Monday, August 5, 2013

New Normal

I am struggling--to adjust to the harsh reality of Dan's new job schedule, to make time for myself, to keep up with my job as housewife when we haven't been spending much time at our house...I'm just struggling.  I work well under pressure (always have--huge procrastinator!), but I'm learning that as I'm getting older, I don't handle stress as well.  It really bothers me when the house is a mess--my stress level goes through the roof until I break out the cleaning supplies and scrub everything down.  It really bothers me when I forget to do something crucial to my job (ie, keeping the family running)--it slipped my mind to get Abby her sports physical this summer, so now she can't register for dance class until I can get her in for a late physical at the end of August...when dance class might be full.  It really bothers me when days and days go by, and I haven't had a chance to really talk with my husband.  I feel bombarded with these seemingly little annoyances/issues/troubles/hiccups lately, and this past week especially, I allowed all of it to pile up in my head and make me insufferably, obnoxiously, miserably cranky.

I should have worn this all last week as a warning...

Not only was I totally miserable last week, but I made everyone around me miserable, too--poor Dan didn't know what hit him, and I didn't really know how to explain it to him (especially not in the 2 seconds of conversation we've been able to have each night before he goes to get reading done for work or goes to bed because he's exhausted from his crazy long days).

Let me just say that I'm not adjusting well to our new family schedule, precipitated by Dan's change in jobs.  There have been a lot of changes--the most obvious one being Dan's new hours.  He wakes up a lot earlier than he used to when he had a 5-minute commute to the office--now his commute is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour (barring major complications), and he has to report to work earlier than in his old job.  That means he is out the door at a ridiculously early hour...and he's not all that quiet in his mad rush to get ready in the mornings.  Why does that matter?  Because our sweet kiddos, who had been enjoying the lazy sleeping-in mornings of summer, are now waking up when Daddy slams the front door closed on his way out.  Not only are Dan's days longer, but now my days are longer, too, with those rude awakenings.  I've been totally off my Good Housewife game when it comes to making dinners this summer (all Dan's time off and our vacation really screwed with my routine, not to mention my motivation), so when I'm frantically running around my kitchen trying to piece together something for the kids to eat and Dan isn't even home at 6:30pm, I'm a little burned out.  I miss the days of Dan walking in the door by 5pm and helping me with dinner or the kids (or both!).  Even when he wasn't particularly helpful, just knowing he would be there somehow calmed my mind--and now, knowing that he probably won't be there makes the evenings more hectic.  We've been doing well with getting the kids to bed by 8pm most nights, but then Dan has a ton of reading to do for his new job, or he's exhausted from his long commute and the steep learning curve at his new I end up spending my evenings alone in front of HGTV again.  I know I've posted in the past that I am lonely, but it deserves mention here again, because I think that is a major contributing factor to my crankiness.  So his new hours are hard for me, because the days are longer, and I'm really lonely at the end of them.

I have a very meaningful relationship with my TV these days

The second change is much more insidious for my mood:  Dan adores his new job.  That is great, right?  Having a job that you love is something everyone strives to find, and he's lucky enough to have it!  I'm just a really bad person, because his absolute love of his new job is making me feel extremely bitter.  The amount of stress this new job has brought me, and what I've given up because of the new job, make his love of said new job feel a little like a slap in the face.  I'm having to work really hard to find time when I can exercise (and many times not succeeding), as opposed to the relative ease of my regular exercise classes the last 6 months, and that creates a weekly (sometimes daily!) large stress for me--I really do need the exercise classes for my sanity, and for my health.  I'm in charge of the money management for our family, and watching our credit card balance balloon due to the expenditures we've had to make for this new job (2 new suits! new dress shirts!  new shoes!  daily cost for parking and gas!) causes me a lot of stress--trying to figure out how to adjust to the new expenses while sticking to our budget takes up a lot of my time and mental energy.  Dan has always been a workaholic, and in fact, he loved the position he held for the past two years, so I'm used to him really enjoying his work--and I'm glad that he does, because the alternative would be so much worse.  This new job just seems to take that enjoyment to a new level, and that's hard for me--not only are we barely seeing each other and never getting time to connect, but when we do get to talk, all I hear about is the job.  I understand, it's what's going on in his life right now, so of course he wants to share it with me--and I feel absolutely terrible that all of this makes me feel bitter and unsupportive.  I promise, I'm not unsupportive--I think Dan is amazing and doing wonderful things with this new position, and I'm so glad he has the opportunity.  I'm extremely proud of him.  I just miss him--I miss having a normal conversation with him that doesn't only revolve around work or the kids.  I miss lazy nights on the couch watching a movie or our favorite shows together.  I miss weekend fun family time.  We haven't found the balance yet--daily life is just not as comfortable as it was, and my adjustment has been painful and slow.

The kids and I are heading off on another adventure later this week (ahem, DisneyWorld), and Dan can't come with us--you guessed it, because of his inability to take leave from his new job.  I'm really hoping that the time away will do both of us some good--I'll have a lot of hopefully fun-filled days with my family (not talking about Dan's new job!), and Dan will have a lot of quiet time to himself to get his work done in the evenings.  I'm hoping to come back refreshed, although just typing that unleashes maniacal, sinister laughter in my head--does anyone come back from a "vacation" to DisneyWorld in August with three kids feeling refreshed??  Okay, maybe I'm just hoping that we all make it back in one piece, and I'll be so happy to be home that I won't mind hearing all about how cool the job was while I was gone.  ;)

I could use a little Happiest Place on Earth right now

I'll let you know how it all goes when I get back in town next week, and I'll be launching a new stayed tuned!  I'll leave you with my Challenge #2 update for this week--I weighed in at 136.4 yesterday, for a loss of 1.6 pounds.  Feels like the old days again with those trusty 1.6 pounds lost!  I'm just happy to have reversed the upward trend of the last few weeks, and hoping not to screw myself all up in Florida...although it'll be yet another temptation on this journey.  Wish me luck!


  1. The more I read your blog, the more I'm thankful for you for writing it. Sometimes it's as though you grab what's in my head and put it down on paper. When we moved here, Nick immediately made friends, LOVES his new job, and had a social life right away, while I stayed behind with kiddos, not glamorous, or fun, not to mention not so great on the social life either. I'm the same way as far as needing my house cleaned, and organized which it wasn't. And hating this house we live in, and overall loneliness hasn't helped. The happier Nick was, the more resentful I had become because I felt or still feel left out. It was him and I in Washington, now I feel as though it's not just him and I anymore. It's him, and I'm hanging on to his coat tails. Oh and the finances, yes, we now have the expense of fishing trips, moving costs, needing things for the house, etc. I KNOW YOUR PAIN!! But it's a new week, I'm starting to make my own friends and life here. Going berry picking today and yoga class tonight.
    As always, enjoy your blog.

    1. Thank you, Adrienne! It's really hard being the one at home, especially in a new place...and I'm terrible because I also get so resentful of Dan when I'm not especially happy where I am. I know it's not his fault, and I really need to work on it, but it's not easy! I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one...I hoped this post didn't make me sound like a selfish brat! It's just one more hurdle in this life we live--we'll get through it. Good for you for putting yourself out there and making the best of the situation! We'll make it past this awkward early stage of getting used to our new lives, just in time for the military to switch it up again on us--ha ha!