When I was younger, my mom always tried to tell me that I needed to learn how to cook. She has never learned how to cook; even now, at 48 years old, my mom doesn’t cook. Fortunately, my stepdad is a fantastic cook – and he enjoys it. Before meeting him, we had a lot of cereal, pop tarts, and French toast for dinner. My smart-ass response to my mom when I was younger and she would tell me I should learn to cook was, “I don’t need to; I’m going to marry a chef.”
Well, I did end up marrying a chef. And he is a phenomenal cook. However, he is never home for dinner. As an adult, I’ve had to learn how to cook. It’s not always been easy, but I enjoy it, and, turns out, I’m pretty good at cooking.
The hardest part about being married to someone who works in the restaurant industry isn’t that they aren’t home to cook for you. The hardest part of being married to someone who works in the restaurant industry is that they aren’t home at all.
On Friday, I interviewed for a job and I have been very conflicted on whether or not I should accept the job if it is offered to me. I called my husband to talk to him about it. He was in between shifts and said he needed to go, but that we would talk about it later. I know from 10 years of living with him that “later” never comes. We work opposite schedules. I’m usually asleep by the time he comes home. This weekend, he has worked all weekend. Usually he has Sundays off, but not today; today he actually went in early to pick up some extra hours. I’ve been single-momming it, cooking, and trying not to be anxious all weekend.
Today, when I realized we wouldn’t even get a couple hours together this morning, I realized that probably one of the reasons I rely on my shrink for everything is because I literally have zero support at home. I can’t even have a conversation with my husband about whether or not I should switch jobs. He’s not around for me to have those conversations with him. He’s not around for me to talk to when I’m anxious or when I’m struggling with making decisions. He’s not around to kiss his daughter goodnight or cook dinner for us. We can’t even go Christmas shopping for her together. The fact that we make it to marriage counseling together is an act of god. And really, that hour together with our marriage counselor is probably the most conversation we have all week.
Being married to someone in the restaurant industry is hard.
It’s hard because I know that if he doesn’t work, he won’t get paid. We need him to get paid. It’s hard because it means I have to do life, all of it, on my own. Before having my daughter, I was mostly ok with this. Even before starting trauma work, I was ok with this. I have changed so much in this past year. And today, I am overwhelmed by the realization that I really am 100% alone as a married adult. It sucks because all I really want is to have a partner that I can talk to when I’m struggling or faced with tough decisions, like whether or not to switch jobs. And on days like today, when I’ve been with my toddler, by myself, for 40 straight hours and she’s cranky as fuck, I really wish he were here to give me a break. No yoga this weekend. No breaks. My kid is currently throwing a tantrum because I won’t let her color on her legos. #worstmomever