As this guy is gearing up for the busiest time of the year for his business, I get ready to hold down the fort. 🏡
It wasn’t always smiles like in that photo there. That took 9 years.
But even though things are going well in our 14th year together, the holidays remain a trigger for me. These are the months that J and I have struggled THE MOST.
Up until three years ago, he would be at work 12+ hr days for most of December and part of November (because Christmas starts so damn early these days!).
As for the rest of the year, he worked 6-7 days a week. It was like that for as long as I can remember.
I had a rough time with that season of our lives.
It was rare for him to make an appearance at my work holiday parties, and if he did show up, he would be late. Not 5 minutes late. Usually after everything has started.
As a new parent, I remember feeling alone.
It was a few weeks into the Christmas rush and I stood in the kitchen holding a screaming 3-month old Kaitlyn, crying and questioning us.
I was solo parenting. A lot. Birthday parties, gatherings, etc. Attending everything alone and seeing other dads with their family.
I held a lot of resentment.
And anger and sadness and hopelessness. I know everything he was doing was for us but was it really worth it if it was causing me pain?
What if it broke our us? I had worries but I also didn’t express it effectively either. I didn’t know how to.
Things have changed since then. Nowadays, he’s much more present after handing off the reins of his business to a trusted associate. And I got better at communicating what I need from him. He still works crazy hours during the holidays but the rest of the year, we are both equally active parents. Our relationship has been in this season for the past few years and I am grateful for that.
Why am I writing about this?
Because each time the holidays roll around, those old feelings still overwhelm me.
I was asked this question recently, “does J ever get to go to events with you?”
And at first it triggered those old feelings of resentment and hopelessness I had towards him. It reminded me that I still unconsciously protect myself from disappointment by not including him or expecting him to attend events with us. I think it’s called ‘falling into old thought patterns’.
But after letting it sit for a few days, that question was actually healing because compelled me to write about it.
I recently got tickets for the girls and I to see Taylor Swift in LA. When I told J, I was surprised he wanted to go too. It’s that old mindset again. Oops.
It is a trigger for me
Even though our relationship is better than it ever has been, the holidays still remain a trigger for me. It’s definitely a work in progress.
Do you have triggers in your relationship?