Happy Monday all ya’ll beautiful people!
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and weekend! Today is part two of my answer to my friend who asked,
“Hey! So, my husband and I are contemplating a move/change of occupation that may put him on a schedule where he has to be far away from us weekly. Can I ask what your experience has been like? The awesomeness and the ugly.” – friend
Friends know I’m open and honest about my experiences and give no nonsense… okay, usually harsh answers but sometimes, that’s what you need.
Like me saying in no uncertain terms that it can SUCK to have a spouse that travels for work, especially if you have kids. It’s a ton of work, places a strain on your marriage, your relationship with your kids, and with others.
BUT I always follow up with some helpful hints, strategies, words of encouragement based on real life for you to take with you. For this particular topic, I have four areas things that I do that helps alleviate the stress of doing it all yourself:
Schedule and set alarms for freaking everything.
It’s okay to say no.
Talk – Bargain /Negotiate – Live by the deal.
It is what it is.
Last week, I went over scheduling and setting alarms for everything. This week, learning to say, ‘NO’ and being okay with that.
Honestly, I learned this lesson much later in life, but it’s one I wish had a very long time ago, even before kids and having a spouse that travels.
I want to be very clear about this…
The world will not end, you are not a bad parent or person if you’re not; the room mom/dad, snack mom/dad, carpool mom/dad, soccer mom/dad, provider of homemade bake sale products, President of the PTA, a member of the Rotary Club, and also build houses for Habitat for Humanity every weekend.
It’s okay not to bake homemade for the holiday party and buy it on the way to school. But, if you’ve got ten spare minutes the night before, there’s a ton of things to do to make store bought look homemade or just kickass! Buy plain frosted cupcakes and stick a spider ring on it, dip half an Oreo in melting chocolate and throw some sprinkles on. Anything out-of-the-box creative will look like you put a shit ton of effort in. LOL, I’ve got a ton of these so if anyone is interested, let me know. Huh… maybe that’s a book idea. “How to look like a Rock Star parent to people who don’t matter in ten-minute sprints.” LOL!
Also, you won’t believe the relief you feel by saying, “No” and then not giving a fuck about what the stressed out, brink of a nervous breakdown Stepford Moms think about you. But show them up whenever possible. I might not have done much or any volunteering at the kid’s schools, but always came for a party with the best coolest awe-inspiring treat there. Yea buddy. Bawhahahaha!
Back from digressing…
It’s okay to say NO! Not only is your sanity worth it, doing too much and stressing about doing it all can screw up your body. You do not have the option of being sick! When you have a spouse that travels YOU must take care of YOU.
If you have time to volunteer, bake homemade, or whatever it is that you are passionate about, do it. Just don’t be guilted into agreeing to do things you just don’t have time for. Be honest with yourself too. I think one of the reasons it took me so long to figure this out is because I still wanted to do it all and cared what someone would think if I said no. But when you think about it, how much does that person matter to you? I’m not talking about health, well-being, hope for their happiness, you know, the things that make you a good person, etc. I’m talking about caring about what they think when you say, “No.” Will some people act like it’s a crime? Sure. But, in the grand scheme of things, does that person’s opinion of you make your life any easier, better, or more fulfilled? If the answer is no, then that’s what you should say.
It might feel weird at first, but in the end, you’ll get it.
Make sure to check in next week, for part three, Talk, Bargain /Negotiate, and Living by the Deal.