You know what I am talking about…
You had to work the day of your daughter’s recital and couldn’t get anyone to cover for you.
It’s your Christmas to work, so you have to either get your kids up at the butt-crack of dawn or make them wait ’til you get home to open gifts (or not see their sweet faces at all when they open their gifts.)
It’s d.ate night. Your spouse was counting on you being home this Friday so you can go out. Your best work friend called and he is making you feel more guilty about how slammed they are/how much they need you than your spouse is.
Most of us are just a bit co-dependent anyway, right? We want to make everyone happy, take care of everyone’s feelings.
Let me tell you a secret. You can’t do it.
Let me tell you another secret. If you wanna survive this gig with your sanity intact, you’re gonna have to develop thick skin. And learn some creative ways to talk your kids and/or spouse into thinking this schedule change was their idea.
From someone who has been through the trenches and made it to the other side of teenagehood (when your kids care less that you’re always around), it can be done.
Your kids will not only survive, they may even thrive.
Now my husband rolls his eyes when dads say they are “babysitting” this weekend. “Dude, you’re their PARENT. Not their baby sitter.”
He was way better at details than me, after a long weekend of my thirteen or fourteen hour shifts. He was the one to remember the pacifiers, the blankies, the extra diaper or two. He had getting out of the house with three kids in tow down to a science.
My kids didn’t come running to me instead of Daddy EVERY time, when they needed something. Just most of the time… Ha.
Granted, he did things differently than me. He would close the door in their faces when they tried to interrupt a work call. I would let myself be interrupted on the phone.
He was a stickler about nap times and schedules. I was more flexible (sometimes to my later regret).
We were better spouses, on the whole, because we could be tolerant of unforeseen work issues – for both of us.
We learned to read one another after a “parent shift.” He would come home and say, “Give him to me” when he saw my crazy eyes.
As the kids matured, they are able to understand more why things happen the way they do.
And, sometimes, Mom or Dad get called off and are home when they get home. Surprise! Those are good days…