I Couldn’t Do This Without Him


My husband and I are admittedly crazy. To be honest, it is really me, in particular. But my husband unabashedly encourages it.

Me:  “So, I don’t think I’m going to drop out of the Master’s Program” I said as I was holding our baby in NICU.  Husband: “If you’re sure….and, you’ll have a nice, quiet room to do some reading while he sleeps!”

Me: “So, the running plan really isn’t that bad. My long runs will take about five hours on Saturdays.” Husband: “I think you’re insane, but of course, I’ll watch the kids.”

Me: “Ok, I know the timing isn’t the best, but there is an awesome chance to get my Project Management Certification.” Husband: “You’re seriously going to do that during a global pandemic while you homeschool two kids and have two others at home?” But he didn’t say no!

I like to take on all the things – even if it looks a little intimidating from the outside.

When my son was born in 2010 with Down Syndrome, I was out having lunch with a friend and confided how overwhelmed I felt being thrust into a scary world of medical and therapy appointments while balancing a full-time job. She very sweetly asked when I planned to resign from my job.

I was (slightly irrationally) outraged.  Being overwhelmed did not equate to quitting. We were going to figure it out and figure it out, we did.

There are many moments in life where I am not the best human.  Sometimes there are those days and situations that make me bone-tired. The endless nights of not sleeping with a sick kiddo, the grind of being the only parent at home during a long deployment, or the mountains of paperwork between IEPs and medical appointments simply wear a person down. Yes, I know that everyone feels differently, but I am absolutely the best version of myself because I work.

couple holding handsAnd I couldn’t do it without my husband.

His sense of humor keeps me grounded.

His encouragement reminds me that I am not really failing at life as much as I might think sometimes.

His willingness to take care of household tasks, to cover medical appointments, and to participate fully in the insane parenting responsibilities of raising four kids gives us a system that works.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg summed up marriage perfectly:

If you have a caring life partner, you help the other person when that person needs it. I had a life partner who thought my work was as important as his, and I think that made all the difference for me.

It makes all the difference for me, too. Because I literally could not do this life without him.

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Melissa is an Air Force spouse who enjoyed 13 years living along the I-35 corridor in North Dakota, Louisiana, and Texas. The Air Force gods finally broke her free of the Central Time zone this summer and sent the family to Hawaii - just five weeks after baby #4 arrived! She works remotely for a non-profit in Louisiana as the Director of Technology and Strategic Operations and is currently pursuing her Project Management certification. Her oldest son (age 9) has Down Syndrome, and her oldest daughter (age 7) has an undiagnosed genetic disorder, so there are a lot of therapy and medical appointments; however, the chaos is balanced with weekly trips to the beach, hikes, and trying new restaurants.