When I got married I knew that Tim was who he was and it wasn't my job to change him, nor did I want to. I also knew that was we got older we would change and we would have to change together and not expect things to be the same as when we were 17 and 19 and had just started dating. After watching my parents I felt like that's what ultimately drove them apart - they didn't grow with each other's changes and I didn't want to make that mistake. Sometimes my only examples are how not to do things.
Our original plan was after we had kids Tim would stay home with them since he only worked part time at his own business and I had a good "Big Five" audit job and made more money. It made financial sense and seemed like a fine idea. Two months after we got married, when I was out of town for work, Tim took an additional part-time job in addition to his own business. I think he felt the need to make more money to better "compete" with my salary.
However, that job of mine went by the wayside with the Enron scandal and at the same time we had our first baby. Along with the first baby came incredible "mom guilt" that I should stay home.
However, even with Tim working two part-time jobs his salary wasn't enough to live on. So I stayed home while looking for a job and when I found one Tim was too busy with two jobs to watch Eli so my MIL and sister took turns and watched him for us. It was a good deal all around, except for the part where I felt like I was a horrible mom for going to work and leaving my child everyday. Not how I thought I would feel when we made the plans for me to keep working back before we had kids.
Enter baby number two. My guilt about leaving him to work wasn't quite as much since I knew that Eli was making it and growing up just fine, but I felt like I was being robbed of raising my kids. Not what I had anticipated when I was 21 and told Tim that I would continue working and he could stay home with any kids we might have. Many arguments followed with me saying I wanted to stay home more and Tim saying, but that's not our deal, and me countering with, but you said YOU would stay home, not work and have them at a sitter, that wasn't what I agreed to; he didn't want me to "waste" my degree, I figured it was mine and I could waste it if I wanted to. It was always a very circular arguement with no resolution (except that it seemed like Tim always won since I was still working).
I figured we wouldn't have any more children after our first two because it is so expensive to have them in childcare all week and Tim wasn't willing to agree to stay home or let me stay home or even go part time. I planned the weekend after Noah's 1st birthday to sit down and discuss our finances and our desires for more children to see if we could come up with a workable plan so we could have another child-which we both wanted.
Meanwhile, God had his hand in the pot stirring it up. He knew that if I used my logic, the obvious conclusion would be that we couldn't afford to have another, and that I would have a hole in my heart for the baby that I wanted and that I would resent Tim for not providing for us more so we could have another and I could stay home (at least part time). So God, in all of his infinite wisdom, made me realize by the end of that weekend there was no need for the disucssion, I was already pregnant, he's funny like that.
I'm a planner and I kind of felt like the wind had been knocked out of me and I needed a minute to re-group. Which is what I did. Our other two pregnancies were very planned, and this one, not so much. Wanted yes, planned no.
I figured if God wanted me to have another baby that he would work it all out and I quit worrying about it. I asked God to change my heart so I wouldn't resent the fact that I needed to work outside the home with three small children. I didn't want to resent Tim; I know that God gave him to me and that I should treasure and honor him and that's what I wanted to do, I just needed a little help. I also asked God to soften Tim's heart towards the idea of me staying home and asked him to make that possible if it was his will.
Sometimes we don't like the hand we have to play, and then sometimes your partner comes through with two or three tricks and you win the hand anyway. That's kind of how it's been in the two years since we found out we were going to have Simon. God is the partner that's coming through for us.
I have changed jobs which allows me to spend less time on the road and more time with my family. Close enough I went at lunch to nurse Simon everyday, so I felt less like someone else was raising him during those precious months. I found "Mommy blogs" to read and started this one giving me a much needed outlet and through them I found the FlyLady system. As a couple we became members of our church, Tim joined the Praise Team, I took over the Newborn Meal ministry, last fall I joined the new Finance committee as chair at church and we began hosting a small group bible study in our home. Things are really coming together for us and I'm still working full time with three kids under the age of 5.
On Easter we had Tim's family over to our house for the noon meal, and it went really well. I was pretty organized and prepared. Next year will be better since this year we finished putting the dining room back together the day before and I got a little behind with my prep work. However, I had the dishwasher empty so when dinner was over I loaded it with plates and glasses and ran it, thus keeping my kitchen clean. Then we did another load later with the dessert and coffee dishes, and Monday after work I finished up a couple of big pans that don't fit in the dishwasher and everything was completely back to normal, like there had never even been a party. That is a huge improvement for me, and knowing it's not a big deal makes me want to entertain more often.
I commented to Tim about how everything was back to normal and he hugged me and said, "You're turning into the wife I've always wanted." Now I could have taken that the wrong way, but I feel the same about him. He's turning into the husband I've always wanted him to be.
He had a solo song at church on Easter, and not to brag, but he rocked the place! He truely has a gift and he's using it just the way God wants him to. He has always gone to church, but lately he's become more serious and on-fire, and I love that! He's slowly emerging as the spiritual head of our family, which just tickles me beyond belief!
He has sold his business and taken a full time job-with that is coming a pay increase (over two years), such that he'll make the more than me. With what we pay in childcare and his bump in salary, he's realizing that we need me to stay home at least some. Yay for God softening his heart to see Moms need to be with their children.
God has changed my heart to submit more to Tim and to strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman, and has changed Tim's heart to want to provide for me and our family as God intended. As a result of Tim and I submitting to God and allowing him to change us, we have each started to become the spouse the other has always wanted.
How good is God? How good, I say!