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GUEST POST: Gettin’ Married and Gettin’ Divorced

September 25, 2014 in Coping, Life, Restaurant Industry

lightstock_120134_small_kerilyn_

photo credit: Lightstock

Guest Post by Annie Wang from frites & fries  . You can also find her on her own site – j. annie wang

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Some of you have entertained the thought of leaving your relationship. Some of you may have even fantasized how much easier life would be if you weren’t worried about his (or her) health all the time, hoping that they have enough covers for the week to make rent, or praying that the big meeting with restaurant investors will pull through. I’ve been there. But there’s one thing that makes me a little bit different: my Chef and I are divorcing.

It all happened very quickly. One day I was engaged, then married, and then the D-word happened.  There’s so many reasons why this decision happened — people divorce for multiple reasons after all but I would be lying if I said the restaurant industry wasn’t a part of it; it wasn’t because I couldn’t deal with his lifestyle or hours — I just couldn’t deal with someone who couldn’t put me or us first. The us part was so severe that we never celebrated an anniversary, not even our first wedding anniversary. On our first wedding anniversary, I had a bottle of champagne signed by 20 of our closest relatives in my lap while I sat alone at home in tears. A “make-up” celebration didn’t even happen because of the restaurant. The restaurant was more important than our relationship. But he doesn’t deserve all the blame. I played my role too.

Our relationship started out strong: a rom-com like story of how it all began, an unexplainable chemistry. We were both passionate about our careers and we supported each other as much as we could. At one point, I felt like we could conquer anything and take over the world because we complimented each other so well. Knowing what his goals were as a chef, I was always behind him 100%. Eventually, I was so focused on him because I wanted him to succeed in New York so much. Gradually, I forgot about my needs and wants shortly before he started forgetting what mine were. Overtime, our lives were so deeply entwined but my voice was almost non-existent and I had lost myself. Perhaps I was so too immersed in the New York City restaurant culture (the gossip!). Perhaps my competitive spirit clouded my own ambitions. Perhaps I wanted the fairy tale to work out — in the dream world, he would have his restaurant and I would visit him with our two chubby toddlers before dinner service so we could work on our cookbook. But now, I can’t tell if that was his dream or mine now because our priorities were skewed and had been so for so long.

While both of us had accomplished our original goals in New York (I finished graduate school and he had opened a restaurant in Manhattan as Executive Chef), our ambitions were stronger than our love for each other. One of the core elements of a loving relationship is having a supportive presence. In the early stages of our relationship, I always “understood” why he had to work late and why he couldn’t come to an event with me (work or personal). In retrospect, I should’ve pushed for that “me”-time in the beginning. If I did, I wondered, would we have celebrated a wedding anniversary? Would we have even celebrated an anniversary while we were dating? Who knows.

Do I regret being married to a chef? Nope. I learned a lot from it. Not just about being married to the industry but just marriage in general. Once the legal steps started, I learned a lot about myself too – about what I needed and what I wanted. There’s one thing that I have to thank him for though: if it weren’t for him, I may not have re-discovered my love for food or pursued my current career path. In fact, I would have never continued my career in food if it weren’t for him, divorce or no divorce.

Connect w/ Annie on  Twitter and Instagram

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My ONE answer to how to connect in your restaurant relationship

August 6, 2014 in Life, Relationships, Restaurant Industry, VALUES

sacred time*photo credit – Cuddles on the Couch

Before you begin, start here.

So many times the NUMBER ONE question I get asked, about how to navigate through our restaurant relationships is…

“HOW do I find time to connect when we’re on opposite schedules, live in different cities, etc…?”

Back when my chef husband was my chef fiance, I discovered the answer to this important question, almost by accident.

My then chef fiancee was just promoted from Exec Sous to Exec Chef. After YEARS of putting his time in, he finally hit the jackpot.

Executive Chef-dom.

Which came with one HUGE perk… regular days off. Sunday/Monday were his regular days off. Which mean that I knew we could plan more things on his day off, even that quick 3.5 hour (one way) trip to and from his family on a Sunday (Gotta love a less than 24 hour trip because you have to work on Monday as a 9-5′r) Regardless, I LOVED knowing that I could count on this time.

