I tend to be one of those people who is far better at writing the way I feel than talking about the way I feel. When I talk, I’m a rambler. I figure if I say enough words, the right and true ones have to come out of me eventually.
The problem is, the people listening to me get bored or lose interest because it takes me 10 minutes to answer the question, “What did you think of that article?”
But one topic where I could go on for hours upon hours and not even care about who I am boring is my amazing wife. So with your permission, in this Mother’s day season, I’d like to spend a few minutes talking up the best person I know.
Rachel and I married young. We were 23 and 22, respectively. We were fresh out of college, and like any two young, in-love idiots, we got married, moved to Portland, and started our lives together.
For as long as I’ve known Rachel, all she wanted to be was a mother. Like, in a since I was a child, motherhood has been my burning desire type of way.
When our first daughter was born in 2009, I was working at one of many dead end jobs that I’ve worked since we got married. My employment history is… eclectic. I got a degree in English, but no Master’s degree, so I’m fully qualified to do almost nothing.
We knew early on in her pregnancy that Rachel was going to have to return to work after having our daughter. It killed me, and I was actively searching for any and every job that would allow us to live on one income (which, in suburban Portland, is no small feat.)
I wish I could say that I found the perfect one, and that the stars aligned and everything worked out, but that is almost never the case in anybody’s life.
Instead, Rachel worked full time from the birth of our first daughter in 2009, until just before the birth of our third daughter in 2016. And she was a fantastic mom the entire time. She spent 9 hours a day taking care of other people’s kids, yet somehow had the energy to come home and spend time with her own.
But once I finally landed a career-track job, and she was able to quit and stay home, something changed.
And it changed for the better.
I don’t believe that every woman is destined to stay home and be a stay-at-home mom. But I saw my wife come alive in her role as a stay-at-home mother in a way that I never had before. It was as if for nearly 7 years, she had been going through life wearing a suit of armor, and then all of a sudden, she’d wrestled out of that suit and left it behind.
No day is perfect. Our 2-year-old is still a handful, and there are days when my wife questions her decision to quit her 9-5.
But she is doing the thing in the world that she is best at. She’s raising our daughters to be kind, compassionate, fierce, loving, self-sufficient little humans. She’s there for the field trips, the talent shows, the dentist appointments, and the play dates. And that, for us, is worth more than any paycheck.
So here’s to Rachel. Without her, we would fall apart. She’s the rock that props our family up when times get hard. She’s the loving arms we run to when things go wrong. She’s the shoulder to cry on, and the friend to laugh with.
I cannot fathom my life, or my daughters’ lives without her, and if I’m lucky, I’ll never have to.