I'm incredibly unhappy in particular areas of my life and I feel stuck. I would love to make some changes so that I'm not discontent all the time, but I really can't think of how. I basically hate my job. There are a lot of good things about it: the fact that I have one and it's stable, the flexibility, good benefits. However, the bad outweigh the good. My boss is a jerk sometimes, I'm underappreciated, I haven't had a raise in 3 years. After 4 years here, I've learned all I'm going to in this position, there's no room for promotion. The job is monotonous and tedious, there's no challenge. Easy fix is to find another job right? Well, besides the economy and job outlook, there's the fact that I'm 5 months pregnant and here on a work visa that is tied to this job ONLY. Even if I could find a company to hire me, give me insurance then let me take maternity leave after only working for them a short time, I doubt they will do all those things and then pay a lawyer to transfer my paperwork to them. I can't just quit because my DH is self-employed with slow winter seasons. As meager as my pay is, it allows us some breathing room if things arent' great for him. Also, I carry the health insurance for the entire family. I do have a plan for the future though. I'd like to be a nurse. It's the one thing I kinda look forward to but even that is on hold indefinitely. I'm worried about nursing school with two small boys at home.
Then there's the issue of my life at home. I'm really happy with DH and DS. They are amazing and if it were just us at home, I probably would tolerate my job a little more. But there's also the two dogs. I am not a dog person, no matter how hard I've tried to love them like DH does. To me, dogs have two purposes: to be cute, loveable little lapdogs OR to work (as guard dogs, farm help, etc). Our dogs are not cute and little. They stink all the time, fart, shed constantly, track mud in the house, beg for food, and are just so needy. They lay around all day and bark at the few visitors that come over. The few times that they have been called on to step in and show some teeth, they've failed horribly. So every time I look at them, I just think "We feed you, let you out CONSTANTLY, clean up your pee and poop when you have accidents, show you affection, and cater to your stupid quirks for WHAT?" I get no joy from them, I see no benefit in having them around. They are always underfoot and crowding me. When I'm at home, I'm cleaning up after their messes or just on edge b/c they can't even be near me without panting or licking themselves or whacking me with a tail or begging to be scratched. It's constant sensory overload! I just don't feel peaceful or rested at home. Then I end up withdrawing b/c I just need QUIET, and high energy DH and super-high energy DS think I'm mad at them when that's not the case. I've tried to come up with lots of different solutions for the dogs but they've been with DH for 7+ years and they're getting old. So they sleep in a separate room and I put them in the garage for a few hours when I just can't take any more. This is our compromise and the best I'm going to get.
Anyway, if you've made it this far, thanks. I just don't know how to get out of this funk. I've tried to change my attitude but nothing sticks. I've tried to come up with some fun thing for myself but I don't have the time in my life for a big new project. How can I be happy in my job? How do I get to the place where I love the dogs and not just barely tolerate them? What can I do to make myself more content since I can't change these things?