"That was a good nap," said Lovey Loverpants.
It was early evening, the time when he would usually still be seeing the last of his clients and then heading to the grocery store to pick up our week's haul.
It was the first time since the fall that he had had a Sunday off, not counting holidays. Whether he was seeing patients at the hospital (Job #2) or at the private practice (Job #3), he has worked six days a week since October, and we're not talking scooping ice cream, young. It wasn't so bad when I was pregnant. My mood swings were such that he was probably glad to leave the house and contend with the certifiably crazy at the hospital, rather than combat the hormonally crazy at home. But now that we have a wee one with the Precious Moment Figurine face, Sundays come and it is harder and harder for him to leave us, and harder and harder for us to watch him go.
[WARNING: Pillagers et. al., take note! We have a vicious guard dog and booby traps near every entrance should you try to seek harm on Sundays.]
Loverpants took a pay cut shortly after we bought the condo, which was at the same time we found out that we were expecting. Although the pay cut has caused us private pain, I am not private about discussing the pay cut itself because it was not his fault, nor was it dealt in a manner that was very dignified, in my opinion. My husband was stoic on the outside, but I know he was stressed on the inside. He immediately began looking for additional jobs in light of his desire to continue to pay the mortgage AND eat. I went to work, went to school, and incubated our unborn child and felt like I was contributing my lot.
Sometimes the pager startled us at 4am. Because I would need to drive the car to work 3 hours later, Loverpants would have to log online to see if a zipcar was available. Then, at 4am, he would shower, dress, and ride his bike (through less favorable neighborhoods) to the zipcar, take the zipcar to the hospital, conduct the psychiatric screening and sometimes find the patient a bed at another hospital. He would then fight traffic to get back to the clinic by 9am. He would work until 5pm and then, sometimes, he would have to ride his bike home and locate another zipcar to go see patients at the private practice.
Weekends would come and I would feel disappointed when he was too tired to go out.
When I think about the people who made the executive decision to roll back salaries at my husband's clinic, I used to want to curse them. Now I want to thank them. The pay cut has caused a significant strain on our finances and it has certainly stolen some precious hours of sleep for both John and myself. But it was the wake-up call that I needed.
Our first year of marriage, I spent every other week in tears. I struggled so much with my role as a wife. The adjustment to sharing an apartment the size of a Lego block as well as all of the requisite chores within it was daunting to me. It had been so much easier to do it all myself, on my own schedule. Communicating expectations was a huge stumbling block for us, and the only reason this ceased to become a stumbling block when I was pregnant was because I pretty much kicked back for nine months.
But now I have put the proverbial Big Girl Pants on and I'm running to catch up. I get it now. We were dealt this financial setback because we needed - or maybe I needed - to learn how to be a team. I don't begrudge my duties now, nor do I want to make John's burden any heavier. I rinse out poop-drenched diapers with my bare hands, I wash floors at 10pm, I let my husband nap for hours -- but I am no hero. I am a team member. I have an important role to play in keeping our home a viable, warm place for my family, and it is honestly a delight for me to do so. Perhaps I am still eeking out the preggo hormones, but I feel happier now than I have felt in a long time, largely because I have found contentment, rather than burden, in others depending on me.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. ~ I Timothy 6:6
Everyone's pitchin' in...