Within a few short months, I discovered a pattern. Sunday and Monday evenings, I found us doing the same things, Sundays around 9pm, we’d meet on the couch for our favorite cable network TV shows (Homeland, True Blood, I honestly can’t remember what we were watching back in 2008/09) On Monday evenings, we’d continually find ourselves discussing what we were having for dinner, him making a delicious meal (of course that I’d then be cleaning up the entire contents of our kitchen) and we’d rent a movie On Demand (this was before redbox)

Sunday and Monday evenings. Became like clockwork. When he was asked to do something that would keep him out at these times, he would naturally decline. So would I. These short periods of time became VITAL to our connecting, when I work Monday and he’s usually out with his chef friends (or riding his Harley) on Sunday afternoons. Sunday and Monday evenings became OUR time.

SACRED.

I quickly discovered that these time slots in our busy, passing through the night schedules… allowed us to connect, to catch up, to be next to each other… and because we valued our INDEPENDENCE, it was just enough time to look forward to, that didn’t have us feeling like it was too much. *Ha… we’ve been together a LONG time, we both understand that it’s about quality, not quantity, at this point of our lives*

It was this time that really helped me NOT feel AS resentful about our limited amount of time together, for the rest of the week. I really was surprised how much it helped.

I surmised that it was this time that helped us moving forward. It felt SACRED. Sorta like when I was little, and I went to church every Sunday. It was something I could count on (even if I didn’t want to go, but that’s a different story) I know my Sunday mornings were church and breakfast with my family. I knew I couldn’t DO anything until mid-Sunday afternoon. It gave me a routine I could count on.

For most of us, significant others, we THRIVE on having something to count on, routine. (It’s because we’re the planners in our restaurant relationship, am I right?) *Again, calling EXCEPTION here.

So… what does this mean for you, my dear other half?

So my answer will ALWAYS be… to the question of how to find time to connect is to FIND SACRED TIME.

It does NOT have to be an all day affair. My own guess is that a minimum of ONE HOUR of sacred time a week… WILL help you feel grounded and rooted in your restaurant relationship. Whether it is sitting and having coffee at the table, going grocery shopping together (don’t laugh, I know some of you shop with your restaurant man/woman) or making a meal together (or going out to eat even) Something that is REGULAR, REPEATABLE, and is done with the energy of being VALUABLE.

I am not one to guarantee anything – Life is full of exceptions, and uncertainty….  but I will continue to answer that finding SACRED TIME in your restaurant relationship IS the one thing that will help connect you (and I’ll go so far as to help you THRIVE) in your restaurant relationship.

OOH… and for those of you not in the same city/country -  I have one word for you…. SKYPE. (or FaceTime) How about making your sacred time a regular Skype date? I can imagine how SEEING each other, your facial expressions, the way you blush when he tells you he can’t wait to see you next time.. WILL help you both feel connected. I challenge you, in todays technology age, on not finding some sacred time on the regular. Even if it’s just 30 minutes. (shoot, even 15!)

I have a feeling a question some of you might be asking is… “HOW do I get my restaurant man/woman to commit to SACRED TIME?”

Honestly.. I don’t have an answer for you on that. What works for one restaurant relationship will NOT work for another. For us, it just naturally happened, we didn’t say “Hey, how about Sunday and Monday evenings we get together and connect?” I think we both would agree that since our son, we are both DESPERATE for a date night (we’re working on it!), even though we still meet together on Sunday evenings for our regular TV shows. It just became that we both like doing this one thing, and doing it together feels better than doing it apart.

It just happened.

That’s what sort of makes it feel SACRED. It has become something we don’t even have to talk about, or bring to our awareness. It’s burned into our routine, that not doing it.. isn’t an option.

I just looked up SACRED in the dictionary – the definition that stands out, among the few that are there, are

“… reverently dedicated to some person, purpose, or object.”

