Thursday, April 14, 2011

Making Lemonade

Hubby and I have been luckier than we deserve in our life, and we recognize this almost every day.  When we weren't sure how we were going to be able to live on one-income after our son was born - a friend called out of the blue and offered my husband a job. When my husband's friends decided to take control of their own future and go into business for themselves, they invited my husband to join them on the journey.  We have been the grateful beneficiaries of our friends' and families' generosity on numerous occasions and we have been so thankful. During the past few years, we have watched the job market sour and we have watched friends deal with layoffs and hard times, and yet we have somehow been spared.  It's not unusual for Hubby and myself to spend some time counting our blessings in the evenings.  He has a promising career and a secure position with a successful company, we are able to afford me staying home with the children, we have a warm, dry home to call our own (well, as warm as it can be when the thermostat is set to 68 degrees) and we have three healthy, happy, intelligent sons who are a source of never ending entertainment :)

And yet- it is so easy to become accustomed to these blessings and start taking them for granted. It's easy to adapt and re-acclimate to these conditions and start to feel dissatisfied. "If only the house was a little bigger" "If only we didn't have to worry about budgeting" "If only we could travel more" 'If only..."  It's alright to have ambition and big dreams, but it is also important to stop to realize how good you have it!  For me, the biggest challenge is appreciating my husband's job.  He is in the job of his dreams.  He LOVES what he does, he enjoys the level of influence he has in his company, he appreciates the relationships he has with his friends and the trust they have in him. He has amazing flexibility when it comes to his schedule - he writes it himself. And for the most part, his job is extremely secure.

The problem for me is, I get so used to his flexibility that it comes as a shock when that flexibility is temporarily taken away.  Recently, my husband had to terminate an employee (for good reason) and found himself short staffed while he looks for a replacement. As a result of this, my husband has had to step in to cover the shifts that are now unassigned.  This has put him back on the "closing" schedule which means he comes home after the kids' bedtime every night.  It means he is working 6 days a week (plus running a late-night meeting every Friday night as well.)

This really starts to take a toll on me because, without my husband home in the evenings, my days all start to blend into one looooong day of housework and childcare.  By the time he comes home at night, he is exhausted and just wants to eat some dinner, unwind with a little reading, and go to bed.  Without play dates I would probably go crazy for lack of adult conversation! I noticed that old familiar resentment creeping up on me this week as I did bedtime on my own night after night, was forced to cancel my rsvp for a babies-only playdate I had been planning to attend with Baby Bug and had to back out of a much anticipated sushi night with my girlfriends. 

Luckily, I had a moment of clarity before the downward spiral took hold.  It's not fair to my husband if I am resentful of his work schedule when he has been doing such a wonderful job of providing for our family these past 5+ years. It's not fair of me to resent his operations management role, even thought that role requires him to pick up the slack when the are things that need to be done. His dedication to his job and loyalty are things I admire about him.  So instead of spending the next few weeks feeling bitter and agitated - I decided to make some lemonade out of my lemons.  The boys and I rented "Swiss Family Robinson," we baked up a half-batch of soft molasses cookies, popped some popcorn, got into our pjs and snuggled up on the couch together for a movie night. If the boys and I are going to have our evenings to ourselves these next few weeks, I am going to do my best to make the most of that time!

(and if you were wondering - the boys LOVED the movie and are now even more excited about our upcoming Disney Land trip this fall)

No comments:

Post a Comment