Fortunately, Jon, being awesome, walked out of one job, into a few interviews, and into another job. He is getting along with everyone and enjoying it, even though the hours are very heavy, and we’re actually making the most of our time together. Plus, the take-home salary is better, so score all round.
But I still had a week of serious earning attempts and a month ahead of me where I need to cover for him until the paycheck comes through. Here are my thoughts so far.
1: I am absolutely no good with stress. Just like with moving house for the first time, A-levels, uni exams and the likes, this level of stress killed me. I’m feeling a lot better now I know that our earnings and savings are secure, even though I’m working just as much and earning just as much as when I was stressed.
2: I actually preferred working full time and housekeeping full time over working full time and splitting housekeeping. I don’t like giving certain responsibilities away and definitely don’t trust anyone to do a good job on my turf. Did he do a good job? Well, reasonable, I suppose… :p
3: Being the main earner didn’t affect my affections much at all. I had a temporary drop in sex drive that returned to normal a day later. No alteration in my feelings towards Jon and, other than the drop, in my desire. If anything, it warmed and excited me to know I was supporting him in his pursuit of better work.
4: That said, I am so relieved he got the job so quickly. He just didn’t seem himself out of work. Happier for getting away from it all, but a little frustrated and worried about unemployment. He seems so much better in himself for being employed again.
5: I can’t not do everything. I couldn’t just sit back and let someone else cook the food, let myself cook slightly worse or easier food or anything of the sort. I had to keep cooking the same variety, quality and quantity of food. I couldn’t skip the hoovering, if anything it needed doing more due to the number of students. I need to do everything in order to feel like I am doing anything at all. For someone who needs no external support to adore myself, my self-esteem is very strongly based on the pettiest things. I am amazing if I am doing everything, I am nothing if I skip or half-do one task.
6: I do things as and when. Lessons may be planned, but dishes, cooking, hoovering, laundry, tidying, sorting, shopping, etc are all done as and when I see them. Being given a schedule confuses me, even if it’s more efficient. I’d rather float about doing this and that then ask my timetable if I’m allowed to hoover yet.
7: When in a position of power or duty, I am happier to hide illness and tide it through than tell anyone. I have felt under the weather once and hurt myself a little once whilst Jon was out of work. Usually I’d tell him right away and be scolded for being a hypochondriac. But when he relied on me I found it better to not mention the illness and only told him about the injury once he was comfortable in his new job.
8: As I get stressed and tired, my speech degrades. I will say things I don’t mean, use the wrong word or even forget to finish sentences. Unsure if this is a function of being an introvert in a very social, word-based job or whether it’s just how I respond to stress. We had a few misunderstandings where I didn’t finish sentences and assumed I had or phrased something very poorly and even missed words. Fortunately Jon noticed I wasn’t speaking normally and just asked me to clarify, rather than getting angry about it or acting on something that didn’t sound quite right. I’m back to normal now I am doing more writing work, through.
9: My crafts are suffering more now that I’m under less pressure. Funny how that works. Maybe I’m just relaxing?
Anyway, those are my observations from being the main earner in practice for a few weeks and in earnest for one. Now that we have seen how well I can do, my responsibilities as the secondary earner are a little higher, but to be honest I’m feeling good about that.
As a secondary note, we may take the luxury of me earning for another year or two before going on to have children. We have to reassess soon. If we choose to go ahead or are still undecided, we’ll probably get the marriage certs done this March, just to be safe.
I’ll keep you updated on how I do as the secondary earner, 3/4 time, rather than part or full.
TTFN and Happy Hunting.