Friday, September 21, 2012

Work Stress

My poor husband. We're into the second month of the school year, and the stress is beginning to build. Teaching 150 teens a day isn't exactly an easy job in the best of times -- it's tiring and demanding and requires lots of decisions, organization, and energy. This year is an evaluation year. That means my husband will be observed and measured by an administrator throughout the months.

S pretty much hates to be evaluated or critiqued. Ever. This is a fact about him I have slowly learned during our decades together. If you want S to freak out, make him feel judged. It goes back to his childhood and parenting and yada, yada, same as us all. This morning he was talking about needing to meet with his vice-principal and complete the pre-eval paperwork.

I hate to see him make it such a struggle. He fights the process and just makes things harder for himself. But the lesson I try to remember is to be supportive of him and his feelings, rather than try to give him advice. That's so hard for me because of course I feel like I have a better way of approaching the whole situation. But he has to have his way and I have my way. It makes it harder that I did the same job for so many years, and therefore do have strong opinions about it all.

I hope he can have a good day and feel a little less stressed than he was this morning. At least, I gave him a good breakfast and a nice lunch. Those supportive gestures are probably the best I can do.

At least things here at home are going very well. The girls are pretty happy and stable, and I'm doing well, so there's not a compounding of the stress. And he is lucky to have someone here to take care of so many of the life tasks so that he doesn't have to worry about them. All the shopping, most of the cleaning and laundry, most child transport and social life, all the financial matters, and three meals and two snacks a day comes out of my effort. Plus I work. I have a lot of single mom friends who have to handle all of that effectively on their own.

I think the best remedy for now is a good and relaxing weekend. The girls are home with me today due to teacher furloughs from reduced budget. Thanks, poor economy. At least I got to sleep in a bit! Tonight, we'll all go to the Fair, and try to have the cheapest fun we can. Tomorrow, I want to go pick apples and then visit S's parents. We haven't seen them since June, and relations with them are always a bit sketchy. We just don't fit together very well. I have to force us to call and visit to have any relationship with them at all. But it's usually amiable enough when we make the effort so I think that can tie in with the first day of autumn and a nice drive through the countryside. Then Sunday, just relax.

It helps a lot too when I am happy, balanced and not stressed. A pleasant weekend, and a new focus on my work schedule for next week sound great to me.

Of course, one way I can help S even more is by working more myself. I realized that I essentially have five jobs right now: mom, yoga teacher, grant writer, writer, and personal shopper. It seems best if I commit to spending two hours each day on each job, doubling up on the momness. So I'd spend four hours cooking, homeworking, driving, playdating, and cleaning. I'd spend two hours teaching or on my own yoga practice. Two hours of grants, two hours of children's stories, and two hours of shopping. It's busy but it's pretty much what I do anyway. The grants can make $1000 per week, the shopping actually pays more per hour than the grantwriting!! crazy I know! so maybe another $200 as I start up, then yoga is an act of love and health not money, and the children's writing will pay off long term, maybe in the thousands or tens of thousands. And that's ALL good!

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