In the wee morning hours, before my brain is ready to wake, my husband hands me our youngest son to nurse. I was up in the night with Isaac and my eyes feel like they need to be propped open with toothpicks. It is still dark, but the early morning sounds of birds let me know that the sun will soon be making an appearance. Daniel quietly goes about getting ready in the dark. Before he slips out the door, he comes and takes Isaac from me and kisses us both goodbye. He has a commute that takes a little over an hour, but he will be at work before the boys and I are fully awake. Mercifully, I go back to sleep.
Jack comes to my room at 8:00am and tells me that it is time to wake up. I tell him to go watch TV – it buys me an extra 30 minutes of sleep. Meanwhile Daniel is already sitting in meetings and putting out work-related fires.
I remember the crazy pace of working in an office environment. Always a deadline. Always a problem to solve. Always someone to appease. That is no longer my life. Not exactly anyways. There are no real deadlines (I guess swimming lessons, preschool and doctor's appointments are my new deadlines), but there are always problems to solve (Why did God make it dark sometimes and sunny sometimes?) and little guys to appease (I want chicken nuggets, chocolate milk, snacks and my Chapstick. That's all I need.)
Daniel works long days
– currently around 50 hours a week (on top of his commute), but
sometimes it is 80+ hours. There are weeks that I don't know how he
does it. Most days he doesn't get home until after 7:00pm.
We choose to keep our boys awake so they can see their daddy. While many of our friends are getting their young children ready for bed, we are just sitting down to dinner together as a family. We try to have Jack in bed by 8:30, but reality is that there are days that Daniel and Jack need time to play together and bedtime gets pushed back a little further. They "work" in the garage where Jack learns things like how pulleys work or how to operate a floor jack. Sometimes they ride the four wheeler or go to the park.
Our bedtime routine is currently a family event, even Isaac likes to sit and listen to us read and sing to Jack. Two books and two songs, followed by prayers. We tuck Jack in and then flop down on the couch to savor the last moments of our day.
Many nights Daniel goes straight to bed after Jack, but some evenings we sit up and talk, or lazily eat ice cream and watch Netflix. There is little time left to have much of a break.
We dream about the days when Daniel's workload will lighten or when he will have a shorter commute. We dream about the house projects we will accomplish and the family hikes, bike rides and paddling we will do again. Right now that isn't our reality. So we, like many others, muddle through our days. We try to drink in the precious moments of down time. We look forward to the summer vacation that we haven't planned yet and try to take time each day to just breathe and be in the moment. That is much easier for me than it is for Daniel.
Chobani Flips has been running a campaign encouraging people to take more breaks. According to their research, Americans all need breaks. I agree. Everyone I know seems to need a break – us included. Greek yogurt is a staple in our home – we love the single yogurt cups with fruit on bottom or plain vanilla yogurt to make our own parfaits at home. Today I want to nominate my husband, Daniel, for a #breakyoumake. I appreciate him so much. He works hard and could use more breaks in his day.
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