Dedication is I think the word that stands out. It’s about DEDICATION. And even though I don’t KNOW you, or know your restaurant man/woman specifically… I know that DEDICATION is just another word for PASSION. You wouldn’t be in this kind of relationship if you didn’t have the passion and dedication… and your man/woman wouldn’t be in the restaurant industry if he/she too… didn’t have the same.

The trick, as I would believe it to be, is to find the mutual dedication to devote to this small amount of time, each week. Whenever it is toward your relationship.

MAYBE that is the topic of conversation that leads you to this conclusion. Your relationship… your love… your… DEDICATION to each other.

I am convinced that you start using the words SACRED TIME in your conversations with your other half, and the space for just that will make itself known. Maybe it’ll take a few adjustments, but like church, you don’t go if you don’t WANT TO (okay, so many of us were forced to, including myself, but you get my drift) but the hope is that it’ll help bring your commitment to what you believe in, even closer than where it is now.

Maybe for you, you will need to “schedule” this time with him/her. Maybe because he/she is spontaneous, you can steer your schedule so that it appears to happen, to him/her, to just pop up every week… who knows. If finding a regular time in your week to connect, SACRED TIME, sounds like a viable option (honestly, I say it’s THE KEY to thriving in this difficult relationship) – then TRUST YOURSELF and your man/woman that you will find a way to make it work.

So if/when you next find yourself reading the question, whether it be here, on the Facebook page, or in The Village, about how to connect… I will always answer the same way…

Where do you and your restaurant man/woman have SACRED TIME in your relationship?? If you don’t… how can you find it??? And now.

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Silence is not an option.

July 11, 2013 in Coping, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

Our lives begin to end

photo credit: pinterest

before you dive in, start here.

Read this quote again, isn’t that how you feel, right now?

Isn’t that what brought you to this website? You feel like your in silence with how challenging and frustrating being in relationship with someone in the industry can be?

Can you relate to the words “Our lives begin to end….” ?

Isn’t THAT also true? Wasn’t there a part of you that felt like a part of you, or your relationship was about to end… because you felt “in silence” with what you are always managing, and didn’t know how to get through it?

And if you’re in it for the long haul, are you still suffering in silence?

Let’s face it… the shitty parts of this relationship can be utterly unnerving.

The days/weeks/months on our own, the lack of consideration on our restaurant man/womans part when something changes quickly during their shift, and it’s hours before we hear from them again. The inability to fully be present while they’re at home because they’re mind (and hence their eyes and fingers) are constantly checking their email on their phone? The days when you REALLY don’t want to cook when you get home from work, another day of having to figure it all out, by yourself, makes you question your decision to be in this type of relationship in the first place?

Sometimes this type of relationship just plain sucks.

Add to that, that for YEARS, there has never been an outlet for us. There has been no place to go to relate to others in the same situation, to rant, to be comforted, to be helped back up.  I honestly cannot imagine how significant others of pre-internet times got by. I once heard a pre-internet significant other sort of comfort/defend herself when I said that these types of relationships are not easy, by saying it wasn’t that bad and that there was no sense in complaining about it because there was nothing she could do about it. Gosh, how that must’ve been SO TRUE for generations of significant others who had no place to turn to, somewhere to go to feel like they weren’t crazy and when they turned to their friends/family (in 9-5′r relationships) just confirmed that there was a need to be silent about how hard it is, because noone really understood.

Talk about isolation.

You could’ve been one of those lucky significant others who lived in close proximity to your other halfs husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, and created friendships to relate to that way, but still, everyone deals with things differently and maybe how one person deals, is not quite how you would.

THANKFULLY, that’s why I created this space. So I could find you. So you could find me. So we could find each other. To release the flood gates and allow the silence of those who came before us, suffering in silence to be set free. Thankfully there are more of us who are sharing their experiences online, bringing it to the mainstream, and connecting with our fellow significant others as a place to go to when they need to remember they are not crazy or alone. 

I can feel the decades of silence pouring out in our comments, our posts in our private Facebook Group, our moments of desparation when we simply need to be seen. The outpouring has been going on since the MINUTE I launched this website on Valentines Day, 2011 and it’s not surprisingly, why those who are new to this website, find themselves relieved to find a place to feel safe to not be silent. It’s why, in June 2013, this website was seen in 103 countries.

