I understand that my life, and scenarios, are a bit "conventional." My husband works full time to support our family and I stay home with our monkeys (ahem. children). Your family or situation may look similar, or completely different. But the point is the same.
The Benefit of the Doubt.
No. Not this random Tom Selleck movie I've never watched.
The concept. This little gem of a concept works in all relationships. Friendship, siblings, parents and children. It is a universally positive state-of-mind.
In the past, I have worked full-time, part-time, been the main bread winner while The Professor was in school, and now...I stay home. I am a stay at home mom. Sorry. Sometimes I have to say it to myself to counter my disbelief. I never thought in a million years I would be a stay at home, homeschool mom. Seriously. Never.
I know staying home is what I'm supposed to do with my life in this season. It comes with a series of challenges and joys. Sometimes when I am wrapped up with my own issues like the 15th tantrum of the day from Monkey #3, helping with a project for Monkey #1, and dealing with a deep, emotional need from Monkey #2, I forget what it's like for The Professor.
I have to remind myself of the stress, pressure and strain it can put on a person to have a job and do it with integrity and excellence. I remember the deadlines, frustration on projects, dealing with work relationships and performance anxieties. But more often, I forget. You know what I remember easily? The Professor going out to lunch for a business meeting to my favorite restaurant...and nope...no leftovers brought home. Or that he gets to drive places. Alone. In quiet. I remember the "perks" with no problem.
Being home does come with quite a few challenges, but it also comes with wonderful moments I wouldn't trade for anything! Like playing pattycake with Monkey #4. Or having lunch with a chatty and adorable Monkey #3. Or that sweet conversation when Monkey #1 asked me a life-changing question. Me staying home is just as much about these things, than it is folding laundry. Even more so! They're my "perks."
There have been studies, too numerous to list, on the human bend toward focusing on the negative instead of the positive. Don't believe me? Just google "people focus on the negative instead of positive" and see the HUGE amount of hits. We are just wired this way. But we can steer our wiring where we want it to go.
Dude. When the kitchen counter isn't wiped down, AGAIN?! Instead of getting upset...think about maybe the tea party she was attending with the finest plastic dishes.
Woman. When all you can think about is the dinner meeting he's at, and that he will be home late, AGAIN?! Instead of getting upset..... think about all the long, stressful hours he was already at the office.
Let's give each other a high five for the 'perks.' And the negative, frustrating things....well, make the best of them. Anyone for a game of Trash Chicken?