Monday, September 13, 2010

Making adjustments

As of last week, and for the first time in over 16 years, Tim is working first shift instead of second. This means that he's home in the evening - every single evening. Our girls were three and eight when he started his current job/working nights, so they were more or less raised by a single parent during the week. I'm glad to have him home, truly I am, but it has necessitated some adjustments to dinner time and dinner itself. When I was home alone, I would occasionally have a bowl of cereal or oatmeal for dinner, fix some bacon later and make a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich for him to take for his dinner the next night. Or have said bowl of cereal then throw something on the grill for him to take the next day. Strangely, he doesn't consider a bowl of cereal dinner. Silly man. I won't even get into my biggest gripe - his favorite shows (anything involving cops, true crime or hauntings) are so much different from mine - we've agreed to compromise once "my" television viewing season starts back up. We'll see.
The one thing that makes me most sad about those years he spent on second shift are all of the girls' events, sports and school, that he missed. He would take a vacation day if the occasion merited, but you can imagine his frustration at missing outstanding softball, tennis or volleyball plays, school awards nights and band concerts. There simply was no possible way for him to see even a portion of them. There were a few occasions that he would drive like the wind (he works a good 40 min. away) on his dinner hour, watch a little bit of softball while wolfing down a sandwich, and then fly down the road back to work.
It was brutal for Tim the day we took Lindsay to college - not only was it her birthday, but I know he was thinking about all of those missed events and years that had slipped by, and here we were moving her away from home. Lindsay was such a tomboy until she was around 13 or so, and Tim loved playing catch with her, taking her fishing, etc. We had to stop a couple of times along the way to Ohio U, he was an absolute basket case. I'm wiping tears just remembering his heartache.
Don't get me wrong, he was sad when we took Kelsey too. She went to afternoon kindergarten and he would get her up and around for school, making her ponytails or braids, fixing her lunch, and if time allowed they worked on her poker game. Yes, he cried the first couple of times we left Kelsey at school too. Kelsey seems to have a defense mechanism that kicks in the day before she has to go back to school and she turns into the devil incarnate - makes it much easier to say goodbye when she's sporting horns and a pointy tail. I think maybe it's easier for her too if we're all a little peeved w/each other! Dr. Phil?
Tim and I have been married 31 years and while he's been a great dad and a real pal to both of our girls, he and I have settled into a (mostly) easy, comfortable relationship, just as much good friends as husband and wife.
Do any of you have a spouse/partner who works different hours than you or whose job takes them away from home?
Look for chatter soon about upcoming releases from Alison Kent and Melissa Schroeder!
Have a great week!


Estella said...

My husband worked second or third shift the whole time our children were growing up. It was not easy getting to 4 different sporting events. Finally had to go to just home games.

Sarah said...

Fabulous post Laurie!

Judy F said...

Hugs to you and Tim. I know it will be a huge adjustment for you both.

I know what you mean. Being single I have some strange meals. LOL

Laurie said...

It'll all work out!

My husband worked 30 minutes away from home. He was on call every other week. Sometimes he would just walk in the door and have to go right back. Or get called a 2 in the morning and not get back until 6 pm the next night.

Very frustrating! He too missed out on many school events. Sometimes he was just too tired.

April said...

Awwwwww. This post made me smile and get some tears in my eyes at the same time. (Clearly I have caught the tears virus from you.) Take it a step at a time!

Big hugs and love!