Since moving to Tennessee, Tate has worked (with the exception of last weekend when I went to Nashville) seven days a week. Monday through Friday he works a minimum of 12 hours, but it usually ends up being 13 or 14 hours. Saturdays and Sundays he has been working “half days,” which in reality is a typical persons workday of about 7 hours. When he’s not at work, he answers numerous work-related phone calls.
I’m not sure if it’s that his new job here is more demanding or if Tate just feels like in order to get his job done, he has to work seven days a week. It doesn’t really matter, though, why he’s at work because what matters is that he’s always at work and we he’s not at work, he’s thinking about work.
I’m trying really hard to be supportive. I know that Tate is feeling a lot of work-related pressure and I’m trying to be mindful not to add home-related pressure as well.
There’s a fine line between being supportive and allowing our family to be put on the backburner. Sometimes, or if I’m being truly honest, very often, I feel like Tate’s job takes a higher priority than our family.
Trying to be supportive means that I have to allow myself to simply accept that Tate sees the kids for an hour every night, we don’t get to make weekend plans, and our time together will be interrupted by phone calls. It means that I don’t allow my annoyance to show and that I smile and welcome Tate home when he finally arrives and cheerfully ask how his day was.
Trying to be supportive could also mean that I allow the kids to stay up well past their bedtimes so they can spend time with their dad. It could mean that we throw caution to the wind and skip naptime on the weekends so that we can plan family outings. Being the primary caregiver of our children means that I know that keeping to a schedule is best for the kids, and selfishly, for me.
There is a fine line between doing what I know is best for our family and being a passive-aggressive wife who is grasping at the one, tiny thing I feel like I can control.
I’m constantly at odds with myself, trying to walk the delicate line and find the balance of being supportive, being the best mom to my kids, and trying to get Tate to understand that I cannot be the only one to fit him into our family’s routines.
There is a not-so-fine line between being the 1950′s version of the perfect housewife and being me.