Sunday, August 28, 2011

Role Swapping Part 2

Week two is completed of our social experiment and here's an update: The first week, I came home exhausted every night. The baby was still waking in the night to feed so I wasn't getting much sleep. Plus, I chose not to pump during the day so that my daytime supply would decrease as she does well on formula. Unfortunately, that caused a clogged duct which led to mastitis. However, I was able to recognize the signs early enough to get on antibiotics and didn't miss any work. 

And, I'm still dealing with a back injury from a month ago. I'm in physical therapy (which seems to make it worse) and beginning to think I have a herniated disc. Ugh. But, even with pain, I've managed to be functional. Yay!

This past week, the baby slept through the night and that helped tremendously. I'm beginning to have a bit of mental/physical energy left at the end of the work day. I still haven't figured out the best start time. I think it's probably 7:00 am. Seems to work best for my energy level and for the patients. I have some that would prefer to get therapy over before breakfast.

At the end of the week, I felt groggy and disconnected from the family. I'm having trouble remembering to pray for them as much as I used to. Plus, it's hard to engage when I first get home. I just want to escape into facebook. I've allowed myself to do just that, but I don't plan to this week. 

The kids don't seem any worse for the wear. They seem happy to see me at the end of the day, but nobody seems distraught if they see me leave, and they're pretty matter of fact about the whole thing. 

Here's what I've noticed about the whole thing: 

The boys seem to be doing better. I realized that they really benefit from having Dad around more. They were running me ragged and really need a heavier hand than I was giving them. Shawn is much better at consistency than I am. 

The house is still a mess with Shawn at the helm, but I have no guilt about it and it's awesome! I realize that I've lived with guilt about everything home-related for years. I have ADD and I struggle with housekeeping, and that is putting it so mildly it's almost laughable. Even when the mess is under control, there is always so much more that can/should be done. I'm pretty good at relaxing anyway, but not without guilt.

That being said, I also realize that I need to contribute when I get home. I plan to do so, I just need to get the exhaustion under control, first.

Without the messy house coming between us, I think I'm getting along better with my type-A teen. I'm able to enjoy her without feeling judged for being a slacker or judging her for being to harsh with her younger sibs about cleaning up. It's a good thing.

On the flip side, I feel completely disconnected from my husband. He seems to be struggling a bit to find his way in this new role. We love our kids, but let's face it. He has the harder of the two jobs. He's not used to all the different personalities and sin natures asserting themselves in his face all. day. long. Just feeding all of them is a major feat! He is worn out at the end of the day, too. I'm also biting my tongue...a lot. He would be amazed at how much, because sometimes I forget, but I'm trying. It's much easier to see what needs to be done when you're not in the trenches.

We'll figure it out. For now, I'm enjoying the swap and continuing to take it one day at a time.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Role Swapping

My husband is self-employed. He is a handyman and is very good at what he does. Unfortunately, his business has taken a blow by the downturn of the economy. 

I am a SAHM, but I'm also an occupational therapist. I've been working a day or two per week to supplement our income this summer. It has helped, but we've wiped out our savings and things are tight.

Recently, I was offered a 13-week assignment working very close to home 6-8 hours per day. If we stick to our bare bones budget, we could bank several months worth of expenses by the time it's over. We decided that I would take it and he would stay home with the kids.

This is a big move for our family, even though it's only temporary. Switching roles is challenging. Letting go of our old roles will be challenging, too. 

We homeschool and I was really looking forward to teaching our kids this year. It's been a long time since I've looked forward to school. Here's an explanation of that. It's hard for me to give that up, even for a few months. It will be hard not to tell Shawn how to do everything or to express frustration when he doesn't do it my way. Which is actually pretty funny given that I feel like a failure as a home manager much of the time.

I feel like this is a big social experiment happening in my very own home. I intend to blog about it, the practical and the emotional. I start Monday.

One day at a time.