Spoiled and Selfish

December 15, 2010

Okay, I admit it. I’m spoiled and I’m selfish. It is hard to swallow when I know my children are too. And I’m partly to blame for them, as well as 100% for myself. Don’t get me wrong, they’re good children–but that’s for another entry. This is about me.

DH is under a lot of stress with the new promotion. He just got his scrambled eggs (a chief engineer in the merchant marine has an equivalent rank of captain/commander in the Navy). I truly expect him to come home aged. He’s shared a lot with me, which I’m grateful. I don’t want him to hold this stress in. (Due to the legal implications should I mention anything about who he works for or what he does beyond his rank, I have to censor myself and cannot go into details.)

About 3 years ago, I spent 2 years being the ultimate cheerleader: Ra-Ra, you can do it! He needed to meet qualifications for promotion. He let me “cheer” him on for 2 years before one day blowing up at me “I don’t want to be in charge!” Well how in the world was I supposed to know that if he didn’t share with me? So last year was a little tough on our relationship because he had felt I was nagging at him. Out of his resentment he started treating me like one of the crew. Not cool.

It is cool that he is sharing with me about the pressure. This time I told him, if there was any way possible, tell them you don’t want it. It’s not worth it. He assures me he is doing fine and it will get better. We’ll see.

Some days he likes sailing and others, well, not so much. I asked him about it and he said he doesn’t want to be 55 and still at sea. Keep in mind, that is 16 years away. (One guy on board just celebrated his 62 birthday–I think it freaked DH out.)

We knew he would think about retiring when T1 was about 15/16. So no shock there. That’s in about 8 years.

But DH is thinking it could happen in as little as 4 years.

So how am I selfish? Well, then DH says, and “if I come ashore, you’re going to have to get a job.” Whoa. It did not sit well with me.

Back up. This summer I was feeling the pressure to get a job–from myself. My children are only going to want me hanging around the school for a few more years. What am I going to do after that? I feel I’ve been away from my chosen field too long to be competitive. And do I really want to go back to that grind? Only if I can work from home. So I began looking at my options. A couple of in-state schools, including my alma mater, are offering new and innovative Masters programs. When would I have the time to do this though? If I can do them online I think I could swing it.

But DH sat me down one day and said “Why are you feeling this way? I’m not saying you have to get a job. You work too much here with the children.” I told him I know it wasn’t him, it is just I need to think about the future; to feel that I’m contributing financially for all the extras the children get to do, that I want them to do. He said as long as I didn’t feel the pressure from him.

So why would this announcement stun me? Because it is not on my terms; because there would be pressure. My income wouldn’t just be for ballet, soccer, and scouts. We’d actually need it! I want to be picky about my job and the hours I work because I still want to go on field trips and I want to be there after school.

I sat on this through the night. I called him the next morning in tears. “I’m so sorry I’m selfish and spoiled. I don’t want to work! But I also don’t want you killing yourself at sea.”

I don’t want to HAVE to work. I want to work because I want to pay the outrageous dance fees, be able to purchase extra scout supplies because some of the scouts cannot afford the extras, and donate trays of pastries for the teacher breakfast.

I thanked DH for giving me 4 years notice. It’s not going to be easy for me. I have spent the past week trying to get my kids to stop talking about the Webkinz they WANT. Even if I say ask Santa, it is “I want, I want.” I finally ended up yelling at the oldest that if they were that spoiled again I would start taking away the ones they had.

I’m actually going to start a plan to show them how much work they have to do in order to earn money to buy one of their own (or buy back one I take away).

But I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. DH is a good man. He works way too hard. I miss him.

**Originally written in 2008. DH is still sailing as the person in charge. He now say he’ll probably sail another 8-10 years. I am substitute teaching. It is on my terms and fits into my schedule. I won’t make it rich as a sub but if I should ever have to find more permanent part-time or full-time work, it would not be such a shock or a drastic change for the children. DH is very supportive and even says if I don’t want to sub I can stop and nothing says I have to accept every job. The children are still spoiled but I think some lessons about the value of all the “junk” they want is starting to sink in. They both are wanting to spend their own money on gifts for each other. Hey, it is a start.


One comment

  1. […] or at least pay for some of my frivolous things. I’ve said before that DH has never asked me to work or shamed me that I don’t. I try very hard to let him know I appreciate the sacrifices he […]

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