A New Normal

marriage

Being married to a hall director is hard.  Really hard.

Some days, when all the craziness and drama seems to be never ending I really struggle as a wife.  Recently, I suppose because the semester is nearing the end, our building has been crazy.  Like cray cray.  You just can’t imagine or dream up the things college students will try or do.  As a result Den has had to work 12-14 hour days several days in a row.

On Monday we finally had a couple of hours together, but Dennis needed to go shopping for a program.  I decided to make the most of it and pretend like it was a date night.  Who cares what we are doing as long as it is together, right?  So off we went to walmart and lowes. When we got back I had to finish a few things in the kitchen, so I left Dennis to unload the car.  I finished my recipe, got some cookies in the oven and decided to go see if Den needed help with the rest of the stuff (we had to buy a lot of stuff!)  Then I noticed a cart in the middle of hallway outside of our door.  I knew then that it might be a while before I see Dennis again because who would leave a cart in the middle of our tiny hallway unless you had to leave suddenly.  So I ate my cookies alone and did stuff around the apartment.

Eventually, he called to let me know what was happening.  I was relieved that everything was fine, but then he had to write up a long report.  I put his cookies in a tupperware container, his milk in the fridge and finished cleaning around the apartment.  Once he finally got home we were both so exhausted that we just crawled in the bed and called it a night.

 

And then the whole process repeats itself.  It always seems like in residence life that when it rains it pours.  I am so good at handling things for the first 3-4 days, but after that I start to get kind of crabby.  And instead of praying and taking a step back I get mad at Dennis (as though it is his fault for having to deal with situations late at night).  I know he is tired and stressed, but I just get so upset (aka selfish) sometimes.

The hard week passes and life continues, but I wish I was better at handling those weeks.  We had to deal with them for years, and I have gotten better.  I’ve learned a few things along the way:

  • To stay up and wait for him.  I know how much I appreciate him getting up with me in the mornings when I have to go to work an hour before him, and I think he appreciates me staying up late with him.  It gives him a few minutes to debrief.  Instead of rolling me off his pillow.  (Lol)
  • To anticipate his needs.  I have come to realize that when he has been working for long hours everyday going to the dining hall or a social event can be a little taxing.  Even an extrovert needs some time to themselves.  So I try to prepare dinner at home to give him a few minutes to breath.
  • He’s not the enemy.  I have to tell myself this over and over again during those long weeks.  He isn’t the enemy, nor are the students.  Things happen.  Windows get broken, people make poor choices, that’s life.  (I don’t even want to think about life when we have kids…)
  • Encouragement.  Instead of being negative I have really been trying to stay positive.  It’s hard!  It is so easy to become cynical about things.  I remember from my days as a substitute teacher how easy it is to get fixated on the one trouble maker and forget about the other 26 kids who are amazing.

Keeping it real today!  I love being married and it is a joy to work through these issues because it makes us stronger and imparts invaluable life wisdom.

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The dating years!
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