I haven't done this for several years because there was nothing big I wanted to change. Last night my husband started talking big about all the changes he wants to do this year. He was excited and motivated. I realized I was comfortable and satisfied with just about everything and didn't want to change anything. Then it occurred to me that for husband to achieve his dreams I might need to support him by making time available...
Husband has been supporting my dreams for 18 years, maybe I should make my New Year's resolution to support him and his ideas 100%.
In the summer of 1997 my future husband and I moved to Fort Lauderdale with the sole purpose of my going back to school full time and getting a Bachelor's. He had an associate's degree in special effects make up that was not usable in that area so he got a full time job at Smoothie King. We got engaged in 1999, got married in the summer of 2000 and I graduated at the end of 2000.
I got a job in the toy industry in January 2001, which required us to move to Miami, FL, not a far move since it was only an hour away. This was our first career inspired move.
Our 2nd career move came 11 months later when my boss decided to move the company to California and I was enjoying my job so much I couldn't see why not. Husband had been working as a security officer and he quit to support our move to CA.
We first lived in Valley Village, CA for 6 months, it's a tiny area in the San Fernando Valley north of Studio City and east of Sherman Oaks. It's bordered by the Ventura Freeway and very close to Hollywood. We thought with all the retail that it would be no problem for him to get a job. He went 4 months with no work. We finally realized it was due to out of work industry people who sucked up all the jobs when they weren't actively supporting a movie. My job was in Thousand Oaks, CA, about 30-40 minutes west so he eventually tried at Petsmart in that area and got a job so we promptly moved there. The only reason we didn't move there originally was because people we had met told us we'd hate living in that area but we ended up loving it.
After two years my boss missed South Florida and announced we were moving back, right after my husband started considering local colleges for degree in computer technology. So we put that on hold and moved back to S. Florida where husband transferred to a local Petsmart and moved into dog training.
We moved back at the very end of 2003 and the next year and a half were spent in a very small crowded apartment. I was doing very well with Snap and with my boss and other director were buying homes so I was itching to buy something. It was 2005 and I was desperate to buy anything because the prices rising rapidly. We ended up getting a condo in the fall and I believe the following year my husband started taking part-time classes at a local community college.
In the next 3 years my career surged with 3 trips to Asia per year, some were 3-4 weeks long. We didn't have kids so I was very free to travel and it helped me cement my position at Snap by becoming valuable in production knowledge and ability to get things done. I worked 10-12 hour days on a daily basis with little thought for anything but getting the job done. Meanwhile husband seemed to be making slow progress with his studies but he was conflicted because Petsmart wanted to move him into management and he was having trouble balancing college with the hours they wanted him to perform and the flexibility that was required so eventually the classes stopped.
By 2007 I came home from an Asia trip and realized I was exhausted. I looked around and realized everyone was having kids and had great excuses to not travel as much. I was 32 and it dawned on me with extreme urgency that we must have kids - immediately! I got pregnant on the first try, which really shocked me.
Charlotte was born five weeks early on June 19, 2008 and I think it was due to my penchant for working in a state of high anxiety plus the long hours. We had not given any thought to child care and had no savings for a normal maternity leave due to our high mortgage. The most we could afford was 5 weeks which included sick days and vacation time. We looked into day care but they would only start at 6 weeks and cost over one thousand per month, which after looking at what husband made per month made it almost completely pointless. I'm sure he made at least 2 grand per month but what's the point of giving away 50% of your paycheck and she was so small. We didn't want to give her to strangers. So husband decided to work Friday, Sat and Sunday shifts while staying home all week. As a result we had almost no free time together until 2012 when our 3rd was born and my salary had finally escalated to where I felt we could live without his salary and I begged him to quit and be a stay at home dad.
My husband hasn't worked since April 2012 and for the past 3 years and 8 months he has been a full time dad. With the recent purchase of a major fixer-upper he is ITCHING to get back to work. I see it in his eyes and body language every single day. I on the other hand just want to work my work hours and spend time with the kids, at home or supporting church activities. I let go of the Women In Toys board position last year and I have almost no travel plans this year except for what is absolutely required of me. So I think it's his turn! He's gotten me to where I am today which is a very comfortable director position that I enjoy and seems to finally fit comfortably into an 8 hour work day!
Where I need to challenge myself is to cut out the lag time. I stay up late, wake up late, get to work by 9am and off by 6pm. He leaves at 8am to take the kids to school so if I could start work then and work until 6pm I could cut 4 hours off Friday and finish by noon, thus giving him half a day Friday and all day Saturday.
So there, my New Year's Resolution is two:
1. Hour control - cut out lag time
2. Support husband in his new job - house rehab!