My Husbands Fancy Annual Holiday Party…
My husband looks forward to his Holiday Party upon leaving his Holiday Party… true story. I on the other hand cannot think about anything but getting home and out of the super tight control top tights that have made it virtually impossible to go to the bathroom without sweating and feeling like I wrestled a dinosaur in the bathroom. Ugh my husbands fancy annual holiday party is coming up…
I do have to admit in the spirit of honesty (haha) it did feel kind of nice to be dressed up “fancy” for the night. You know, if you can get past the whole obligatory dress when you’re not a dress wearer and heels that I purchased conveniently/not conveniently (all the sarcasm intended here) in the wrong size haunted me well in to the next day… Why did I not try on the shoes before I bought them? Naturally, I discovered they were too big as I was walking out the door 15 minutes later than we had intended. Of course exchanging them was out of the question.
*Ahh deep breath Amanda, there’s always next years Holiday Party… oh wait, I didn’t end up losing the weight, get good at wearing dresses and I sure as heck didn’t get used to wearing pointy toe shoes this year either. I guess there’s always next years party…
(This is a photo collage of pictures we had taken last year at the party… which was this past January. The next one is in January 2018. Here is the excerpt from beneath the original post on my facebook acc0ount:
“A couple random thoughts… last night I wasn’t mommy Amanda -weird. I was Brian’s wife Amanda. I know “duh” but for the last 11+ years my identity has been Mommy Amanda… I bought the wrong size shoes… that was “fun” -Not! I wore my ugly beat up Tom’s in and prayed that I wouldn’t fall out of my shoes or that anyone would notice. My new friend taught me a trick – stuff napkins or tissues in the front end of the shoe. Who knew? Thank God she saved the night.
I learned that it’s fun to get to know people yet oddly enough hard to not feel intimidated by another person’s occupation or title… “Hi I’m Amanda a stay at home mommy to 4 – followed up quickly with I’ve almost completed my masters in Professional Counseling…” It seriously annoys me that I said that because I am darn proud to be able to stay home with our kids and I know my mission right now is here within our home.
*Also, even though the dj pulled me aside and said I can dance I don’t believe him lol. Maybe he thought I had a nice smile because I’m definitely NOT a dancer ha. Anyways dresses aren’t evil, pointy toed shoes are.?”
The ride home from the holiday party was a mix of two things, “1) acceptance that the party was fun and 2) acceptance of how socially awkward I am around other adults.” I know I psychobabbled a million questions to my husband upon leaving and boy do my insecurities sound real ugly reading these questions back:
“Did I say anything wrong?
“Do you think so in so’s significant other thinks I’m cool enough to hang out with outside of your work party?”
“Do you think they all knew I was a fraud wearing a dress I had no business wearing, heels and tights that literally were suffocating me?”
“Did you have fun with me?”
“Did I embarrass you?”
Let Me Backtrack a Little Here…
My sister Ashley came in to town to watch my children so that my husband and I could go on a “date.” Honestly, we don’t go on dates much these days. I remember Brian making a big fuss about our 10th Wedding Anniversary. We went to this incredibly fancy restaurant and spent an insane amount of money. The tip alone was more money than we spend on taking our family of 6 out to the local burger joint. See Brian’s “jam” is fancy food… mine on the other hand is quality one on one time. I don’t care to be fussed over. Don’t get me wrong a little bit of fuss is ok but, it doesn’t take much to make me happy.
Anyways, my sister and brother in law watched the kids for us so we could go to my husbands fancy work party. It was such a great feeling to go out with my husband and know that my children were well taken care of. If I’m being honest, I would have to admit that I was a bit nervous because I had never been to a party where wearing a dress was my only option. To say that I was also a bit anxious to meet my husbands boss for the first time would be a slight understatement. See Brian’s boss thinks quite highly of him. I didn’t want to make a wrong impression.
The Unexpected “Hardest Part” of the Night…
So it turns out what I thought would be the hardest part of attending this party wasn’t meeting my husband’s boss it was sitting around the table with our friends, new friends and perfect strangers. I’m generally pretty good at meeting new people. I never really have trouble making conversations with absolute strangers. I have to say though this was different.
As I sat at the table everyone began introducing themselves as “so in so I work for blah, blah, blah…” I mean, these people had outstanding resumes. Even my own husband, 5 years prior military, 9+ years in his current industry… and then there was me. “Hi I’m Amanda…” And as fast as that came out so did the following, “I’m a stay at home mom working on my Masters Degree in Professional Counseling.” Insert deep breath and red rosey cheeks that I’m almost certain were present. Ugh! If you could have just pictured me. So awkward. *Insert a few minutes of psychobabling about my kids and the desire to exit the room and get some air – Ha.