We’re talking a GLOBAL silencing here.

That said…. The only way we are going to shift how WE see ourselves in our restaurant relationships, and how we will be able to help others in the same place is to NOT be silent anymore. 

Now, before I go on, I’m not talking about protesting on the Capital or boycotting your loved ones restaurant. No. That’s not going to help us. We need to share, when asked about what it’s like being connected to this industry, to be honest. Share your experiences, educate those who have NO IDEA. The perception is that it’s all glitz and glamour and YOU know what it’s really like. 

Why not share it?

As someone who believes that change comes from within, I felt the need to share what frustrates me because I KNOW I’m not the only one. I’m sharing my experiences, NOT because I’m brave, but because the only way I’m going to find help, is to SAY SOMETHING. The only way I’m not going to feel alone is to talk about the things that make me feel lonely.

And also, I’m not talking about BASHING the restaurant industry or our other halfs or their superior either (even though you might want to sometimes), it’s about speaking up, using your voice and even sharing how strong a person has to be to THRIVE (yes, you can use the word endure, it does feel like enduring sometimes) in this type of relationship.

Even though, there have yet to be a man come forth from their silence, I KNOW YOUR OUT THERE TOO!!! I know you’re reading this along with your fellow women significant others, who are needing to be supported. Even MEN need get their frustrations OUT!

Men, let’s break the silence!! 

And finally, and most importantly, I want to talk about the silence we feel from our restaurant man/woman NOT to speak about what’s frustrating us. I’ve heard from so many of you that your chef husbands think this website is FUNNY. Like, ha ha, amusing. I’ve actually told others what I do (I’m the creator and resident life coach of Married to a Chef, supporting significant others in the restaurant industry, because MOST people have no idea what it’s really like.) and they say “Oh how cute (or funny).”

Really? Cute?  Funny?

Of course they think it’s cute.. they have NO idea. They’re still in a deep trance that it’s all non stop VIP events, and guest appearing on some Food Network program.

It’s up to US to tell them why NO… it’s NOT CUTE.

It’s up to US to share how it’s somewhat similar to the wifes of policemen and fireman (minus the constant danger, but sometimes I wonder)

And to our restaurant men and women who want us to keep our mouths shut… to NOT speak of how challenging this type of relationship is for fear of them being judged for being an absent husband, a narcissist, an uncaring human being (I mean, wouldn’t most people think we’re being neglected with how alone we feel sometimes????)

OF COURSE THEY WANT US TO KEEP QUIET!

While this is their passion, this is a BUSINESS. They want to keep their jobs, keep their dreams, keep their reputation intact… so OF COURSE they don’t want us coming in and saying “Well, actually, my husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend DOESN’T walk on water.”  while their eyes bug out because you might reveal their innermost secret.

THEY’RE NOT PERFECT!! THEY’RE STILL FIGURING SHIT OUT AND MAKING MISTAKES ALONG THE WAY!!!

*Sorry for the strong language in this post, but I feel it’s necessary.

They didn’t create the unwritten rules of this industry. The glorified “Chefs are Gods, they do no wrong.” rule that they willingly bought into and we are all mandated to keep the myth going. Try to cut them some slack (TRY) that I’m sure that in some little way, they wish it could be different too. I’ve mentioned before, this is a well oiled machine that’s been running a LONG time… they either hold onto what keeps it going… or they will inevitably be thrown off.  We have the power to make a subtle shift by sharing our experiences and beginning to share a new paradigm. The “I love being married to a chef and it’s NOT because of why you think.” paradox. :)

Let me ask you a question… Have you ever thought that in my postings… that I have publically BASHED my husband?

I want to say no. I am talking about such a broad stroke, that these scenarios, our frustrations can be discussed with chefs, with those in the restaurant industry around the WORLD. This is a UNIVERSAL experience we are all having with some small specifics thrown in. We are all more alike than different.

