Thursday, January 27, 2011

Confessions on a low self-worth.

Today, I'm having one of those "man, I'm not worth much to anyone and everything is my fault" sort of days.

I just realized that I place a lot of my self-worth on whether or not my husband is home spending time with me.

Jake works hard. He works 14 or more hours a day, four or five days a week. He is very geared toward a strong financial future. I am more focused on relationships. Always have been. I grew up without much for money, but I had a really close-knit family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and of course, my immediate family. I lived that way for 27 years now, and so trying to switch my focus to making the most money we can right now just doesn't work.

Jake and I don't fight often, really, and we usually agree on most things. But when it comes to this work v. time at home thing, well, we've always disagreed. Not that he doesn't want to be home, because that's not it, he just has a higher standard for making money. Like, he has to make "enough" per day to justify taking his day off off every week. And if he doesn't, he works on his day off instead of being home with Spencer and I.

I appreciate his willingness to work, but I find that when he prefers to make a bigger paycheck every week than spend that extra day home with us, that I feel pretty worthless.

Today, he is working to make up for lack of sales or missing customers on Monday and Tuesday. I was looking forward to a little time for myself this morning, which didn't happen, before he left, and before he left, I started feeling really bad about wishing he'd be home, and wanting time away from he or Spencer in the first place.

I mean, come on, we fought for this baby, and he's what we wanted to so badly, and yet I want to be away from him every week? More than one or two hours once a week even? Man, I felt like a bad mom.

Anyway, back to this dissension. When we have the discussion that always starts out with me wanting Jake home more, and ending with if I want that to happen I have to make more money, but yet, we both feel like I should raise our child, so I am doing that instead, which means Jake will be gone all the time and I just have to deal with it... I always end up feeling like crud.

I know I shouldn't place any value of myself as to whether or not my husband is home, but yet, I do. I try to stop, and I can't. I don't know how. No matter how much I pray or give it to God, when this conversation happens, I fall right back into being not worth his time away from making money.

I don't know that we'll ever find a balance, and that scares me.

No one is at fault, but I tell you what, I always blame myself, which makes it feel even worse. I'm not mad at Jake, and I don't blame him for doing what he feels is best. I just don't always agree. I feel like even if we were to end up debt free in five years or less, we've still missed out on 4 years of time together since we were married, plus the time that he's away now. But what do I do? Do I give up on raising our child for a higher paying job, seeing as how that would be the one thing it seems that would bring my husband home before 10pm every night?

I don't get hardly any sleep. Neither does Jake. And it's not totally because of having a baby, though that's part of it. During the day, I don't/can't find time to nap, and then I stay up until he gets home because Spencer is awake a lot of the time waiting for Jake to get home, and also, if I'm not awake when he gets home, there's a good chance I wont' see him.

And then I feel really horrible, because I want him to spend time away from us in his free time, but I don't. I love that he's doing lights at church, but at the same time, I'm selfish and wish he was here for that extra two hours. But will I ask him not to? No. Will I blame him for doing it? No. It just boils down to the fact that I wish we had more time together as a family during the week.

So, here I am, home while he's working on his "day off," and my baby is crying in his bouncy seat, and instead, I'm sitting here writing this blog. I guess I should get my priorities straight.


  1. Oh Nicole, reading this my heart aches for you. I know you didn't write this blog for sympathy or for people to feel sorry for you. But I know what it feels like to put your self-worth into your husband and whether or not he makes an effort to choose family over work. I am there right now also. Trevor is going to school full time and has a full time job, and it's hard. I am not so silent about it though.On the days when he will be gone for 15 hours, I beg him to stay home. I am sorry that you have to go through this. The days can get long and lonely, and Satan knows where we are the weakest. Maybe we could have a play date once a week? I know it doesn't make up for your husband not being there, but men are driven and there really is no persuading them. You need to be at home with Spencer, he is your little miracle, and you need to be raising him. Let me know, maybe you, Jillian and I could hang out one day, and have a girls day. I hope to see you tomorrow night at the swap party, Trevor will be watching my kids if you need a babysitter. He's really amazing with babies. Love you lady!

  2. I emphasize, I think because I view things more like you do. It seems like Jake must make fairly decent money since he's in the top tier for sales & earns free trips & stuff, and it would also frustrate me to no end if he felt the need to work on his "day off". I worry that he's going to miss out on certain aspects of Spencer growing up, and he won't realize it until it's too late. Family is more important to me than getting out of debt; not to say that financial health isn't important, but there's plenty of time to pay off debts, and not plenty of time to watch your kids grow up. You can email me or fb msg me if you need to talk to someone. :)

  3. I, also, value family over money. Sure, having a few dollars extra in the savings account is important--but is it more important than happiness? More important than moments with loved ones? I think not. You can always go out and get an extra dollar somewhere, but if you miss something like the first time Spencer says a word (or perhaps the first time he repeats it--you can't always be home!), you can never ever get that back. And to not be there to support you while you are raising him is also something that is going to end up being a point of contention--if you think it's a small disagreement now, I can only imagine how it's going to grow over time. . Jake's ideas are not invalid, but I think in the end it has the potential to make you both feel regret and anger.

    And wanting to be away from your child for one or two hours a week is not something to be depressed about or ashamed of! Some parents from week two have nannies to take care of their kids 24/7. There are others who have preschool/daycare for 10 hours a day. Everyone needs space and time to be him or herself, and it's not something that you should feel bad about. Would you feel bad about wanting to take a day off from work? Spencer, though not technically a job, is your job right now! It's only natural to need time to think, breathe, and recollect.

    When you go into an argument believing that your opinion is not equal or as important than Jakes, it will only make you grow resentment inside of you. WHile you are writing that you understand his decisions and that it's not his fault, I don't quite believe that you mean it 100%--I think you need to make your voice and your points heard.

  4. Just for the record, I don't want anyone to think badly of Jake for the way he approaches this subject. That's not what I'm trying to accomplish. I just needed to write this all out to get it off my shoulders.

  5. I don't think badly of him, but I think he might need help in adjusting his priorities . . .

  6. I think you and Jake both agree that family is the most important priority. You show this by wanting your family to spend time together, and Jake by wanting to provide security for the family (money=security). I completely get both perspectives, and they don't necessarily have to compete. I believe that you two will be able to find some kind of compromise where both of you can be comfortable and happy. If it were easy, you'd have it figured out by now. So I don't mean to be glib. But this parenthood thing is still very new, so allow yourself and Jake time to adjust. Keep the lines of communication open, and stop beating yourself up. :)

    Nik, I hope after writing this out you can see how ridiculous it is to think that you are a "bad mom" because you want time every week for yourself. THAT'S NECESSARY! You have to recharge your batteries so you can continue to be the wonderful mommy you are!

    You've got a lot of negative self-judgment going on, and I am not a fan! So when you start thinking like this, tell yourself that Kristin says to knock it off. :) You are a wonderful and lovable person, mom, and wife!

    For what it's worth, I think what you're feeling right now is very normal. Not that everyone has this same dilemma, but I think a lot of people struggle with similar feelings. I'm pretty much expecting it for when I'm a new mom, and I hope you'll be able to give me the same kind of advice...because I can't promise I'll be able to give it to myself. :)