When I was in undergrad I assumed that I would go back to school someday, most likely when I was done with my military service. Fast-forward a marriage, two kids, and eight years later to today when I finally have my chance only now I wonder if the window of me actually wanting to go back to school has somehow, passed..
I was ecstatic when I received the news that I had been admitted to a top MBA program nearby. I worked really hard to put together my application that asked for three separate essays, two recommendations, a GMAT score of course, and an optional video (which I actually did). Somehow, in between all my family obligations, I put together a decent application. It hadn’t occurred to me to consider not going until a couple of weeks ago.
I was stuck in Atlanta with the kids for two days, on my own, without my husband. We were on our way back from a graduation with a layover in Atlanta when I learned that our flight was delayed. Bad weather apparently. No big deal, we waited, we had some pizza, we wandered around the airport until I heard the news that the flight status had changed from delayed to canceled. I decided not to jump in line that instant, my kids were tired of waiting around by then, so we went to TGI Fridays to have ultimate nachos. By the time we made our way to the ticketing counter, the next available flight home was not for another two days.
I’ve heard of this sort of thing happening before. Of canceled flights and people spending the night in airports. It had just never happened to me. Ever. And not with two kids. By myself.
As some nice folks in a similar predicament mentioned on our way to the hotel, Atlanta is not a terrible place to be stuck. There’s a public transit system called MARTA that takes you to the center of town where all the major museums and attractions are centrally located. Entertaining the kids for two days would not be so hard after all, I thought.
But despite the convenience of Atlanta and of having financial means to go on random museum outings and having no job hounding me to return to work, I was still kind of miserable. My kids were tired, they were bored, and they wanted to go home too. They were not on their best behavior. I was not a very happy mommy in this setting. Nor was I a very happy wife to be stuck flying solo on this one.
Which brings me back to my MBA.
I have a very supportive husband, but even then I know that I will be flying solo for my MBA. My husband works really late usually. He travels. He is project based so things aren’t very predictable. He’s also just starting out his career, so he’s fighting to “make it” in his job. All this is a good thing for him and our family. He likes his work, and frankly he’s paying all the bills. So while he’s very supportive financially and emotionally, the logistics of taking the kids to and fro, of parent teacher conferences, of surprise sick days, and bedtime routines that stretch well into 9pm, will all be on my shoulders.
In short, will my MBA make me an unhappy mother and resenting wife?
One thing I know for sure, man or woman, parent or not, it’s never a good idea to sacrifice relationships for achievement. I hope I can figure out how to weather the barrage of commitments I could soon have, otherwise my window may have passed.