For MBA’s Raising a Family: An Open Letter from the Other Half

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Hello Darling,

We are at the end of a two-week separation. Oh, you and I are good. You’re just on a field trip. In China. Meanwhile the babies and I are weathering another January here in Minnesota. We have actually grown quite hardy; it was 24 degrees out yesterday and we didn’t even zip up our coats! I do not know what’s happened to us – I used to be such a wimp. Anyways, now seems like an appropriate time to say what has been on my mind in your absence: YOU.  Are awesome.

Family Walking Through Snow

When we decided to come to Carlson, my first concern was, “Which duck boot is best?” I had no major concerns. I was at peace with our choice because I knew it would be good for you and our family, open up career paths, all that jazz. I was excited for the adventure, the culture, the accent…I spent zero minutes worrying about how you would handle the rigorous program with a family to care for. Maybe I’m naïve or maybe that is just how much faith I have in you. 

Kids Playing and Tackling Man

However in the time that we have been here there have been plenty of rigors! A plethora of rigors! Rigors of homework, classes, projects and meetings, conferences, studying, exams, travel, competitions…as rigors go, your cup doth runneth over. I am so proud of all you’ve done. But I think I’m most proud of the way you’ve done it.

A student with a family comes home and assumes a whole new set of duties. You must be tired, but for the children who come running the second you walk in the door, you always have open arms and enthusiasm for their little schemes. Double horsey while balancing on a bouncy toy? Sounds fun! Camping out on their bedroom floor to keep away monsters? No problem. They know they can count on you. 

And they aren’t the only ones. Those little, infinite things you do for your spouse– texts at lunch, late-night laughs, or letters when you’re on the road – those things sustain me. You’re my hero and I don’t know how you do it all!

Although come to think of it, maybe you have an advantage. A family certainly adds to your motivation to succeed, and of course parenting skills crossover into your schoolwork. I’ve seen it. You take the late night calls to answer assignment questions without complaint, never mind the wee hours you spend completing your own. You lead, you teach, you invest in people, be they your kids or your classmates, and have wonderful relationships to show for it. Raising a family has actually prepared you in some ways. So you know what? You are welcome. Basically, the babies and I should get honorary MBA’s for our contributions. 

But we were talking about you. 

From my perspective, earning your MBA and being a family man are each demanding above and beyond “full time.” Yet somehow, you manage to do them both with passion and commitment and that takes an exceptional kind of person.  I’m a lucky girl.

Family men/women of Carlson: we salute you!

Especially ours. ☺

Family Posing with their Snowman