I’m sure you all have imagined what you wanted your life to look like in five, ten, or even 15 years. As I reflect on the past five years, I never imagined my life would look like it does. It’s completely different than I thought it would be. It’s much, much better.
Rewind to 2016
Just weeks after I graduated college, I married the love of my life and started graduate school. With just one semester of graduate school under my belt, I had a positive pregnancy test. It took us some time to process those two pink lines.
We were going to have to completely rethink our timeline and plans.
But once the details were ironed out, we realized how sincerely happy and thrilled we were to be welcoming a baby into our lives! I seamlessly transitioned into the school’s online graduate program and continued with my graduate studies.
Little did I know – this would be the first of many ways my graduate program would be put to the test. With exactly one year of graduate studies completed, I gave birth to our son, Callan. Then three weeks later, my husband left for a six-month deployment.
It was one of the hardest days of my life to say “see you later” to the father of my child and then go home to writing a report for a class with one hand and holding our newborn in the other.
Through those months of him being overseas, I started to learn how to drown out the noise and self-doubt and trust myself and my husband. Most of all, we realized that we were not going to compare our situation and choices to anyone else’s.
Shortly after, we let ourselves be honest with what we wanted for our marriage and family, I was pregnant with our second son, and we were preparing for my husband to go on his second deployment. However, having another baby and facing another deployment didn’t seem nearly as daunting since I had learned SO much about myself the previous year. And there was a light at the end of the tunnel; I was getting close to the end of my master’s program.
I had our second son, Benjamin, and four weeks later, we faced our second six-month deployment.
My mom came to live with me while my husband was overseas. She helped me navigate two boys under the age of two, and babysat them while I went to my clinic internships. She is a saint, and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without her help. And then, finally, I made it. August 2019 arrived, and I graduated with my Master’s of Science in Speech Pathology.
In a matter of three years: I earned my master’s degree, had two babies, and survived two deployments.
Your Dreams Matter
I share my story so that I can speak to the mother who is putting her dreams on hold. One of my favorite speakers, Leah Darrow, says, “It is possible for babies AND dreams to go together”.
There were three distinct times that I was going to quit my graduate program because it was SO hard. But I have a very personal connection to the field of speech pathology, and it has always been a dream of mine to be a speech pathologist.
I can be a mom and pursue my dreams because I am worthy. And you are, too.
Whatever dream you are holding in the depths of your heart, give yourself permission to honor your dream. Let your heart and mind explore what it would be like. If it is truly meant to be, everything will fall into place. It may not look like you thought it would, but it’s worth a shot. YOU are worth it.
I would not have been able to finish my master’s degree without turning to my faith and trusting that there was a plan better than my own. I owe my husband, family, and friends a huge thank you for their love and support.