Wednesday, March 2, 2011

even more changes...

my anniversary is Monday.  We'll have been married two years.
I have to say, looking back, I'm glad we did it the way we did. We were married in my parents living room. I wore a tea-length lace dress, and he wore a pair of black pants he found somewhere and a red button down shirt.  I think he even wore a tie, if memory serves.  Our best man came from work wearing his ambulance uniform, and my matron of honor wore black pants and carried a single rose. There was no decorating, no guest list, no music.  Just us, and our simple vows, and our rings.  Afterward we had a simple meal of meatballs and sandwiches and brownies and cheesecake.  We wanted our focus, all along, to be on our marriage, and not on our wedding.  We spent our 3 month engagement planning for marriage, and not a wedding.  There was no honeymoon; we just got down to the business of being a married couple and working on life together.

I can't say it's hurt us at all, untraditional though it was.

Two years, a house, a dog, a cat and a baby later, we're standing on the edge of another major change.  Change is good, but there have been so many these last few years.  Rob is leaving his job, taking a paramedic position at a much larger and busier company, where he'll be working 57 hours a week plus whatever more overtime he wants to pick up.  The pay is better overall, they pay 100% of our health insurance plus most of our copay, plus 401k and other benefits.   Mostly, though, this is a stable and professional place to work.

But it forces us to make more hard decisions.  The pay and overtime is enough that I don't have to continue working full time hours.  I can work four days a week if I want to.  Or go officially full time where I'm currently working.  I can stay home, I can go back to school and finish my RN.  I think right now I plan to just hold at the status quo, to keep working twice a week, and see how things develop. 

Sometimes I think it would be easy.  If I didn't have choices.  If I was Mennonite, or held strong convictions about women working outside the home--then my choice would be simple.  Or if I financially had to work full time.  Or if I was in a career where I could take a few years or more off without being penalized.  Or if my husband had a strong preference either way, or we couldn't afford childcare, or, conversely, if we could afford a live in nanny.  Or if my husband wanted to be a stay-at-home dad.(I've suggested it, and he just looks at me like I've grown two heads)  Or if my husband had a different sort of career, one that didn't involve 90 hour workweeks(I know him too well and know the allure of unlimited overtime).

But I do have choices.  And I am so thankful to live in a time and place a situation where I can choose to pursue a career outside of wife-and-motherhood.  For most of time, women were either in situations where they had to work outside the home(and in my family, both my grandmother and great-grandmother held jobs) or they were in a religious or cultural/social situation where pursuing a career was simply unacceptable.  I don't have any of this, so I have the whole world opened up to me.

So here we are again, changing course, finding a new equilibrium. A new balance.
There have been many, many changes these 2 years of marriage.  Each time it takes us a little while to find our balance again, but we do, and life goes on.  But for the next two weeks, while Rob takes his unused vacation time before starting a new job, we're just enjoying being a family--him and me and the baby and the dog and the cat, all just trying to figure out this thing called life.


Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

With so many choices out there for women, I think it is even more important that we bath our decisions in prayer. What is God's Will for our lives? Whatever it is, whatever situation we find ourselves in, He knows best.

Great post!