Thursday, January 10, 2008

Of purple cows and husbands

I am going to try to start thinking differently about my husband.

And by that I mean I am going to try and stop being annoyed by the mere fact that he is around.

I am going to remind myself that he is just as entitled to the computer, the newspaper and the remote as I am. I am going to take a deep breath and reassure myself that just because he is breathing the same air as I am, it does not mean that he is hogging my oxygen.

It is not going to be easy.

My husband is a freelancer in a crazy industry. And by crazy industry, I mean an industry that routinely involves work days lasting a minimum of 14 hours. When he works I am essentially a single parent as he returns home only to sleep (usually after midnight) for five or six hours. Last year he worked pretty much full out from mid-June until the first week of December. Although we talked on the phone several times a day, Graham and I only saw him each week for half a day on Saturday (after he got out of bed) and all day Sundays.

Not every marriage can survive this type of schedule, but it works for us. It works because I have always been fiercely independent and I enjoy being alone. When he’s working I follow my own schedule, I make my own meals and after Graham goes to bed, I settle in for my beloved, cozy, solitary evenings.

The problem comes when he is off work. Every time he finishes a show, there is a period of adjustment. All of a sudden there is someone here. Every night. At my house. I have to make conversation at dinner. I have to make dinner!

I am sure people with spouses in the military go through this. It’s hard. As much as you love them, when this person reappears in your day-to-day life, it feels like they are usurping your authority and disrupting your routine.

So when Karen over at A Day in The Life tagged me for the Think Differently Challenge I knew exactly what I was going to write about.

Because I do need to think differently about this. I need to be more understanding of how hard it must be for Rob to fall into a daily routine after enduring the chaos of filmmaking for months on end. I need to realize that his job, as disruptive as it can be, helps provide me and Graham with a very comfortable lifestyle.

I need to count our time together as a blessing and enjoy him more because, God willing, we are destined to spend our golden years together and I do not want to be one of those crotchety retired couples who are sick to death of each other.

But having said that, I do want the damn writers’ strike to end so he can go back to work.

And I want to hear how MBA Mommy, Erin and Jen would like to think differently.

Here are the rules for this meme:

Write a new blog post about thinking differently

State that the post is a part of the Think Different Challenge and include a link and/ or trackback to this post so that readers know the rules of the challenge. Feel free to use the above banner (inspired, of course, by Seth Godin).

Include a link and/ or trackback to the blogger who tagged you.

At the end of your post, go ahead and tag some fellow bloggers. Don’t forget to let them know they have been tagged.


Sit back and enjoy reading peoples’ responses to the challenge.

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33 comments:

Suzanne said...

Oh, I hear ya! I feel the same way -- although my husband's schedule is not as crazy as yours. When my husband travels, I truly relish my quiet evenings alone. It's always good to have him home, of course, but I still find myself pining for some alone time!

Amy U. said...

I was 27 when I met my husband, so I had settled pretty much into doing things my own way, with my own routines, and the first couple of years we lived together I spent a lot of time adjusting to having another person around to consider.

I still breathe a sigh of relief every once in awhile when he heads down to the basement to do "guy stuff", leaving me to my own devices.

Assertagirl

newduck said...

I can imagine it must be hard when your significant other doesn't have a steady schedule - you never know what to get used to. But you guys sound like a great couple. Plus he's super-cute and your boy looks just like him. I'm jealous!

Melissa said...

Good luck! I know I still think the hubs is stealing my oxygen ;)

Dawn said...

I've experienced this to a lesser extent with my husband even though he's around a lot. I just like to do things my way. It sounds like a great goal, one that I should work on also (but I won't be admitting that to him).

La La said...

Hysterical! As someone who is not married and loves MY time, I've always wondered how I would actually be able to stand sharing things like time and oxygen!

tommie said...

We are going thru this very thing you wrote about. Husband was gone for almost 15 months. I settled into a nice little routine in the evening once the kids were in bed. Now i have to make conversation!

Jen said...

I can relate to this post in so many ways. My DH is out of town 2-4 days every week. We have the "when dad is home" routine and the "when he isn't" routine. It can be really hard to switch back & forth.

Thanks for the tag! I'm going to have to think on this one for a bit.

MamaGeek said...

This was good! My husband's job requires long hours at the office (REALLY LONG), so when he does want the PC I'm all bummed.

Tot's Mom said...

I always find that it's a contradiction of sorts. When he is around, I wish he is off at work. ANd when he is busy with work, sometimes, I wish he is at home. So, go figure!

Kat said...

The hubby and I will go through that come February, when he will work in another city and only come home on weekends.
We've done that before when I lived in Ireland and he already lived in Germany so I can totally relate to what you're saying.

Beth said...

