Back in September, Todd put on a red shirt and some khaki pants and headed off to a new job in addition to the one he already had. After I quit working full time and fell into a comfortable part-time working groove, we quickly became aware that we were going to need additional income to continue making ends meet. We decided pizza delivering provided the most flexibility seeing as Todd was looking for something on evenings and Saturdays. Our hope was that after six months, we could have some of our bills paid off entirely and would no longer need his second income.
And then my car died in January leaving us with another car payment and prolonging our original 6 to 8 month plan of Todd having to work two jobs. And such is life sometimes.
Here we are, slightly over six months later. He is still wearing the same red shirt and khaki pants. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday evening after he has already put in a full day's work, he heads off to job #2 to work until they decide he can come home. Saturdays are the worst. He is sometimes scheduled all day long and I'm lucky if I see him before midnight. Todd is exhausted. And yet he presses on for us.
The last month or so has felt the hardest on us. His absence has taken a toll on our marriage to be sure. No good marriage can thrive on mere moments spent together in the evening and then one full day as a family. Quality time is essential for love to thrive and grow and flourish. It is evident that Tommy and I feel the weight of what Todd's sacrifices are costing us. All in all, I am over it. We are all desperate for it to end.
I'm not quite sure how women do it - the women who have husbands that serve in the military and are gone for months or longer at a time. I guess maybe God gives all of us a certain measure of strength we need for our own lives I suppose.
When he started this, we felt like we were in a really good place. We both felt strong and connected and we knew we could get through this. Six months in though, we have grown weary and frustrated. Not being able to connect or see each other as often as we used to has drained us of much joy and excitement.
I want my husband back. I am ready for the evenings where we would come home from work and grill a steak in the evenings and watch Tommy run in and out of the back door while dinner was being prepared. I want to be able to take evening walks together like we used to. I need more Saturdays that look like trips to the park and date night for us. I am so ready for Sunday to not be our only day together. And though Tommy can't express it the way I do, I know he wants his dad back too. He calls for him every morning. And when I say "Daddy is at work buddy, " he lets out a fussy whine because he knows what that means. My heart has broken countless times when we've had to wave bye-bye to daddy and I've had to hold my screaming boy in my arms because he is angry that dad is gone again and he doesn't understand why.
Last week we received a glimmer of new hope.
I will have been at my job a full year this coming June, and I know that some kind of pay raise is around the corner. But more than that, the company is growing rapidly and there will be a definite need for me to either take on more hours to cover the work load, or to hire another part-time person to assist me with my duties. We had discussed this when I interviewed last year - that my position was probably going to grow into a full-time one eventually. I talked with my employers in great detail about what this could look like in the coming months. They cast vision for what they see and desire me to do as the company grows.
In all that we talked about, they are continuing to gift me with flexibility. I can still set my own hours. I don't have to be in at exactly 8 or leave at exactly 5. I can take a day off when I need one. I can do work from home and don't have to do everything at the office. I don't have to work a full 40 hour work week. If I ever feel like I need to go back to fewer hours, I can do that and be involved in the hiring process of having someone to help me.
It almost feels too good to be true in a way. And yet, it's not. The people I work for appreciate and care about me and understand the importance a measure of flexibility for all of their employees. I was told the other day that they had the utmost respect for me - how I worked, how I lived out my faith, and how I presented myself and acted to others in the office. I sat there a little dumbfounded and feeling incredibly grateful to the Lord who had orchestrated all of this in the first place. If I hadn't have walked away from my last job and trusted God with our finances and future, I wouldn't be here.
God is way cool like that. He knows what He's doing even when I think He's crazy.
So I could be going back to work on a more full-time basis. But it feels like a choice this time - not something I'm forced into. And with it comes freedom and flexibility; things that don't often come with any full-time position.
And in all of this news with working more in the coming months is the thought in the back of my mind. That gnawing desire of my dream for another baby. We have no clue if it will happen or not and we continue to just remain open to the possibility until God and my Rheumatoid Arthritis says it's not anymore. I guess I am choosing to remain hopeful in my anticipation about that while continuing on with life and being where I am at too.
For now, it feels very exciting knowing that this crappy season of life will be coming to an end soon. Though we are months away yet, it has an end. It has an END!!!!
And to celebrate, we will probably be having a "burn the red pizza delivery shirt" party!