The Dangers of NOT Putting Your Kids First
I've been chewing over this subject for a very long time and just need to get a few things off my chest.
I've been struggling with finding a balance between work and family for over a year now. I got so desperate I Googled "How to put your kids first" to try to get some much needed pointers on what i'm doing wrong. The answers I got floored me. The whole front page of google was plastered with "stop putting your kids first" and "putting your kids first- how to tell them you're divorcing" or the most jaw dropping "The dangers of putting your kids first" What The Crap Google?!
Since when have our kids become such a danger as to "ruin a marriage"? And why should we only put them first once our marriage has ended? There's something i'm not understanding here.
Since the beginning of time the tradition has stood as follows: Fall in love, get married, have children. Marriage is meant to be a foundation to build a family on. Whether you are straight, gay, polygamous etc, marriage serves the same purpose. Families can be all shapes and sizes whether you have 20 kids, adopt 20 kids, or you want your family to consist of 50 cats. A family is a family. Why shouldn't it come first?
At the risk of putting my head on the chopping block I can tell you I fell into the dark side without even realizing it and i'm still not sure how to get out of it. I thought my family came first but I was dead wrong. Here's where I went wrong
My husband and I fell on hard times. I had to start working. I thought it would help us out financially and therefore make life easier. WRONG. I got a day job doing retail for minimum wage (only kind of job i can get) I was putting my kids in daycare because we have zero family or friends that can help. I made $250 a week. Daycare took $200. That left me with $50 for gas and maybe a small pack of diapers? If I didn't buy lunch or use the vending machine EVER. So I quit and started doing construction. It was a little more money at $300 a week... IF we worked that week. It was very off and on and I ended up making less than I did in retail. I quit and decided night shift is what I needed. The kids will be home with hubs and save us a ton in daycare. Plus I can be home with the kids during the day. Little did I know how much I would sacrifice for just a little bit of extra cash. I sacrificed sleeping in a bed except 2 nights a week when i'm off. But my sleep cycle is so screwy i cant sleep anyway. So zero cuddle time with hubs. Instead i have to sleep on the couch with one eye open and both ears on high alert for my two year old. No matter how hard i try to wait until his nap time, i hardly ever make it. Which is dangerous with a free ranger toddler. And let me tell you, trying to take micronaps for that 5 minutes that they are distracted watching Dora and jumping on the couch to the music does NOT cut it. There are not enough hours in the day to get any rest. Here's my schedule
10pm: go to work
7am: leave work
7:30am: get home with 20 minutes to get kids up, dressed, teeth brushed and race to school
8AM: make it to car line just in time to drop off 4 year old. drive home
8:30: make it home and feed toddler
9am: finally get fed up with chasing him back into his seat for the 10 millionth time. Kid is deathly allergic to sitting down EVER
9:30am: finally change out of work clothes, lock the bedrooms and kitchen and turn Dora on and lay down
10am: Dora has ended and so has the rest of the world. Also he's scattered the entire collection of dvds across the house. Pick up the mess and find another cartoon
10:30am: hes bored of tv and wants to climb all over me. Also he's hungry again
This cycle repeats until 12
Noon:feed lunch and put him down for a nap
1pm: finally stops screaming and falls asleep
2:30pm: he wakes up and my alarm goes off. get up get dressed, feed toddler another snack and head to school
3pm: get to car line
3:30: pick up 4 year old. drive home
4pm: get home, both holler for snacks. feed them and send them into the playroom
4:30: gives up napping after fight number 17 i've had to break up
5pm: clean and straighten up house
6pm: make dinner
6:30: feed kids
7:30:bathtime, teeth brushed, bedtime story
8:30: hubs gets home
9pm: shower and get ready for work
Repeat all week
I'm stretched so thin that i can't function. My priorities have shifted from my family to work and sleep without me even realizing it. I want nothing more than to sleep in a bed with my hubs and play in the sprinkler with my boys all day like I used to. Instead I find myself almost hiding from them just to have a quiet moment to relax. I've come to realize that I don't enjoy my kids anymore. I don't enjoy my marriage anymore. Whenever my hubs wants to be intimate with me all I can think is how badly i want to punch him in the face and roll over and go to sleep. I've become some horrible monster I don't recognize and I can't stand it. And all Google can tell me is how dangerous it is to put my kids first?! How dare you Google!
"I see blindness not as a disability, but an ability. People with sight judge others by what they see. Black, white, red, yellow. Those words mean nothing to me. I can only see what's on the inside." Patrick Henry Hughes