I feel your pain! My husband travels (luckily only about once every other month) but when he comes home from his trips there is always a readjustment period...I usually grump around like a big ole biddy and he usually looks like a hurt puppy.

Laura said...

Funny how we have to adjust when they are around and when they are gone. I am sure you will do great with your think differently challenge...Nice post - thanks for sharing!

sky girl said...

Glad to know I'm not alone in getting so annoyed with the hubs. I resolve to think differently about him too.

Thanks. :)

Jenifer said...

Oh man can I relate! My Hubby often works long hours which mean he is not hear the dinner/bath/bed routine. I am quite comfortable alone and like you have my routine down pat. When he does make the effort to be home earlier (like last night) it is like we bump in the kitchen trying to do stuff and just generally be in each others way.

He has been trying to get home earlier at night and since he leaves before the girls are awake - there were too many days going by that the girls were not seeing Daddy.

I am trying to be more patient on the nights he is here - I am grateful for the help. On those nights though we he comes home helps, then goes to a movie with my best friend's husband, oh how I enjoy the couch alone!

Kimmylyn said...

Now this post I can totally relate with!! My hubby and I share pretty much the same schedule you do when your hubby is working crazy hours. The crazy hours work for us completely.. and then when he takes time off I feel crowded.. LOL

GoMommy said...

Oh man, can I relate! MJ travels ALOT. He hasn't been on a business trip since before Christmas! It was great at first, but now he's driving me nuts! Your blog has inspired me to take a deep breath and adjust to the new routine, as opposed to aching for the one where I was in complete control- wah-ha-ha!

Kyla said...

I always experience a touch of this when Josh is on vacation for a long time. KayTar and I have a rhythm when our boys are at work/school and when they are home for long stretches everything feels strange. I love it. But still, kind of weird.

Beck said...

You know, we have the same sort of issues over here - my husband is home every night but that's it. We don't see him any other time of day and so it can be hard to relax with him around...

kittenpie said...

I understand this because Misterpie used to be a consultant. It was perfect while I was in school, but afterwards, became more like what you describe.

Kellan said...

We've been married for 23 years - I'm in charge and that's how we make it work. My husband also works some funky hours on occasion and has for that last 23 years - we all have to learn to give and take - don't we. Take care and have a good weekend. Kellan

Damselfly said...

Huh, I never thought about how a filmmaking career would be tough on a family. Hope thinking differently works out for you.

ewe are here said...

Great way to Think Differently!


I hope he gets back to work soon!

Karen MEG said...

Thanks for playing, and that was a great post! Funny, hubs and I were having a conversation along these lines last night too. He is contemplating going after another degree, while working fulltime and wants to be sure that I'm 100% supportive. Which I am, but he's not quite sure because sometimes I'm such a crank. But I reminded him of his major travelling schedule when G was first born, and how I handled the homefront pretty well in spite of it. As long as I know what his commitments are, I can adjust our lives and we're fully on board. Because that's what a good partnership is all about... and it certainly sounds like you've got a great one there.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Well you already know that I can completely relate:) I hope that he is working more regularly soon.

MommyK said...

I love having my H home, but after a few days, I'm more than ready t send him back to work. I'm a creature of habit, and he's more go-with-the-flow. So when he is here, I get nothing done, the house is messy and I'm anxious because disorder bothers me.

I'm an introvert by nature, and he couldn't be more extraverted. If I don't get my solitude, I get mean, so I compltely understand where you are coming from.

painted maypole said...

this is such a great meme. and a great post.

Amy said...

Thank you for giving me something to think about.

Now I HAVE to subscribe to your RSS feed, I love blogs like yours.
:>)

Family Adventure said...

I hope the strike is over, too.

But as all those commenting before me said, we can all relate to this. My hubster was gone for two weeks, and I had to readjust completely when he came home. It was hard...

Hang in there!

Heidi

Erin said...

Hubby has two jobs so when he is home for the occasional night off, he just wants to relax...and I just want to scream at him, "Help me out a little! I have been with three screaming munchkins all day long. It's your turn!!!"

I found myself telling him how I usually do this or that in regards to the bedtime routine with the kids, then I realized--what is wrong with me? He's doing it! Just shut up and let him.

Thanks for the tag. As soon as Jill week is over, I am totally on it!

OHmommy said...

Brilliant thinking!!! Nice meme.

Corey~living and loving said...

I can so relate to this post....and your feelings. My hubby used to do lots of commercial fishing, and was gone most of the time. Now he is taking an extended break, and it is hard.....REAL hard!

E said...

A friend of my mom's gave me this advice early in my marriage when we were going through similar adjustments. She said I should think about sex three times a day. Write it on my todo list if I needed to...and to really think about it for two full minutes. I was to replay a favorite bit or imagine something new. It worked a treat. We had more sex and I was gladder for his presence within just three or four days...
Nice post. And a good reminder....