Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finding Our Own Way During the Holidays

We have some exciting news in our household-- Matt got a job.  A JOB!    Matt has been pretty focused on practicing a specific type of medicine since he started residency.  The problem with this is that there are only a couple places in town that do what he wanted to do and over the last couple years many haven't been hiring. . . so we were expecting to make some compromises-- either focusing on one area of his interests, moving or doing clinic work.  The good news, this year there were three groups hiring and all three wanted my sweet husband!   Incredible for him.  I am really proud of him. 

The tricky part came in the week or so after where he had a pretty tough choice to make between great programs.  There wasn't a clear answer any which way and in the end I think he made a decision that makes him really happy.  The reality though, is this will mean quite a bit of solo parenting time for me going forward- especially on the weekends.  It also means that Matt will be home a lot more than when he was in residency but when he will be gone he will be very gone.  Make sense? I didn't think so.

The job offers significant time away from work but the workdays when you are 'on' are quite long and include some weekends and nights.

This hit me on Christmas a little more since our house has been heavy with conversations on priorities, life goals etc. etc.  James and I were double dating on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and although it was really nice, it wasn't a huge family celebration either.   I have spoken about this before but the working parent compromise is something we think about a lot and although we don't think of it as much of an option financially right now, it is surprising how often the compromises come up whether it is a sleep deprived Wednesday or a big holiday like Christmas. 

Next year, I am going to do some thinking about how to build traditions with my little people for when Dad can't be there.

So was it a bad Christmas?  Heck no-- it was perfect. All that heavy thought for nothing.

We ended up heading down to a friend's house in Red Wing for Christmas Eve and it was just magical.  A real reminder that Christmas can come in many ways and with many people. I am so thankful for my many friendships in life.

On Christmas Day, Matt got off work early so we went to the Muppet Movie with James to see "The Frog" and came home to make a nice dinner.  It was lovely and likely the first of many holidays that are a bit unconventional ;)

James and I gave Matt a gift that I was really proud of-- the 12 Dates of Christmas.  I took some gift certificates that were lying around the house and built some parent dates and kid dates around them.  (Plus added some new ideas to supplement the gift cards that already existed).

For example, in March when the baby is pretty new and James might be struggling a bit, he is taking Matt to an indoor water park for some quality 1:1 time that will probably be great for both James and Matt.

In December, to help with the stress of Christmas shopping, Dana is taking Matt on a shopping date (Nana is baby sitting) so that we can get a jump on the holiday season.  There is a bright shiny caribou card attached to that one so that Matt can stomach the mall with a healthy dose of optimism and caffeine. :)

Every month will be a surprise for Matt (and probably me since I am unlikely to remember what I stuffed into the envelope!)

Picture Courtesy of Shawn and Ariel on Christmas Eve at our sleep over

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE the idea of the 12 Dates of Christmas....so clever. We have always said we would much rather spend money on "experiences" with our kids rather than more "stuff". Thanks for the awesome idea! Many Christmas and new year blessings to you!