didn’t want to miss spending time with my kids on the weekends to do homework.
I know lots of military spouses work fulltime, have families and go to school. I am friends with many of these women (or men in some cases) who are able to take it all on and I admire them so much. But if I have learned anything in being a military spouse and a mother, it has been to know when to say no.
My plate is full. I cannot do it all and I am okay with that. Right now I have a husband who supports my decision to stay home to raise our children and that is where I want to put my focus.
Life isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. My children will not always be home with me all day, every day. And while they are, I want to be present in my parenting. I know when the time comes to focus on me, I will be ready. It will never be easy or the perfect time but whenever that day comes, I will be ready.