I quit my part-time job today. In January of 2010, my DH and I discussed some options for me to add some sort of activity to my life. I had become somewhat depressed that my whole life basically revolved around chores and carting our 3 kids around, and I am not good at doing chores in the first place! We considered whether I needed a hobby or volunteer position and we settled on a part-time job. So I started looking. I had not worked in 10+ years and I had to create a resume, prepare for interviews, etc. I was very anxious, nervous and insecure! But for some inexplicable reason, at this point DH stopped supporting me almost altogether. So I did all of it on my own--could not even get him to review my resume in a timely way, so I just moved on and started submitting it. I was offered a part time position at our church for about 10 hours a week. Great! The transition to a job after 10+ years was HUGE and scary and exciting for me. But still not much encouragement from DH. Hmmm...
Long story short, I had a really hard time balancing everything. My time management was horrible. We had both hoped that by having some structure and something else to do, maybe I would actually get more done at home because I tend to get "more done in less time" if there is some sort of deadline. But I had underestimated how much of an adjustment going back to work (even part time!) would be for me. The stress of new responsibilities and expectations and new people to please, totally wiped me out mentally and physically. Still, NO SUPPORT or encouragement from DH. I had nothing left to take care of my household. I hoped that my stress and anxiety was temporary until I got settled. I felt very alone as I tried to juggle all of these new experiences. Apparently, I was doing great work because my boss gave me more responsibilities and hours. Now I was up to 15-18 hours per week with an added area of responsibility. I did a good job at work, but everything else suffered. Now my DH was IRRITATED. This was NOT what he signed up for! He thought I would get MORE done at home and I would be happier too. But I was stressed out a lot, drained/exhausted and certainly not doing any chores! Things had gone from bad to worse.
I talked to my boss about me having to pick up slack for co-workers, and he addressed it. I also tried to do better about my own boundaries and time management, and things got a little better for awhile. I knew my DH was still unhappy, but working was also very fulfilling for me. I got praise and compliments from my boss and peers--it made me feel good for a change! And I was so HURT that my DH was not supporting me and in fact seemed to be resenting me when we had made this decision together in the first place! Did he not expect SOME transition to be necessary for me? I expressed to him at some point that it had really hurt me, and he seemed to realize that I was right and apologized. But even though I got my work hours better under control and did better, if I ever expressed ANY amount of stress or had to leave our kids at home while I was working (they are old enough to stay alone), it seemed to make my DH angry. So finally this weekend I told my DH that I was planning to talk to my boss and possibly tell him that I needed to resign following a project that will be completed in July. I wanted to know what he thought. He was very hesitant to tell me "what to do" but with some prompting, he admitted that he would "love it" if I quit, but made it clear that he was not telling me that I had to do that. But I am at the point where I want to do whatever it takes to help improve our marriage. And if our family is suffering due to some part-time job that is "optional" anyway, I need to make a change!
So I was super anxious about meeting with my boss today because I hate any sort of conflict or confrontation, and I also hate disappointing anybody! But in order to motivate myself, I convinced myself that I needed to hate disappointing my DH the most. I texted DH this morning and told him I was nervous. He replied that it was all going to be okay. Very nice. I worked on another project at home this morning for our daughter and sent an email about it to my DH so he could look over it. He replied that it looked great and that I was doing a really great thing with what I had planned. Very nice. Then in the early afternoon I had my meeting. It went well and my boss was very complimentary and supportive. I had been giving off some signals that this may be coming, so he was half-way expecting it. He did offer to let me try to work from home, but I did not think that would help so I said no thanks. I texted my DH after the meeting and told him I quit my job. He called me a few mins later (very nice) but my son was in the car with me and DH was traveling so he kept losing cell signal and we couldn't really talk. He called again while I was waiting for the doc at my son's checkup (very nice), but then the doc walked in and I had to hang up. By the time we left the appointment (took 2 HOURS!), it was almost 5pm and I had no dinner plan. My son was begging for pizza so I asked my DH if that was okay with him? Yes. And he agreed to pick it up on his way home.
When he GOT home with the pizza, he said hello but not much else. We ate and then he went out to the garage to reorganize his tool bench. Okay. Once when he came back in to put something away, I asked if something was wrong? No. Okay. I tried one more time before I had to leave to take our son to his drum lesson. I went out to the garage and asked if he was irritated with me about something? No. Okay. At some point in there he asked me what I was doing (I was on the computer) and I told him I was working on the same letter that I had sent him to review earlier today. This probably irritated him because I was hyper-focusing (obsessing) about it somewhat. Then when I got back from the drum lesson, we watched TV and played with our computers a while. I was chatty about various things, but he did not seem very attentive, so I let it go. At one point he told me that there was pizza left that needed to be put away and since he picked up the pizza, he was not going to clean up the kitchen. Um, okay. Then at about 10pm he got up to go to bed. And I am still up, on this website at 3:40 AM!!! I have not done this in so long. I have been going to bed with him most nights and I will just read in bed if I am not ready to go to sleep. But I am really HURT (again). I thought that if he didn't want to support me WORKING, he would at least support me QUITTING! I know he was supportive this morning and tried to call me twice, so I am probably being overly sensitive. But this is a really BIG DEAL for me. And it feels a bit like a failure too, although I am trying not to let those thoughts creep in. I really NEEDED SOME COMFORT from him, or maybe even some appreciation? And I feel like I got nothing and that maybe he was mad about the stupid pizza or something, even though I asked him if it was okay. And so now that I am feeling hurt, I have instantly reverted back to my "old ways" of staying up too late and hanging out on the computer for hours! Ugh. I refuse let myself slip into a whole phase of this, but I am having to fight that with all that is in me! This whole job thing was a fiasco from beginning to end.
Non-ADD spouses, please take note and realize how easy it is for us to backslide to old habits and coping mechanisms when we are feeling vulnerable and insecure and you fail (or forget?) to encourage us. And I know he had tried and had done well earlier in the day. But seriously, he didn't even ask me about my meeting or talk to me about how I was feeling about it once we were finally face to face? I am HURT. And maybe I have no right to be because I have caused him so much hurt in the past, but I AM TRYING and whether I deserve his support or not, I still NEED it. Darn it, I QUIT MY JOB FOR HIM today! I didn't even get a "Thank you" or an "Are you okay?" or a hug or 5 minutes of concern!
BUT I WILL GET UP TOMORROW (if I ever go to sleep!?) AND KEEP TRYING. I WILL NOT SHUT DOWN. I WILL NOT GIVE UP.