Sunday, June 29, 2014

It's just 4 years

 When Tyler and I were dating, he talked a lot about school and how important it was to him. I wanted to marry a man who wanted to finish school so that he could get a degree and provide a good life for me and our children. Every time we talked about school I realized that, despite what he says, he is happiest when he is getting challenged, especially when it's something that he loves to do.

Tyler felt that he was behind others his age because he took the 2 years off for his mission. Every time this comes up I assure him it wasn't a waste of time, and that he probably learned more in those 2 years than he ever would in school. We got married and within 2 years of us being married he finished his Associates, and applied to the architecture program. The letter came in the mail, and we opened it anxiously together excited to see that one line that everyone who is awaiting to get into a program sees "You've been accepted".

That was not what the letter said. He had not been accepted into the program, and he was devastated. We worked through the summer trying to figure out what to do. Should he wait another year to apply or should he start looking into other "easier" programs. While praying and waiting on what to do, we got a surprise: I was pregnant. We were so shocked because we had not planned on this happening until at least another few years after Tyler had graduated with his bachelor's. It was clearly not our plan though, nothing ever is.

While I was pregnant Tyler took classes at the U that were associated with the Design program. The design program wasn't officially a major yet, just a minor. He applied to the program again, we had Emma, and once again he didn't get in. He was feeling no motivation at all to even continue with school. He was feeling lost and hopeless. We both talked about a lot of things, extensively. We both decided that he would quit working full time, focus on school, and I would work to support the family. It was something I knew that would have to end up happening with us having a kid and all. Plus we didn't want to live off of student loans and get massively into more debt than we already were for school.

We both knew as we were talking things over that these were going to be the hardest years of our marriage: switching roles in the house. I am now the one dealing with the stress of providing for the family, making sure that I am indispensable at my job and he is the one dealing with diapers, the latest Tinker Bell movie, trips to the park, and making the trips to Costco, all while trying to juggle school work. I was scared out of my mind, and so was he. We made sure that we would always listen to each other's frustration, no judgement, and give advice to help one another out. (What we thought at the time was included in all marriages) It was new territory for both of us. We both struggled a lot at first. It was far from perfect, and there are days when it's still far from perfect. 

For the first 3 months of this I kept thinking over and over "It's only 4 years, only 4 years." School went well for Tyler that first semester, and even better the semester after that. He applied to 2 programs, the design program (which was now an actual major) and the architecture program, for the 3rd time. The first letter we got was for the design program, he was not accepted. The only thing he could say on it was "What do you do when your plan B falls through before you plan A does?"

About 3 weeks later, the second letter came, FINALLY ACCEPTED! We had a dance party and jumped around. It looked a lot like this:

So he started on, finally, the journey that he really wanted to be on in the first place -- to be an architect. 2 years for his bachelors, 2 years for his masters. It seems like this road is never ending, but I know that it will very much be worth it. Not only will Tyler be able to provide for us, but he will be providing for us doing something that he loves.

Between the waking up at 5 to make sure we get Emma where she needs to go, the many nights I have already spent alone due to homework all nighters, and the many hours we both spend trying to "catch up" on parenting missed due to work or school, we feel overwhelmed right now. Feeling overwhelmed is apart of life, unfortunately. However, looking at it one day at a time instead of 4 years, makes it seem a lot easier.

There are some days when I wake up and I think, oh heavens help us please, this is taking forever! That attitude won't change anything, and you definitely can't keep wishing away your days to get through a certain phase in life. You will find out later in life that you will miss that phase. And you also may have spent your whole time during that phase wishing away the time you will never get that time and moments back.


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