That’s another reason why staying quiet will NEVER help anyone else. Even if it’s someone on the other side of the globe from where you are.

YOU can help your fellow significant others. Start by speaking out, not by publically revealing your other halfs flaws (even if they’re most likely something at least 1000 of us can relate to) but put your teacher hat on and EDUCATE when you speak.

You just might make the difference between someone who is REALLY struggling to find the way… and leaving them to suffer in silence.

YOU found your voice here… now it’s your chance to pay it forward.

SILENCE IS NO LONGER AN OPTION.  

*One way to speak up… be a guest poster here. SEE HERE.

 *Another way is to contribute to our mission and get the perks of being a part of your larger, global Village. SEE HERE.

*Finally, another way is to create a local meetup group of significant others so you can meet with and release some of that pent up frustration you have inside. Trust me, it really helps to see someone in person in order to feel like you’re not crazy for feeling the way you do. (If you do create something like this, let me know, and I’ll promote it.)

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It’s time. – PART ONE

February 7, 2013 in Coping, Everybody Else, Expectations, Favorites, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

before you dive in, read here.

I’ve been trying to avoid this post, but it seems I can no longer ‘look away’. It has become GLARINGLY obvious that something needs to be said and any amount of trying to be positive isn’t going to make it better.

I want relief. I KNOW you want relief, so here we go. I’m going to attempt to make this short and sweet, so you can hopefully feel better, faster.

It’s time. We can not ignore this any longer.

YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking he or she is selfish sometimes.
  • You’re NOT crazy for thinking their priorities are out of whack.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think that the restaurant is more important than you and your family.
  • You are NOT crazy for the moments you think they need to grow up.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel sad and angry that you’re the only one who seems interested in what comes next in your lives.
  • You are NOT crazy in those moments when you are considering why you got yourself into this type of relationship in the first place.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are pissed off because it seems you are the only one concerned about your children.
  • You are NOT crazy when they leave the house a MESS, like they don’t even see it there, day after day.
  • You are NOT crazy to wonder if they think of anything but themselves.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think the ONLY reason why they’re still with you is so you can take care of them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have to remind them OVER AND OVER AGAIN to do one thing.
  • You’re NOT crazy if you think their friends might not be the best influences.
  • You are NOT crazy when you’re infuriated that they, YET AGAIN, didn’t tell you when they were getting off, and you wake up panicking about where they are in the middle of the night.  *and then come to find out that they just “had their phone off”.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel crazy that you are the only one upset.
  • You are NOT crazy when you are attempting to save money for the future, and they think if they see it there, they can spend it.
  • You are NOT crazy that their family thinks their The Golden Child, which makes you feel even more crazy that you do experience what you do. Talk about second guessing yourself.
  • You are NOT crazy when all you want is a day alone, with your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy when you feel SO SAD that you are alone/ not with your other half on a holiday or your birthday. When you see your friends out celebrating with their love, and you’re not.
  • You are NOT crazy for thinking you are not sure you can deal with this the rest of your life.
  • You are NOT crazy for being uncomfortable with how often they go out for a drink after service.
  • You are NOT crazy when you have your weekly plans set, and because they haven’t told you when they’re working (open/mid/close), and are suddenly available, they want you to drop your plans to spend time with them.
  • You are NOT crazy when you think that their co-worker is strangely “too close for comfort” to your other half.
  • You are NOT crazy for getting frustrated when people tell you “How Cool” it is that you’re married to a chef. You want to yell at them and say “NO! It’s NOT what you think!”
  • You are NOT crazy for never quite knowing when you can plan your vacation but when THEY want to do something, they always make it happen.
  • You are NOT crazy that they do something SO nice one day that it makes you doubt your initial feeling crazy, and then, a few days later, it returns back to their regularly scheduled routine and you then doubt yourself that you doubted yourself initially.
  • You’re NOT crazy when your restaurant man/woman reads this and suggests you stop reading these posts.
  • (This one is for me) You’re NOT crazy that the industry does NOT want anyone on the outside to know just how hard it is to be married into the industry, that sharing that might somehow jeopardize the glamorous image that it’s worked SO hard to keep up. You’re NOT crazy for getting serious resistance from those who work night and day to keep the dream alive.

