It’s been a long time coming - but I definitely feel like it’s safe to say - that Brandon and I have gotten in a good routine of knowing when we need each other at different work events. For example, Brandon worked at The Refuge, a sports ministry, when we were first married. There were different events at night and different events on the weekend. We were the young married couple that had the most flexibility with our schedule - so we were called upon at odd hours. This could include a call to open the gate for an early Saturday morning group meeting, starting a bonfire for a group of kids coming out to the campsite, or staying late to make sure all the kids got picked up by their parents. Then there were the days where Brandon was the coach for a little league team and had practice on a lot of weekday nights and some tournaments were every day of the weekend. For those of you that know us well, it does not come as a surprise that I wanted to be with my buddy!! If we was going to be at the ballpark from Thursday to Sunday, I was going to be right there with him in my Coach’s Wife shirt. (Well, the printer actually messed up the spelling and put: Coaches Wife!!!)
As much as we liked being there to support each other, there were also times when I knew that it would be better for me to call up a friend and go have a fun "girl" afternoon instead of watching more little league games. We started realizing that there were times when it meant a lot for me to be there and then there were times that I knew of ahead of time that I really didn't need to come. In the long run, it would be better for me to go get a pedicure!!
On the other hand, there have been the work events that I have had that Brandon has been a champ to attend! The running joke when I first started working at Mercy Ministries was that Brandon was the all-star husband that was so supportive of all the events we had. From the 5K to the Christmas Benefit to the Christmas Party to the various other events here, there and everywhere - Brandon was there. What we started realizing was there were times when he needed to be there and times when he really didn't need to attend. All in all, these were working times for me and having him there at some events was helpful and at some I would realize that he really should have stayed home. Here's the thing, if an event was going to be 8 hours from start to finish, that is a full work day. So he would have worked a whole week, then come and "helped" me (he really was the biggest help with loading and unloading the car with all the event supplies!) but he would be burnt out since this was his weekend, too.
Now that we have learned to speak up about the things to come to and the things that just aren't necessary - this has been revolutionary! Part of it, I'm sure, is that we have been married going on three years and we understand that a little time apart is not the end of the world - and in fact - it's a good thing. This past weekend was the Country Music Marathon and we had a team of 65 people Run for Mercy!! Brandon knew ahead of time that this was going to be one of his Saturdays to work at Hertz - and then give a baseball pitching lesson that afternoon. That was the non-verbal cue for me to catch on to that it would be the worst idea ever to invite him to wake up with me at 5:30am and go and set up the Mercy booth at the event. Instead, I was supportive of him going to work and doing his thing and accepting the fact that it would be officially too much for him to try to cram in one more thing to his Saturday. Sure enough, I had some other family helpers there (sweet Mom, Dad and Major!!) and we had a great time cheering on all the runners. Knowing B was happily working and not feeling stressed about being in too many places at one time - made my heart happy. It also meant a lot to him that I did not expect him to bend over backwards and be there, when in the past I may have really "strongly encouraged" that he try and make it. Here is a pic from the weekend!!
Closing statement from the man of the house: “Whit and I have really grown in this area. She knows I'm supportive of her work and I know she's supportive of mine. We've learned that there is a time to be there - and when that time comes - be all there. BUT...not every time is the right time, if you know what I mean!! Work is not meant to be quality time."