In our house Sunday's are family days. I really wish that we could go back to the days of the Blue Laws where stores we're not allowed to be open. To many of you this may be inconceivable but to my family it would be a gift.
Why you may ask? My husband and I have spent our adulthood working in various retail type management jobs. If the blue laws were in effect this would give us one clear day off to be together as a family. We've tried hard to make this work for us since the kids were born. We have fought to have this one day together every week. It's become easier since I am currently unemployed. For a two year time period, I would often work a Sunday if needed. I dreaded it. I cried not being able to spend time with my husband and kids. But not anymore. Those days are over. Hopefully forever.
In retail management it is hard to call the schedule shots. Sometimes even when you're the boss. Why? Because ultimately you are responsible for filling any gaps in your schedule. If no one can work it or someone calls off it comes down to you. Upper management (district and regional managers) don't care. It's "your" store and your responsibility to get it covered. They don't care how, just get it done.
When I was working as a store manager for my last company there were many times I was working 6 days a week, 12-14 hour days. Some started as early as 4 a.m. if we were getting a truck I had to pull in and ending at 7 p.m., when most of the pack out was done for the day. It was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. It was unforgiving. Corporate was uncaring. I use to pull in 10 pallets worth of merchandise stacked over my head. The only way to break it down was to get a metal chair to stand on and pray I didn't hurt myself. Eventually I did and my body has paid for it time and time again. It's the reason why I am currently not working.
It's not worth it. I missed way too much time of my children's early years. My son was 4 and my daughter 2 when I finally threw in the towel and demanded a demotion. Yes, demanded. Months before I sat on the phone telling my district manager I couldn't do the position anymore. He promised support. He lied. He said whatever he could to make me feel guilty and stay. I was a hard working, team player. He was lucky to have me. He told me he would get me out. He never did. I finally sat in his office in tears, almost begging him to fire me. Finally, it took a call to human resources to make it happen. The week I was demoted he went on vacation and left the company.
I couldn't take it anymore...mentally, physically, or emotionally. I was actually having panic attacks driving to work. I gave it up for myself and my family. I wasn't the person I wanted to be. I wasn't the wife and mother I knew I could be. At that point I had already injured myself once. The move hurt us financially and we've struggled ever sense. It's rough right now because of my choice. But I can honestly say my kids and my body appreciate what I did. I have no regrets.
Since my husband is still in management we have committed to making Sunday our family day. Most of the time we are together. Sometimes not all together but together, if that makes sense. Occasionally the guys will do a Nascar trip with hubby's friend who gets free passes and Little Bee and I will do a girls day. But, it's all focused around family and continuing to strengthen our bonds
Without each other we are weak. We will be there for each other through thick and thin. When push comes to shove and all those other quotables. No matter what though, we will stand by one another. That's what family does. We are teaching our children the importance of being together and enjoying each other's company.
That's what Sundays mean to us.