Christopher (28), Sophie (28), Elsa (6), Sydni (2)
Time was passing quickly and it was already time for Sydni's birthday. Christopher couldn't believe how fast his daughters were growing up.
"You're so lucky to have a little sister," Sophie told Elsa. "I know it was hard on you when she was a baby, but now that she's bigger, she's going to be a lot more fun. The two of you are going to be the best of friends."
Or maybe not . . .
Things were looking better for Elsa. She liked when her Daddy let her play video games with him,
but she wished she were better at it. She hated to lose.
She liked it when she was allowed to invite kids over to play
and liked making new friends.
Somedays Sophie would come home, exhausted and sweaty from a long day of training and in a terrible mood
but she was always happy to see her family. Elsa knew just how to put a smile on her mommy's face after a long day.
Sophie was learning to take things in moderation and not make everything in her life about sports and fitness. She was starting to explore new hobbies. She reminded herself that she didn't have to be good at them, but it was important to find new ways to relax.
Christopher, on the other hand was falling into a rut. When they talked about getting married and starting a family, he and Sophie had both agreed that they wanted a large family with four kids. Sophie was the more career oriented one and he was more family driven, so they had agreed that she would work and he would stay home and take care of the children. Now he wasn't so sure he was happy with the arrangement. He had to admit that things were easier now that Sydni was bigger, but taking care of children was hard work. He found himself feeling depressed and irritable, snapping at his daughters, even pushing them away, when that was not the type of sim he really knew himself to be.
"I feel like I don't really do anything," he remarked one night over dinner. "When I'm not taking care of the girls, I find myself zoning out in front of the TV or playing video games."
"Maybe you should take up a new hobby. Painting has really helped me unwind."
"I don't know. I just want a way to feel more useful."
"More useful? You take care of the girls, cook, clean, do repairs around the house. I don't what could be more useful than all of that."
"It's just not enough . . . I don't know. It feels like something's missing."
Maybe friends were the answer. Before the girls were born, Sophie and Christopher had friends over all the time for dinners or for poker night. Now they and their friends all had children and rarely made time to keep in touch. So Christopher called up a couple of the guys, Rich and Gregory, and invited them over to hang out for awhile. He let them in on how he'd felt a little down lately.
"I went through the same thing when I lost my job," Rich said. "You just have to look for a new opportunity. You might find yourself doing something that you love, that you never expected."
Christopher thought about it and he realized he needed to get out of the house more and contribute to the family and to the community in a different way than he had been. He decided to put his college degree to good use and applied for the open teaching position at the high school.
It would mean hiring help during the day to watch the girls, but the excitement he felt as he headed to work that first morning, proved that the change was totally worth it. He felt better about himself and about his life than he had in a long time.
ROS: Christopher Straight suffers depression (I could have done more with this, but since it seemed like this family was going through a rough time already last round. I made this one about getting out of the depression. Luckily for me Chris rolled the want to get a job in education all on his own. I was considering him for the job already, since I needed another teacher, but I'm glad he wanted it too. :) )