Tuesday, October 21, 2014

"Are You Working IN or OUT Of The Home Today?"-My Super Sweet Feminist Husband.

A few months ago, on any given morning, George would ask, "Are you workin' today?" and without hesitation, I would tell him "yes" or "no" and then flash him a smile. I never thought twice about it, but apparently, he did.

One particular morning, I noticed a shift in the way he asked the question. "Are you working in or out of the home today?"

I smiled first.

Then answered, "in the home today."

It was a moment that I will always remember. Of course, it doesn't compare to events like our wedding, or the birth of our daughter, but I honestly will treasure that day, and that conscious shift, which I didn't even request.

I am one of the luckiest girls on the planet, because most of my days begin with my hard-working husband getting out of bed, and bringing me a cup of coffee and our daughter. We all snuggle, and then while she eats breakfast and watches one of her shows, I get some quiet time in.

On days when I work "outside of the home," I get up around 5 or 5:15, and don't see our baby. I still have my quiet time, and still enjoy my coffee. Then, I typically enjoy my work shift, with my fun co-workers, executing RN duties, and feeling grateful for my education which allows me to work part-time and still make a substantial income.

I work part-time as an operating room nurse for one surgeon. When he is out of town, or operating at a hospital other than our office, I don't get hours. That means I get to enjoy the time off, but it also means my hourly paychecks suffer. Fortunately, George's job spots me, and while we don't live anywhere near the realm of excess, we get by comfortably when we focus on what makes us happy. Feeding the ducks with LG, riding our bikes//Burley, binging on Netflix in our bed, or sometimes just good heart-to-heart conversations. Those are the best.


When I have weeks with 0 or 1 shift, I feel conflicted, but am trying to feel satisfied. The first week that went by with zero hours, I loved it. I even thought I could do the whole stay-at-home mom bit. But we pay for the nanny whether or not we use her, so after week 2, when I realized I was a stay-at-home "wife," I started to feel like I wasn't contributing enough.

I told George, I wanted to do home improvement projects to feel productive, but so often those cost money, which I'm not currently making. So, I added bead-board to our kitchen wall. Then, I painted a wall. I made a couple hanging plants on firewood. I painted shelves that have never matched our living room. I felt really happy and fulfilled on those days.

Even something as simple as spray-painting the red shelves black make me feel productive. Small victories. Hehe.

What made me feel the best, more than any home improvement project, or yoga class, or even solitary shower ((mamas out there know that a solitary shower without a time restraint is a total luxury))...was George's warm embrace, kind eyes, and encouraging words. He reiterated that he couldn't pursue his career without my support. I handle all the finances, bills, mail, home organization, laundry, groceries, etc...and he appreciates it. Truly! And he tells me all the time! I feel really grateful to be with a man who goes out and makes the bacon, loves what he does, and still thanks me for what I do...even when it's not making money.

I have to remind myself that it's okay to be really happy. I think throughout the pregnancy, I was so worried about how we were going to make it, I still feel residual anxiety when I look around at our house, and realize I've made no money on that given day. I try to compensate by making something. If not money, allowing my artistic side to create something. But if a day goes by where I've made nothing, my ego starts chipping away at my self-esteem.

But, I won't let my ego get the best of me. For the longest time, I felt afraid of how happy I was. Like at the drop of a hat, it could all go away and be taken from me. I think the idea is pure + good....it stems from the notion "don't take anything for granted." I still think like that. But if I let that worry become more powerful than the present gratitude and happiness, it rips my current moment away.

I also have had to tell the rebellious feminist in me to pipe down at times. For so long, I made more money than George, and I felt power in that position. I still want women to make equal pay for equal work. So I guess, there's a subconscious ((now becoming more conscious)) part of me that feels like I'm the "beta" partner now, or the "submissive" partner now, or the "traditional female role" now, or I don't know...just...it's different. But if I get real, I can admit, I've NEVER BEEN HAPPIER. And fortunately, I have a feminist husband who asks me if I'm working "in or out of the home." I mean, I should seriously just count my freakin' blessings. At times I feel like I have it all, and then that part of me starts to worry it could all be taken away in a second.

So, self-talk.

Today was a great day, and I don't take it for granted. Yesterday was awesome, and I think tomorrow will be really great, too. I just really love life right now. 

I have a great family ((the one I was born in to, and the one I chose...here's lookin' at you, Papa G...)) They make my life sweet.


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