Lily's Story: Lost and Found
Yesterday I got a call from a casting director for a new adventure reality TV show. The casting director asked me a series of questions that I was totally unprepared for. One of the questions was, “What does your husband think about you doing this?” I answered quickly and nervously. I was so caught off guard by the questions and I was so nervous to be talking to a casting director that I just said whatever I could think of in the moment. Once I hung up the phone I started to reflect on the conversation and the answers I had given. I immediately regretted the way I answered the question above.
“What does your husband think about you doing this?” My initial answer, (I chuckle under my breath) “He thinks I am crazy. He will go along with it but he doesn't think I could do it.”
WHAT? Why did I say that? That's the furthest thing from the truth! This is not the 1950's and we aren't Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. Now that I have had some time to stew over this question my answer is, “Of course my husband thinks I could do this. He has more confidence in my abilities to achieve my dreams than I do! He would be so proud of me for even attempting this adventure and having the courage to go out and do it alone.”
My truthful answer has got me thinking.
Why does my husband have more confidence in my abilities to achieve my dreams than I do? Why is he angel on my shoulder building me up and I am the devil on the other shoulder sabotaging my own self worth?
I think part of the reason I have lost confidence in my abilities to even dream of having a career is because we have been working on my husband's career for the better part of a decade now. I have had to push all my career goals so far out of mind that I wouldn't even know where to begin at this point. For the past 10 years, all the career talk has been specifically about my husband's career: med school, internship, dive school, DMO tour, and now we are looking at applying for residency this year. Oh by the way, we will be relocating each step of they way. That means getting everyone adjusted to a new house, new neighbors, new stores, new schools, and new friends. Any mention of my career is, “Sure, you can work. I'll support you in whatever you want to do.” But when we discuss our current lifestyle my husband says things like, “I could never do what I do without you and what you do for the family.” Both of these statements are said with love and confidence in my abilities to either work or not. I always roll my eyes at the first statement thinking how in the world could I work AND manage a household?
This year I have started my own journey of self-awareness and figuring out who I want to be. I am trying my best to shift my focus in thinking that my job as a stay at home mom is enough, at least at this stage in our lives. I need to give myself more credit than I do. I do work full time, more than 40 hours most weeks. I don't have any sick leave, vacation days, or personal health days. A paycheck does not define my career. My payment comes in the form of snuggles at bedtime and unexpected hugs from my 3 year old. In those moments, I am confident in my job as a mom, I am doing something right. And for now home is where I need to be.
If I do decide to follow my dreams, whether it be a career or an adventure reality TV show, I know my husband supports me and believes in me. We will have to find a way to make our home life work, and we will. I want to say thank you to my husband who doesn't want me put my life on hold so he can chase his dreams. Thank you for having as much confidence in me as I do in you. Individually, our worlds are completely different, but without each others support we wouldn't be able to survive...in any world.