February 26, 2006

ROLE MODEL

My friend Angie is a little bummed that maybe her life hasn't turned out exactly as she wanted, and she thinks maybe she's past the point where she can fix it. I've actually had a blog post rolling around in my head for a while, and now seems like a good time to let it out.

When I was in middle school, every kid used to say that Michael Jordan was his role model. It was always Michael Jordan. For some reason I was thinking about that a few weeks back and how silly it seems now to me to have a celebrity as a role model when we've got plenty of real people in our life to emulate. One of our biggest role models as a couple was the Major at my husband's ROTC. He was extremely hooah and completely unassuming. He and his wife had been married for nearly ten years; they had just built their own house (literally, the Major built it with some Amish help) and were all set to welcome their first baby into the home. My husband and I thought that was a great way to be ready for a child, and we want to be as emotionally and financially ready as they were. We still talk about what a good influence they were on our life.

We moved here, and as I slowly got to know Angie, she became a new role model for me. (And my mom will vouch that this is true, because I rave about Angie all the time!) Angie has always felt somewhat inadequate that she didn't finish college, but the reason she didn't finish is because she and her husband decided when they got married that Angie's job was to raise their children. My parents made the same decision when they got married, but it's a decision that doesn't happen much in 2006. Angie and her husband knew that the most important thing Angie could do with her life is to raise these three little boys to be gentlemen, and she's doing a wonderful job.

I know during the deployment that Angie sometimes wanted to tear her hair out. I witnessed firsthand some of the trials of being with her boys, like when a temper tantrum broke out because the older brother ate the little one's imaginary strawberries! It's not easy to be a stay-at-home mom; how much quieter and nicer it would've been for Angie to drop the boys off at daycare and go to a job. But she stays home with them because it's her job to mold their character, teach them manners, and be their mommy. Angie deserves all the praise in the world for the no-so-obvious task of bringing up her own children.

I'm glad that I had a role model like Angie. If/when my husband and I have children, we too will make the same decision Angie and her husband did. And I will be the one to stay at home and break up fights over imaginary fruit. I'm happy that I met someone like Angie who also believes that raising a child is the most important job a woman has.

Angie, you may sometimes feel sheepish that you never finished that degree, but you display qualities far more important than a diploma, and people notice. I noticed, and I hope someday to be half as talented at motherhood as you are.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:13 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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1 I believe you have hit the nail on the head (so to speak). All of the women, children or no, who have endored time away from there loved ones due to the war, should be role models for all. The sacrifices our families have made and then also having the courage to maintain some sort of sanity, is worth commending.

Posted by: Jennifer at February 26, 2006 09:27 AM (GSSS6)

2 I must comment again! What a NICE post and tribute! I completely agree...I wrote not long ago about the women I saw raising their children during the deployment (including a great college friend of mine) and I was constantly in awe of them. The only person I had to be worried about was ME...I could focus 100% of my attention on worrying about my spouse but when you have kids, it must be so much different and so much more difficult. It's always HATS OFF to the women who do so much everyday! I admire all of them!

Posted by: Nicole at February 26, 2006 09:40 AM (1ECnr)

3 You're right again Sarah. The most important job a Mom has is to raise her children. As a divorced Mom, I have to work everyday outside the home, but my best friend has three children and has only now begun to start working. I understand Angie's frustration for some "ME" time and feeling like she hasn't used her potential. But she has. Rather than punching a clock like the rest of us - she is molding three boys into three beautiful men. How wonderful the world will be once she releases them into the rest of their lives. My friend learned in the past year that she doesn't have to BE everything ALL the time to her family. SHE CAN have "ME" time. And have a life too (outside of pb&j sandwich making). In fact, it's healthier for a Mom to have a hobby, friends or even school at night - for sanity's sake. She's more relaxed now and a much happier Mom.

Posted by: Kathleen A at February 26, 2006 10:57 AM (7qm8p)

4 Thank you so much for your kind words. I am humbled Miss you! Love, Ang

Posted by: Angie at February 26, 2006 03:04 PM (SA3c9)

5 One of the reasons I am most looking forward to seperating from the army and Jason either getting doing with a PhD or taking a job is so that one of us can stay home. I wish I didn't have to work but when you are getting out of the army, with no foreseeable paycheck in site, you have to save as much as you can! If we were staying in for the long haul, I wouldn't have gone back to work either, although I wonder if I would still have my sanity. I don't know how they do it! I was in awe of Angie, Angie, Jen, and Patti all the time. My mom stayed home with all of us 3 girls and only went back to work at the Elementary school I went to when I was in 4th grade. I didn't appreciate what she did until I became a mom myself. Now, I wonder, how did she do it...3 girls, a fireman for a dad so he was gone for 24 hours at a time 2-3 days a week and worked other jobs when he was off from the station...amazing! For now, I have to be thankful that I work at a school and have pretty decent hours and summers off. ANGIE: Don't feel that you haven't made "enough" of your life. You are a wonderful mother and wife and that is something to be VERY proud of.

Posted by: StephanieBerndt at February 27, 2006 03:16 AM (Y1m/K)

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