In Retrospect I Totally Should Have “Owned” being a SAHM
I’ve thought about that EXACT moment a lot over the last year. I’m a stay at home mom. I have 4 children that I have had the HONOR of staying home with while my husband works some days in excess of 14 hours PLUS a 2 hour commute! We make so many sacrifices so that I can be home with our children. The truth is I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mom. Why in that moment did I feel so insecure in stating that I was “only a stay at home home?” Of course I didn’t lie. While being a stay at home mom I’ve managed to get my Bachelor’s Degree and proceeded on to further my education to the Master’s Degree level… but those degrees do not in any way define me. Those degrees mean nothing to me especially in comparison to being a mom.
Honestly, I know that I cannot be the only one in the world that has ever sat around a table with highly successful strangers and felt about as big as a pea. I just want to encourage you that being who you are is enough. Actually it’s more than enough! How dare I feel like I need to defend my husband and my decision to be a stay at home mom. That guy whose hand I’m holding and doing life with? He thinks I’m pretty awesome. The opinions of others do not matter.
One of the single hardest, most wonderful things
I’ve ever had the privilege of doing is being a stay at home mom.
I know that there are so many people in this world that would love to be in my shoes and be able to stay home with their children. Please know that I say this not from a standpoint of bragging because I am truly humbled to be able to stay home with my children. Brian and I haven’t been sure how long I’d be able to do so. Over the years my husband and I made and continue to make many sacrifices.
The cost of living where we are is incredibly high (we live just outside of Washington, DC) surely a dual income would only benefit us. Brian and I have four children with our youngest having just turned 3 the end of August. Four children that inevitably always need something whether it’s money for a field trip, picture day, a holiday store, a new pair of shoes or jeans because they’ve outgrown them, etc. We won’t even talk about how they eat us out of house and home. Our food bill is quite expensive these days.
Let’s not talk about bills… Ok, a little Brian and I are homeowners which we are super proud of. With this responsibility also comes not only the mortgage payment but the maintenance of both our home and property in addition to the bills associated with our home (electric, gas, water, HOA, etc). While yes we both have a lot of education under our belts we also have a BOATLOAD of student loan debt… Our student loan debt combined is equal to some people’s homes! Sometimes I can’t help but think how badly I want to contribute to ease the financial load we carry. Surely if I worked even just part time outside the home things would be more… “perfect.” Ahhh grace Amanda… grace.
The Real Introduction: This is ME
Hi guys, I’d like to introduce myself to you. My name is Amanda. I am not only Brian’s wife but mommy to 4 really awesome kids. I have the honor to stay home with my kids and I’m not really sure what the future holds. I do know that right now in this season of my life I couldn’t be more happy to stay home with our babies.
*There’s absolutely no shame in who I am or in the choices we have made. Everyone has their own story and honestly, aside from all the student loan debt I couldn’t picture a more beautiful love story than ours. I am completely honored to be able to stay home with our children. I am so grateful that my husband has an awesome job that allows me to do so. Where I am right now is EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be.
This is my husband and I (the pictures below). We’ve been married for 14 years on December 27th. Guys, he loves my guts. He does silly things to make me smile… all-the-time. It’s funny to me because his desire to impress me has never wained even if that means at his expense (picture a big belly flop into the pool or maybe even running outside in shorts during a snowstorm flopping on the ground and making a snow angel… ha!). He’s silly and I’m serious. We compliment each other quite well.
These are our 4 babies and they are both mine and Brian’s entire world. Zach is my oldest he’ll be 12 next week. He’s my Christmas Eve babe. Zachary is both sweet and highly sensitive to me and I just love him. Lys and Addy are my little girls and they are 9 (Lys) and 6 (Addy). I never thought that I was going to have girls… God’s funny like that. He gives us what we NEED not necessarily what we expect. My girls are everything that is good in me and then some. They are precious. And then there’s my Lukey, he’s a momma’s boy and I absolutely adore him. I’ve actually forbidden him from ever growing up. Yesterday he promised that “I will love you even when I’m big…” and yes, I melted in to a puddle.
Anyways, this is us. I’m totally ok with us. And totally in awe of how awesome God is to give me such great blessings. Sometimes I think I’m blessed way more than I deserve. Moments of quiet, rambling reflection like this make me even more grateful for the gift of my precious family.
It’s nice to meet you. Thanks for sticking around and reading all of this… I know it was a lot. Sometimes… ok oftentimes I ramble. Oh and while I’m at it I’m not a lover of dresses and heels… heels hurt. Come to think it I never loved dressing up not even as a kid. Maybe one day I can learn to love the fancy life. Right now however, I’m totally content with my jeans, a hoodies and collection of TOMS. 🙂