Dear Sergeant Handsome,
Last night I went out with a handful of women from the mom’s club. It was their Moms Night Out for the month. Even though I knew half of them (this being our third time living here and all), I kind of can’t believe I actually went.
Even a few years ago, I would have been too nervous to go. I’m a pretty social person but meeting people out- ones I don’t know very well- used to really make me anxious. I had been suffering from a lack of confidence
What I realized last night was that I’ve become more and more confident with age. I credit my initial burst of adulthood self-confidence with my brief time in the Army. As you know, nothing makes you feel more kick-ass than finishing basic training. But the real foundation for my confidence comes from our marriage and our children.
Maybe it’s old fashioned. Maybe it isn’t politically correct. Maybe some feminists will hate me for saying it. But it’s true.
Getting married wasn’t about winning a contest. It wasn’t a race. It was about finding a partner. I know that I’m incredibly lucky to have found you when I was young. And, despite the opinion of many, just because I was 21 when we got married doesn’t mean it was a mistake. Even if we ended up getting divorced 10 years from now (not that you should be getting any ideas!), nothing about our relationship has been a mistake. You support me and encourage me. I think you may believe that I can do anything. And that helps me to be more confident. I’m willing to try new things. To go new places. To dream bigger dreams. Because I know that you will tell me to go for it.
It isn’t that I need your approval or support. It’s just that it’s nice to have. It’s nice to be able to tell someone that you want to do something and have the reply be, “You should! You’ll be great at that!” And then to have that person follow through on that verbal support by making sure you have time to get out of the house to get work done, to make things happen. And to have someone who is willing to rearrange limited resources so that you can be fulfilled too.
I read about how being a housewife and stay-at-home mom is demeaning or boring or unfulfilling. And I can understand how this might be true in certain relationships. But it has been the opposite for me.
I’ve spent the last 7 years going to school, raising our children, and pursuing every crazy thing that has called to me. If I were working full-time or didn’t have a supportive partner, I would never be able to do half of what I have am able to make time for. I certainly wouldn’t be sharing it here.
Since I’ve been able to pursue things that are interesting and important to me, I’ve been able to accomplish things. Maybe not the same type of accomplishment as running a business successfully or rising to the top of my career field- like many incredibly accomplished and inspiring women I know- but accomplishments nonetheless. And with each small goal attained, I gain more confidence in myself.
So thanks Sergeant Handsome. Thanks for sacrificing your own down time so that I can get work done for school. Thanks for saying you don’t really need an iPad for Father’s Day so that I could go to a conference. Thanks for always telling me to go out and meet friends when I have the chance so that I can keep and nurture friendships. Thanks for always believing that I can attain whatever crazy idea comes into my head. I love you. You’re amazing and I never forget it- even if I forget to tell you sometimes.