A couple days ago I happened to overhear a conversation between 2 women.
One of them has a husband in the medical field, or rather in medical school, and the other one has a husband with a pretty normal, 8-5, type of job. They were going on about how their lives were so terrible lately because it seems their husbands were never around!
The one husband is busy with school and is gone for around 80 hours a week, and she was complaining that he never sees her kid awake and that life is just so hard and with no family close to help with their one child everything just is horrible!!! The other was complaining that instead of the regular 8-5 job, her husband had been working til (wait) 7 pm! and that is just putting her out because now she is stuck with her 3 kids all day and has no help either. She was going on about how she was so mad at her husband and had been telling him he needed to be home earlier and had really given it to him for working so late! I sat and listened quietly as they went on and on lamenting about their different predicaments, complaining about their lives and how put out they were, and it was all I could do to not chime in and give them a lecture on why they should not be complaining and just be grateful!
Hello! I have 2 kids, I don't live by family either, and I would HAPPILY have my husband come home at 7 every night....instead of 2 am for the past entire week, and what looks to be the case for the next week. I would LOVE it if my hubby didn't have to work weekends, had more than a day or an hour's notice for the business trip he was going to be taking and leaving us for the next few days. I would happily let him work every day that long if I could have a full Sunday that could just be our family's day. Or if we could go out to eat and not have to be interupted by a work email or call that comes through saying he needs to send something out IMMEDIATELY! I would like it if we could actually plan a trip and then not have our plans get cancelled at the last minute due to stuff that came up at work. As in, the beach trip we should be on right now but didn't get to go due to the work schedule this last week.
I would even like it if I could see or talk to my husband for more than an hour total for the past 8 days since he has had to work so much! I would love to have help in sacrament meeting with my 2 energetic boys from my hubby, instead of sitting by myself trying to wrestle them and keep them from making too much of a scene (altho yesterday we were quite a spectacle when Cash put on his sunglasses and then jumped out of the pew to ROAR as loud as he could at the little boy walking up the aisle - very embarrasing). I have now had 3 Sundays in a row where I have taken the kids alone to sacrament meeting - can I start complaining about how my life is so hard yet!?!
And yet - I have gained a different perspective this past year. I have come to realize that the complaining, anger, and getting mad at the husbands (when most likely it isn't their fault or choice to be working extra and keeping them away from their families) does NOTHING!!! It won't change it, it doesn't make you feel better, and it really doesn't help life out at all! It can just make you bitter and upset. So instead I have learned to think about it as this is but a small moment in our lives, and I am being given a LOT of time to spend with my children and what am I doing with it? I wanted to say to these women at least they didn't have to work too and be away from their children - that they are so lucky that they can be home with their kids and enjoy teaching them and raising them and spending that time with them. I wanted to say that if you looked through the husbands lense and could see his side, rather than just holding a grudge and letting it fester and make them mad, and instead be more supportive and encouraging and empathetic to their husbands plight they would probably have a different view, or at least be not so bitter. It would also probably make their marriage a lot better. I wanted to tell them that if they think they have it bad, they could just think of me and the 100+ hours my husband puts in and stuff and then they might not think it is so bad. And yet I didn't say anything, but rather smiled and thought to myself how great my life is. I realized I could complain and join in and think that compared to them my life was way harder and so much worse if I wanted, but that was not really how I felt. And would do nothing. Thus, I thought about how grateful I am for my change in my perspective and the thought that I am so grateful for a husband who works SO hard to support our family, LOVES his job (even if sometimes the hours are super bad), and tries so hard to please each of us. I thought of how I hope someday life will be different and he won't have to work as much, and how he is just putting in the hours now to get to a place where he can change the balance of work and family life. I thought of how when he is home he is ALWAYS playing with my kids, telling me to go do stuff with my friends, or go to the gym, or go shopping, and encourages me to do my hobbies too. I thought of how much he loves me and wants me to be happy and would do anything for me and how much I love him!
And because of all this, my perspective has changed and I am happy with life.
And why can I say all this? Because one time I had the perspective of these 2 women and was probably just like them.....I hope they get a new perspective soon too!!!