Ever had life get in the way of... life? This weekend Mr. PW went to the recruitment weekend for grad school, even though he's already accepted their offer, etc. While there he had an opportunity to talk to the graduate advisor, who summarily advised him that to get his PhD meant a minimum of another 6 years in school.
Let's dwell on that for a second, just so we understand: six years. That's after four years for his BA, and not counting the two years in chef school and four years in the Marines. He's 28, and I'll be 29 next month. We'll be at least 35 before he's done. And it'll be most likely longer than that; he's going to be teaching every semester, and he's going to be possibly teaching a course on the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts on his own in the next couple of years, which is going to slow his progress towards his dissertation, but is very important to him to make happen.
We knew it would take a while. Neither of us are upset that we're not following the stereotypical track of four years in college and a steady job by age 22. Without getting too far into our shared philosophy of education for education's sake instead of a means to an end, we are okay with this. Here's why it's a bit of a blow for me:
This has changed our plans for kids. We were going to wait until he finished school before reproducing, but waiting until 35 for the first child? Not the best idea. The reason we were going to wait so long is that we both strongly wanted me to stay home with the children, at least until the last one was in school all day. But this development has negated that possibility. We need steady, adequate income, and my need for continuous health insurance coverage is 100%non-negotiable. Which means - I need to stay in my job, through the first child at minimum.
I'm not quite sure why this is so crushing to me. I guess I'd built all these plans around being at home, and was really looking forward to not working. In a little while, I'll realign my priorities, get used to the idea, and even look forward to it. But for now, I'm allowing myself to mourn a little before I move on.
*I should point out that this is no commentary on anyone else's choice to work, stay home, or whatever; until I met my husband I didn't even think I'd be having kids, so this is only my personal experience.