You hear me… YOU ARE NOT CRAZY.

Go ahead and give yourself PERMISSION to not feel crazy. You’re NOT.

Whenever you need a reminder, come to THIS post.

Really… let hearing that you are NOT crazy SINK into your bones.

Give yourself a BREAK today. Okay?

And when you’re READY, REALLY ready…

READ PART TWO.

TELL US IN THE COMMENTS – What else are you NOT CRAZY for/about?

 

 

 

 

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Six ways to weather the next storm

October 30, 2012 in Coping, Fears, Life, Restaurant Industry

 

We knew it was inevitable when we first heard the news.

The storm was coming, and there was NOTHING we could do to avoid that.

We also knew that because of that fact…how we planned to weather it, also came into question.

While we’re heading to the grocery store for bottled water and to make sure we have a full tank of gas, just in case the power goes out, our beloved other halves were devising a different game plan.

Like fireman and policemen, our chefs, managers, servers and bartenders are all part of an Emergency Response plan to keep the restaurant open and in business. Like an elaborate dance number, our restaurant men and women are called to “take their places”, so to give those in need of a good meal and a warm escape from the storm, a temporary respite from the elements.

Most of the time, these Emergency plans can be as intricate as some Government defense strategies, with those who have the most reliable transportation, picking up and delivering those who are not as lucky. Coordinating when their next deliveries will arrive, and how to keep the precious food in the walk in cold if the power goes out. It is this time when your husband/wife, girlfriend/boyfriend seems to be focusing on everything else BESIDES house and home and how you’re going to stay safe.

Needless to say, this can (and does) become very frustrating and can be the cause of us feeling like we’re the last on their list.

Most of the time, it seems like they go on automatic pilot… responding to their restaurants needs like a man (or woman) on a mission while having tunnel vision to anything else going on around them.

That’s why I wanted to write, to talk about how this makes US feel and hopefully come up with a way to be at more peace about it. I know that for most of us, this has become second nature, as we adapt and manage…but it doesn’t quell our frustrations and inability to shift them out of this mode, until the storm has passed, and all returns to their regularly scheduled program.

So here are some suggestions to hopefully be at peace, the next time the storm comes our way (AND IT WILL). These are not miracle cures.. just thoughts to consider to bring yourself some peace. Dealing with a scary storm situation is emotional enough… why not prevent additional upset by finding ways to bring calm to what’s going on in and around you.

Let’s start with a few that might be pushing your buttons, BIG TIME, right now.

1.  Whether we like it or not..it boils down to SUPPLY and DEMAND.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, what your beloved does for a living is a BUSINESS. The owners, managers… shoot most likely even your chef sees the potential in how this storm can bring in additional business (read: finances), and will do all they can to ensure that they keep things up and running. As you know… groceries run out of stock and lines begin to form when the DEMAND is there. The restaurant is the same. People will flock to the places (and spend more money than usual) they KNOW are open. Therefore they do all they can to make sure all systems are GO.

2. It’s NOT personal.

I almost cannot believe I’m saying this, partially because I personally resist the belief of “It’s not personal, it’s business.” but in this case, I think it’s wise to talk about it. I know it feels like it’s YOU that he/she is overlooking but let me assure you… IT’S NOT PERSONAL. They go into automatic pilot NOT because they want to. They are not deliberately leaving you to fend for yourself. NO. Unfortunately, they are reacting based out of the the long established and underlying belief in what I mentioned above. I’m sure if you were to question them in the midst of their auto-pilot behavior, they would say “But I have to… this is what you do”.

I can’t speak for wives of policemen and firemen… but my guess is, how they cope with this First Responder behavior is the same as what we need to develop in ourselves.

If we knew that their jobs were to save the lives of others… how would that change how you feel about their instinctive GO GO GO mode?

