Life and Work

Taking care of three young boys while working full time is a huge challenge. It would be impossible without the support from my wife, mother-in-law, and supervisor.

I am fortunate to have such an understanding boss. She has been very flexible with my schedule as long as I do my job. In the past five years, she has not once complained about my time off to take care of my kids. They get sick quite often.

My mother-in-law has been a tremendous asset. She has lent a hand for the six boys since the day they were born. Three of them are our kids. Alhtoumgh all six of them are attached her, only Đán would sleep by her side at night. I can’t appreciate her help enough.

Obviously my wife plays a huge part in this. With three boys, she could stay home, but she chooses to continue her career. Her job is too good to give up and I am glad that she can continue to work and while take care of the kids. She has the flexibility of working part-time until she is ready to return full-time, but she is in no rush to do so. Work can give her a break from the kids.

For me, I had to adjust to my work-life balance a bit. I rarely learn new technologies nowadays. I give up my freelance gig.I get exhausted after the kids go to bed. I try to continue to do my favorite things like blogging and reading to keep me sane. I love my kids, but I also need some space for myself. I am not the best dad. I also don’t want to be a miserable dad. I can’t run around and do things with the kids all day. I am glad that we have more than one kids. They play with each other while I sit back and absorb. I only get involve when they fight or join in when I find something interesting. I can’t pretend to play something that I have no interest in. I had earned the title of the worse dad in the world, but I am being honest.

Raising kids has also taken priority over our marriage. We are too busy with the kids that we hardly do things for ourselves. The positive outcome of that is that we hardly fight. If we get into an argument, Đạo and Đán would say, “Here they go again.” On the contrary, we had not slept in the same bed for eight years. It feels kind of lonely sometimes after the kids had fallen as sleep. As the season changes, I wake up with a bit of sadness sometimes. I know that we had not loved each other any less, but I still feel distanced. With work, the kids, and cooking, she is always tired; therefore, I try to give her the space. I know she loves me and tries to be there for me, but it is an extra burden on her part. I feel bad and ashamed.

I used to drink to beat the blue. A couple of ice-cold Don Julio shots would knock out my insomnia, but gout has ended that remedy. I could go back to drinking and taking medication to control my gout, but that would put my liver at tremendous risk. Then again, what’s the point of living an unsatisfied life?

Since I can no longer rely on alcohol, I turn to this blog to express my feelings. I write them down so I don’t have to carry them around in my head. I’ll get through it. I have learned that marriage is more of what you give or give up than get. I have no choice.