Monday, September 03, 2012


Neil and baby Abigail, almost six years ago
For me, so far, the worst part of graduate school is the nights.

In my mind, it seems like these should be the easiest.  The kids are asleep, the house is quiet and (mostly) clean, and Neil is working.  Nobody is asking me to do anything and really, I can just go curl up with a book/do some grading/go to sleep/run on my hamster treadmill/do whatever I want.

But honestly, it's really lonely.  Really, really lonely.

Neil and I have been in school for our entire marriage--we met when I was a sophomore at BYU and he was a newly returned missionary.  Together, we've each finished an undergraduate degree, I finished my master's degree, and we've put in 6.5 years towards his Ph.D.  I have no basis from which to speculate about what our life may be like when we are finally (oh please let it be soon!) done with school, but at the very least, I'm anticipating (hoping, praying) a cessation of the crushing loneliness.

Today was Labor Day, and surprise, surprise, Neil was at work!  Isaac and I were cuddled up together looking at books; we'd had friends over for lunch and a playdate in the morning, but they had gone home to do fun things with their daddies.  Isaac looked up and me and said, "When will our daddy be home?"  And I said, "Oh, in a couple of hours."  And he said, "No, when will he be home?  Home to stay wif me?  For a whole day"--and here his big brown eyes got even more enormous and he peered intently into my face--"or maybe even for a whole big week?"

And then Juliet said, "Isaac, Daddy can't come home.  He has to work so that we have money to buy crackers and raisins and books and shoes."

I chuckled at Juliet's response, but I was so sad for Isaac.  I'm so so so grateful to have a husband who works so hard.  I can't even imagine shouldering the amount of hours that he puts in without complaint, and he is always ready to help and keep on going when he gets home.  But when I see him fall asleep instantly as soon as his head touches the pillow, and I see how drawn the skin on his face is and the bruised-looking shadows under his eyes and the increasingly frequent gray hairs, I just wish that we were done with this stage in our lives.  I have loved our time here, and I know I will miss it, but I miss him more.  So much.  It is so hard.


aLi said...

I feel your pain. So tough. But it will be worth it (I tell myself this all the time!) down the road!!!!

Kayli said...

I don't know, I feel like I see Brett less now than when he was in school. He can take vacation days, so that's definitely good, but man, during the week he is ALWAYS WORKING SO LATE. Add to that the fact that there's not any other English-speaking stay-at-home-moms and I have to say that I'm lonely a lot too.
Good luck to us?

Doreen said...

I hope it gets better, Rachael - and who knows, maybe it will get better for Kayli too :)

Dani said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rachael said...

Oh man! Kayli & Dani, do the Saturdays get any better? The weeknights are hard, but the Saturdays away are worse!

Dani said...

Saturdays do get better! Saturday is the one day of the week that I know I'll see Justin and most likely we'll have him to ourselves all day. It's a real treat and something we all look forward to.

Hang in there! It's no fun to see your kiddos missing their dad...and no fun to miss your husband.

The Asays said...

I know how you feel, I hated Curtis being so busy/gone all the time in Grad School. However, He's been at his job for 12 weeks and has spent 5 of those weeks on business trips. It still feels lonely, in a new kind of way.

But I agree, weekends get better! Hoping you some hubby-time soon!

Kayli said...

Rachael, thanks for your comment, and when I read this post-knowing I was going to be writing mine- I thought it was interesting that we were both thinking along the same lines of loneliness. Dang husbands who think they have to have jobs/degrees so they can support us!
Anyway, again, thanks, and yes we can definitely commiserate with each other- and all the other women in the world who are lonely. Which there are probably quite a few. That's a sad thought.

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