All I ever wanted was a simple life.  I could make a list of the things I dreamed of.

A husband who loves me.

Children I adore.

A church where I’m embraced.

A house to make a home.

Food on our table, friends to share it with.

Love in our hearts.

That was my definition of success. Of succeeding in life. 

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I never needed popularity, or the perfect body, or wealth. 

All I really wanted were the simple things. 

That’s not to say I’m always happy or I don’t sometimes want more. 

Occasionally, I catch my mind wandering . . . What would it be like to have something else? What if I’d made different choices? 

If I had a high-power career, what would it be like to walk into an office somewhere and have people whisper that I’d arrived? If I commanded some respect, instead of asking my kids to turn off the TV and have them hide the remote with giggles while I search under the couch to do it myself.

Or when I see that mom at drop-off in the yoga pants and tiny, fitted top, would having that body make me more satisfied?

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When I feel defeated, which happens as a mom more than I imagined, I wonder. 

Or when I get left out, or I watch a friendship fail because we’ve grown apart. 

When money is tight, when there’s a disagreement, I sometimes think Should I have pursued something else? Should I have had a different dream?

But then something happens that brings me right back to where I started from. 

A child whispers, “Mommy, I love you to the moon and back.” 

Or I catch a glimpse of my house as I pull into our garage and I think I did make this our home. It may not be the biggest or the nicest, but it is ours.  

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Or a kiss from my husband. But even better than that, when he lets me sleep in on a Saturday because he wants me to get a break, too. Those perfect little ways he shows me he loves me.

Or my pastor waving to me at the store as we food shop because it’s nice to see him out not on a Sunday, too. 

A neighborhood barbeque where the adults laugh all night and lose track of the kids as they play outside, knowing they’re safe and happy.

And I remember. These are the things I wanted.

It’s not grand and it’s not particularly shiny. 

It’s simple when you compare it to other things out there, but this life I’m in now is my dream come true.

Caroline Murray

Caroline is a freelance writer, mama to two young children and one sweet baby.  She loves everything country and tries not to take anything too seriously.  You can see more of her at www.the-othermom.com.