9:12:00 AM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Thanks to an over abundance of hormones and many sleepless nights, I fought with Nick a lot when Logan was first born. I felt as if he had no idea how difficult each day at home was... I thought there was no way he could understand how frustrating and exhausting it was to entertain a baby all day and keep a house even remotely clean. I think this is a common issue among new parents. In fact, I even read a book about it (Babyproofing Your Marriage- I highly recommend it!). The working parent is usually envious of the relaxing, carefree life they imagine the one staying at home to have, while the stay-at-home parent dreams of adult interactions, and time alone and away from the house. Even when both parents work (as was our former situation), one parent usually feels like they are doing more of the work of maintaining the house and raising the baby.

Well, guess what? I have had many days of living in Nick's shoes as the full-time working parent, and I don't like it. I think back to all of the nagging I did for so long... he didn't do enough of the work around the house, he didn't play with Logan long enough before or after work, he didn't rush home fast enough to relieve me of the parenting duties... the list goes on and on. Now that I'm the working parent, and Nick is the stay-at-home Dad? I couldn't regret my complaints more. Yes, it is nice to be away from the house and only be responsible for myself. But my heart feels like it is ripped from my chest every night I have to leave Logan. I hate not having more time to spend holding him, or singing silly little songs, or taking walks around the lake. And any little bit of energy I have after a long 12-hour shift is spent soaking in every bit of my little man, not caring if the dishes are done or things are picked up around the house. 

Every marriage would benefit from even one day of living in each other's shoes. From my own experience, the grass isn't always greener. I will say, though, that I haven't at all missed the responsibility of scrubbing the shower each week. I haven't cried over handing over the grocery shopping duties. And I definitely appreciate my uninterrupted showers, afternoon naps between shifts, and never reaching a level of frustration with Logan because I am so grateful for each moment I get to spend with him.

What's even worse about our situation is that Nick has truly embraced his new role, and is much better at it than I was! I constantly complained about never having enough time to clean or cook because Logan was so much work, but our house has remained spotless since Nick took over. He never complains about anything, and even finds time to repaint our entire downstairs or install a new brick patio for the grill. (Have I mentioned that since he took over our finances for the first time in 10 years, he has developed a plan to have us free of our credit card debt in 3.5 years? Apparently he's better at that, too.) He's pretty much amazing. While I hate that I'm no longer #1 in Logan's life, it melts my heart to see the love he has for his Daddy. It is such a relief to know that although I'm away from him 50+ hours each week, he is able to be with one of his parents 24/7.

This transition has been difficult, to say the least, but I am learning to let go and be thankful for all of the blessings in our lives.



4:33:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

This new chapter in our lives is testing my happiness and adaptability in ways I never imagined. I spend my days anxiously awaiting my next nap or shift, and my evenings feeling sorry for my self and the choices that have been made for me. My nights are consumed with work, and my moments at home are spent feeling exhausted and incapable of enjoying the life around me.

I know I should feel grateful to have a job that can support a family of three. I should appreciate the flexibility in making my own schedule, and only being away from my son at night when he is sleeping. I should be thankful that I have a husband that has embraced his new role in keeping our house clean, our kitchen stocked with groceries, and our son happy and full.

Unfortunately this is not how I feel. I'm angry that my life as a full-time mom has been stripped away from me indefinitely. I'm sad that I have so few moments with my two boys, and can't fully appreciate them because I'm exhausted from living off of 2-4 hours of sleep a day. I'm sad that I no longer have time for the things that bring peace to my life, like writing on this blog, crafting, and painting. I miss being with Logan every minute of every day, documenting his growth and changes through pictures and videos.

I feel so distant from Logan and the bond we shared for so long. I hold him and stare at the thickness of hair that has sprouted in my absence, and cry at the realization that he sits on his own so much better than I remember. I feel like I'm missing every milestone of his 5 month old life.

I try so hard to embrace this new life that has been given to me. I look for pride in the work I do caring for others, and the paycheck that allows our family to live comfortably. But more often that not, I fail. I fail at staying positive and reminding myself of everything that is good. I feel like a failure as a mother and wife. I struggle daily with the jealousy toward Nick now that he is living the life I always wanted at home with our son. Every day is a struggle of emotions and finding happiness.

It's hard to share these feelings because I know that things could be so much worse. I can't imagine where we would be right now without my career, or the amazing benefits that the National Guard provides for our family. I know so many people have it so much worse. So many other mothers deal with the same dilemma of working full-time outside of the home, and my situation is no more admirable than their own. But I still spend far too much of my time wishing it were different.



6:07:00 PM Jaclyn Armstrong 0 Comments

Where do I even begin? It's been almost a month since my last post, and so much has changed.

Several weeks ago Nick was offered a position back in the world of contract security management (his specialty). It meant better, more flexible hours that would have allowed me to work more as needed, and spend more time as a family. His previous job did not allow us to spend any days at home together, and we found ourselves running our home like a business. I was not happy. This new position seemed to be the answer to our problems, and also offered a raise from Nick's current income. It was the perfect opportunity at the perfect time.

He accepted the offer, gave his 2 week notice to his current employer, and we made plans for the future. The morning before he was to start his new job, the manager unexpectedly called to resend the offer. To say we were shocked and angry would be an understatement.

Overnight I found myself working 50-60 hours a week (from 2 shifts/24 hrs per week). I went from being a semi-stay at home mom to a full-time working woman. I have nothing against those that choose to work outside of the home 40+ hours a week with small children, but it has never been what I wanted. I am grateful to have a job that allows me to work as needed, and also pays extremely well for what I do (PRN premium pay!), but the change has turned my world upside-down.

I have struggled with so many things in the last few weeks.... I am trying to adjust to seeing Logan less and less, losing my freedom and time with friends, battling low milk supply issues as a result of full-time pumping 5 days a week... the list goes on and on. My emotions have been all over the place, and unfortunately my marriage has suffered the most during this transition. Things are slowly on the mend as I accept this new lifestyle and learn to balance work and family, but it has been the hardest thing I've ever done.

More to come...