Emily and I are not breaking new ground by having 3 children, but we are about to move to another phase of life and the stakes just got higher. The thought that ran through my head the other day was we have a 5 1/2 year old, a 3 1/2 year old, and then a newborn will be brought into this world. The ever changing cycle of life is moving and you have to see what you see and enjoy what you can because it doesn’t come around again. The wheel is way too big and does not compensate for you. If you miss it you miss it and then you live with either regret or wonder. I do not plan to live that way. Yet, what will life be like down the road when they grow up and leave, when they start their independent lives away from the family you created?
In no way am I a person who wants to keep my children in the house forever. I will be very happy for them to leave and start their lives with others they have chosen to be around. What really concerns me is all the little moments that make up who your children really are and what you send out into the world. Having children with my wife has been one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had in life. It has made me into a better human being and shows me everyday what life is truly about and why I have chosen the path I walk.
After 2 years at my current job I have finally realized and accepted that it has caused a lot of stress to me, my family, and those around me. My biggest fear is my anger and stress from this is being carried on to my children. Emily has issues with how stern and loud I am with our children at times and it stems from the negativity I bring home from work. It would be magical if I could completely disconnect from work when I get home, but I have never been able to be that person. Too much of my identity is wrapped up in what I am trying to achieve in my profession. I am an educator and that means that in almost every aspect of life I want to learn new things and I want to help those around me learn also or at least be a facilitating factor to them learning something new. Over the 2 years since I have moved back to B’ham it has become very apparent that I do not hate education, I dislike my work environment. In all my years of working, since I have been 15 years old, I have never worked in an environment where the people in charge are more concerned with catching you doing something wrong than elevating you to create a better environment in which to work. Perfection is something that I do not strive for because for me it is unobtainable, but I have never been terrible at my job. Over the last 2 years my superiors had made me feel that way. They point out and write up every little mistake I make. Not in the, “You have messed up, lets try to work to make this better.” , but in “Here is a memo about what you have done wrong. I am not going to interact with you, but you will know that you have done something wrong.” Over the last two years this is starting to affect me in a very negative way and I am bringing it home.
My wife and children do not deserve this type of treatment. The have been there for me and have always supported me. Yet, I come home mad everyday and look at them and see the positive that I have in my life. The problem arises from the fact that I have already been poisoned and bring that poison to my home. Exercise used to be my solace, but with two kids and a wife that needs to come home from her job and relax until bedtime that has gone out the window. I am not physically active. Yeah, I know I can make anything happen and I should not be making excuses, but it is too much right now and in the future it is not going to get any better. I would either have to wake up at 4 am to work out or work out after 7:30-8:00 pm when I put my kids to bed. That requires me, after being awake and working for nearly 14 hours, cooking cleaning, getting kids ready for bed, doing laundry, and getting ready for the 3rd kid, I just do not have the energy. I am amazed at parents that can juggle all that and still get it done. I am not one of those people.
My plan is to work very hard on being a more positive influence at my house. Maybe this summer will be better since I have some things to look forward to such as: I will meet the newest member of our family in less than a month, I will be riding my bike to my summer job, and I will not be at my regular job for at least 2 months. With these things in the very near future I hope that I can change my negativity to abject positivity. No one can do it but myself and pulling myself out of this hole will be one of the toughest things I have done, but no one ever told me life was going to be easy so I might as well get over it and make some lemonade. I may have to add some alcohol to that lemonade to make it bearable.