I know that in reality, keeping the restaurant open is not saving lives, but I think the mentality is similar. Food, Shelter, Water. What our beloveds do, is to make sure that the food part is in abundance. The adrenaline kicks in, they “Don their Cape” , and AWAY they go.

How does this help you? Well, it might not in the moment, but while you’re preparing for the storm, it might be good to regularly remind yourself that it’s NOT personal. This is a train that has been on this certain track for a LONG time, and instead of getting run over, it’s best to stand aside and watch it as it passes by. If you watch it from afar, and see it as it really is (You’re other half is a part of a very old train system… running a track and it doesn’t know how to stop) then hopefully it will minimize the feeling that he or she is personally neglecting you and your needs.

He or she is just doing what those before them have done. Not saying it’s right, but knowing that he/she is a part of a larger system, hopefully can diminish how personal it can feel.

3. Create a three step plan of your own BEFORE hand.

That way, by the time he or she goes into Superman (or woman) mode, you have already initiated the steps in your own plan first. Maybe one of those steps is the intervals with with he/she needs to check in with you or how long they can be away (specifically in the cases of Hotel Restaurant men/women where they can and usually do stay at their place of business to keep the shifts moving. ) Maybe it’s BEFORE he/she takes off (think Supermans lift off… leaving Lois Lane  standing there by herself) they have to make sure you are safe and secure (with enough food) to leave you, wherever you are.

Know your non-negotiables (Things you will NOT settle for) Like…

  1. I expect to hear from you every 12 hours.
  2. I want you to make sure there are always enough batteries in this house, for just this occasion.
  3. Make sure YOU call your mother/father to make sure they too, know you’re alright.

Create the plan BEFORE the adrenaline kicks in.. and their off saving the appetites of those around them.

4. Take advantage of the LULLS.

Just like a storm has a lull, the adrenaline will wear off and he/she will come to his/her senses and remember that there is someone at home, weathering without them. Take advantage of these lulls when you can. You probably notice that on a regular basis, they usually call you before dinner service, like the calm before the storm. Use these cues to find ways to remind them that their only responsibility is not just at the restaurant. Send them a picture of how you’re hunkering down (or in my case yesterday, the completely unfortunate leak in the living room ceiling) so remind them that what is happening in front of them is NOT the only things.  We cut our beloveds a LOT of slack for being the passionate and driven men and women that they are… still doesn’t take away the fact that the need for work/life balance is necessary.

5. Reach out to your fellow significant others.

You’re other half is not the only one who is ‘coming to the rescue’ when a storm hits. So are his fellow co-workers. If you are so inclined, why not reach out to the wives/girlfriends, boyfriends and husbands of those who work with your beloved. Connect ahead of time and collaborate on a support system of your own (like a phone tree) so that you don’t have to wait for your restaurant man/woman to call you back, when it’s been a few hours and you’re worrying.That way whomever checks in first can call the other for an update.

*Yes, it takes a bit of coordination to do this but we already know (or are beginning to know) that we are STRONG and resourceful and what better way to empower yourself that you are doing all you can to make sure they’re doing okay.

6. KNOW You’re right.. it’s not FAIR.

Really there isn’t much more to say than you’re right.. it’s NOT fair. It’s not fair that you will be the one doing most of the coordinating on the home front. You will most likely be battening down the hatches, lighting the candles when the power goes out and soothing your childrens fears from the wind. It’s not fair that you’re going to have to do the leg work while it seems like they off doing something that you just can’t grasp to be THAT important. It’s not fair that nothing seems to work to get him or her to realize that they could be home, with their families instead of always picking up the phone with the restaurant calls to tell them to come in.

It’s not fair and frankly, there’s nothing do DO about it but KNOW IT. Is it always fair that we seem to be lower on the totem pole when it comes to these moments of Emergency? NO. Is it that we REALLY are unimportant? NO, it just might seem that way while the tide is high. It is my hope that you will feel just a bit less alone that you are NOT the only one going through this… that SO MANY of your fellow significant others are thinking the same things and feeling the same. We CAN take steps to be MORE at peace.

I want to know.. How do YOU handle life with your restaurant man/woman during an emergency situation? What works best for you?

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