“I’m so irritated at people, including my mother, who can’t see past the glamorous job of regional pilot that my husband does to the very important, much more rewarding and interesting job that I do! More often than not I am greeted with “ Hi! Where’s A today?” Probably he’s in Des Moines, Debuque, or some other mispronounced midwestern dream town on a 60 minute turn or a 10 hour layover at the local La Quinta. I am a social worker at a children’s hospital. I help people. I make a difference in their lives. They remember me years later. Today I held the hand of a mom of a baby while our staff tried to save her baby girl and held the mom in my arms when we couldn’t. Then I helped find a way to pay for the burial costs. Then I pushed an emergency transfer through an insurance plan so a child could be flown to another hospital for a transplant. Then I coordinated the home equipment for another special needs child to go home. Every day I do these things and more. Want a funny story the starts with “ what had happened was...” or ends with “who does that?”- I have a hundred. But outside of the hospital, I’m nothing but a pilot’s wife. I just wish people could see beyond the aura of glamour I must radiate just being associated with him to the much more interesting facets of my life!”
There was lots of commiseration from other wives who felt the same way, that our lives and jobs are judged as so boring by comparison that they aren’t even worth remembering or asking about. Even our pastor at church does this to me. No one rembers my job but everyone knows his. A tried not to talk about his job and even tells people that my job is much more interesting, but still. It’s hard not to be snarky in the situation, but I need a good comeback so people will recognize how devaluing it is to me to ignore my own accomplishments.
I admit that I did recently, nearly fall victim to my own assumptions recently. But luckily I didn’t stick my foot in my mouth. I see many, many posts about wives saying they just can’t work because of their husband’s schedule. I’ve made it work AND we have three kids. So when we went to spend the recent holiday with another pilot family I had never met, I assumed that the wife probably didn’t work since they had several children and lived in a suburb a fair bit away from the the major area. Turns out they had three kids and she had a fairly demanding job in HR just down the street from where I work. I was so glad to kind a kindred spirit! Although I can’t imagine how I will continue to keep up what feels like a frantic pace to my life, it’s what works for us for now.
I was also re entry told by someone that I could seem very intimidating because I seemed to have my life so well managed and together and other people did not. I was blown away because I don’t always (more like rarely) feel like I have it so together and I certainly don’t judge anyone else for not having found there groove. I try to help by sharing what works for me, but I guess it doesn’t come off well sometimes. I promise I’m not an intimidating gal in real life, just busy trying to keep my head above water and lonely for friends who get it. I read a thought posted on Facebook that had been copied and pasted many times over was this- A different version of you exists in the minds of everyone who knows you. It seems so simple, but yet mind blowing at the same time.