How did I survive last year?!? Alan is working overtime tonight (until after dark, at least). Should be no biggie. I worked today, too, but I only worked from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. and had a good two hour break in the middle of the day to do paperwork, play on facebook, or whatever, because I was subbing but had no planning to do during the planning period. Also, we are coming off a vacation week (Mardi Gras here), so laundry is pretty much caught up. Dishes are pretty much caught up. There is food cooked from yesterday.
Still, I had to do carpool (an extra hour and a half, due to driving into the city and back home, but at least not in traffic like last year at this time). I had to check on Ander's birthday invites (finally sent out, even though they were lost in the classroom yesterday). I HAVE to do a load of laundry because Ander is out of uniform pants and it's too close to hot weather to buy more. I have to do dishes because the sink is full from cooking yesterday. I have to make supper, because the kids have to eat. I have to go through the school bags and the mail. I have to unload my lunch box and pack one for tomorrow. I have to get the boys ready for bed. Even if I do nothing else, I HAVE to do these things. Totally doable, when you get home before 5 p.m., like I did today.
But last year, I was at work by 7:30 a.m. and not even off until 5 p.m. Even then, I got e-mails all evening long. And I worked about one weekend a month. All of this, WHILE my husband was working overtime. In my mind, I had to. How else would we pay the bills? My job was so important. I was a bad employee if I didn't stay late, if I ran out at 5 p.m. on the dot, if I didn't answer that midnight email or get things done under those unreasonable time lines while traveling out of state three times a year and in state once a month.
It was insane. I was killing myself, trying to do it all. Instead, at least one of us is free now - to go through the school bag, make supper, or do that emergency load of laundry. When Alan is off, we can hang out, instead of running, running, RUNNING to accomplish everything we didn't do because we were working. Yes, we took a HUGE pay cut. But I feel like I'll live YEARS longer. Seriously. FREAKIN' YEARS.
I like the combo of some out of the house work and some being around the house. Subbing is perfect for that. Even when I sub for four to six weeks at a time, I'm not stressed, because I know a break is coming. And if I teach or whatever next year, having Loki in school will be a big help with that.
But I won't do to myself again what I did last time. No human should live that way. I was blind to what I was doing. I was blind to the harm I was causing myself and my family. Don't get me wrong. I still think a family can have two working parents. But no family can survive with two parents in long hour, high pressure jobs. Something has to give. This time, for me, it came down to my health and my sanity. I could have handled a high pressure job, except maybe for the health issues, if Alan was home to take care of the other stuff. But with him at work constantly, too, we didn't just lack balance. We lacked life.