I am finally understanding what the phrase “we are moving for my husband’s/wife’s job this time, it’s their turn” means. I used to think that was crazy, impartial, and unfair. Why do you have to uproot your family and comfort because your selfish husband/wife wants a different career or a promotion? Nope. We won’t ever be like that. Well, I understand now. I get why.
Here are my five thoughts on this.
1. The term “If momma ain’t happy, nobody is happy” should be- “If my spouse ain’t happy, nobody is happy”. It isn’t about just momma anymore. If Patrick’s research has a glitch one day, typically our evening isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. If I had angry parents calling and “threaten” me at 8 am, dinner was filled with the infamous Kali whine. Since marriage is a partnership, our days become each other’s days. This phrase also aligns with each one of us practicing what we are passionate about. We both enjoy what we do and even with that, we have projects we wish did not exist. Therefore, we must both have careers that allow us to thrive and grow.
2. Sometimes we can’t be greedy and expect that we will both find dream jobs in the same place. Please note, we have not been working long and even our “work” right now duals with our school work. Staying in Africa for a while allows Patrick to further his future plans. It would have been easier for us to stay in the US this summer, make money, and not live out of a suitcase. It would have been simple and comfortable. However, Patrick would have not been able to learn Swahili, meet Ohio State professors and administrators, and make new friends. Moving to Columbus has caused a few derailments in my student teaching. Me going to England, leaving Patrick and Zoi for three months, isn’t ideal for Patrick. But, there are moves we have to make to better not just ourself, but our family. You see, if Patrick is doing well, I am doing well. If I succeed, Patrick succeeds.
3. Be social. When I was working in Housing & Residential Life at Oklahoma State, we spent most weekends hanging out with my co-workers. From game nights to going to the pub, it was ResLife staff, Patrick, and one-two other spouses or “outside” friends. Guess what we talked about most of the time? Students, parents, theory, upcoming programs, plans, the works pertaining to ResLife. Patrick participated in these conversations, was social, and did his best to find other common denominators between him and my co-workers. He even became good friends with many of them. The tables have definitely turned being in Africa. Soil science, research, economics, and development theory are filled with terms I don’t exactly use in my everyday talk. Just like Patrick did for me, I do my best to still stay engaged and hang-out with the group. Being social and learn what each other’s days and co-workers are like, allow us to bond even more through our passions.
4. We never make decisions without making an excel sheet. This is somewhat of a joke in our family, but it is also true. We talk plans to death and make an excel sheet of what are finances would be like. Not that money always matters, but when you are on grad salaries, it sure helps . We work together to decide what is best so bitterness does not arise later on. As cheesy as it sounds, there is no I in TEAM. We are a team and plan to stay that way. Later on, when our plans are in motion, we both have autonomy in our choices because expectations were created and our finances are in order from the beginning.
5. We don’t just say I Love You, we practice love. I love Patrick, so I want him to be happy. I love it when he has had a productive day and feels like a rockstar when he comes home.
We make transitions for our family because we love them and reap the rewards just as equally. It’s weird growing up. It is difficult, yet inspiring.
If there is one thing I can tell you it would be, don’t be afraid of change. Simply take one day at a time. It grows on you, centimeter by centimeter.