Once upon a time I had a husband who was the main breadwinner. Once upon the time I was even a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. When I worked as a substitute I had the flexibility of taking random days off (unpaid) to do things necessary/helpful for my adult children and their children. Do I wish I was still in the place where I could do that? Yes - but I am not.
My current situation in life is that of a new teacher at a school. I don't get paid well - it is a mission-type school. Therefore, in order to afford the high cost of health insurance, I am working a second job teaching classes at a wellness center (aka gym) two nights a week and substituting others. On Wednesday night, I volunteer at AWANA. This means that THREE nights a week, right smack in a row, I do not catch a break. I do not get to breath and relax.
I was able to take a personal day when my daughter had her baby - and a good thing because she had complications. However, she was being induced and was in for about 30 hours before it finally happened. I knew this induction would be a long process but I had someone messaging me, asking questions and actually *shocked* that I wasn't there the whole time and rudely saying how they "assumed" I would be and why not. Do they not understand that out in the working world, you cannot just "take time off"??? I know longer have a bread-winning spouse to carry on and make sure income is coming in, bills are being paid. My employer was gracious to give me the day off on Friday. This involved me staying very late on Thursday making substitute plans and getting things ready for the following week. I was exhausted.
Another person had surgery and is hospitalized, so in spite of me being exhausted. In spite of me sitting in the emergency room for several hours with that person on Saturday, totally throwing off any hopes of being in my home doing what I needed to get done, I was pressured about being sure to be there for my Wednesday night volunteer obligation. HELLO! I would like to see my daughter and her baby! I would like to bring them the meal that I prepared for them! And I would like to NOT have to feel guilty about it. I am one person. One tired person. One frazzled-by-death-of-my-spouse and my life is NOT the same as it was. I am not able to do and be all the things I was before. I am in survival mode and that is just how it is. DO I WANT IT TO BE LIKE THIS??? NO. No and no. Do I have a choice? No.
I resigned my position of deaconess because I simply do not have the time or the ability right now to make arrangements for people who need prompt attention. Nor do I have time to receive phone calls after 9pm at night. Again, WOW - I am trying to be in bed by 9 because I have to get up very early. I had weeks of insomnia that my body is still reeling from.
I'm at a point where I am losing patience for people who don't stop a minute and THINK that this is hard for me and continue to make demands on me. There is a time and a season for every purpose under heaven and I think this is my time to be given space to adjust and some compassion while I do that.