And it’s not the one blogging at 10:44AM on a Wednesday. Or the one sunning in the backyard. Or the one still in bed.
Kevin is going through a busy season at work. It’s almost over, or at least it’s winding down, but it’s been a bit of an adjustment. Kevin is not a workaholic, and I mean that in a good way!! So I’ll only be speaking to someone who is dealing with this for a season. Also, I’m not a mom (yet) so I know that my answer looks a lot different from people who are juggling children as well.
Kevin and I have gone through some ebbs & flows this even in our short-but-seems-like-forever 2 years of marriage. When we first moved to Denver, I was unemployed, but Kevin worked a nice 8-5 with an amicable boss who often sent everyone home early on Fridays. Next, I was underemployed and we were both workings 8-5′s. The boringness of my job was sort of breaking my spirit, but it was a lot of fun to go to work together and to eat lunch together everyday. And then we moved waaaaay across town. Out of the affluent suburbs and into the hipster heart of the city. I quit my job mostly because I cannot stand to commute, and I was a stay-at-home wife for a while before starting my own business. Next, I was the one who was overemployed when I was hired by Denver Public Schools to teach music in an elementary school. I was at the school from 7-4, hoofed it home, and was teaching piano often from 4:30-7:30. That was exhausting!! I was offered a position there for this school year, but I quit (and I picked myself).
Now, in all honesty, I only work a few hours each day, and I have the rest of the time to manage the household (okay, and CrossFit)!! In my defense, when I was weighing the pros & cons of quitting my teaching job, Kevin suggested,”You’d have more to do CrossFit!” on the plus side. This means I am the one who does basically 97% of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, social calendar planning, buying clothes for both of us, etc. I’m not some crazy fifties housewife, but this is what works for us, and I enjoy it! This also means when Kevin is super busy or traveling for work, I have a lot of free time on my hands!
As I mentioned, Kevin was gone two full weeks including Sundays during September. During October, he’s been coming home some nights as late 7:30. Now I know there are people out there who work a lot more than that or who are gone for months at a time, but that’s a lot for us. If you haven’t noticed, Kevin and I are bffs, so it’s something I’m not crazy about. Here are my thoughts on how to deal with it.
- Plan ahead something fun to look forward to. This is key for us — we’re both planning to take time off next week! Hooray!
- Get more involved in your community, church, and making new friends. One of my August goals was to be more friendly, and I’ve still been working really hard at it. We’ve committed to attending a weekly community group in our church, and I even volunteered to host next week!! I’ve also made a lot of new and encouraging connections at our CrossFit box. Don’t you wish you were on my list of people to text to come workout???
- Email each other. Call each other. Text each other. This is obvious, but it helps to know that even if you are apart a lot that you are thinking about each other. Kevin has a little harder time with this, because hello, he’s working. But he did a really good job keeping me updated when he was traveling. Kevin and I also continued reading our devotional book together over the phone.
- Don’t be cranky when you are together. This one has historically been a fail for me. I would just be so grumpy on the weekends when Kevin would only be home one day just because he’d be leaving again soon. This is not smart. I’m going to do better next time, but once I’m in that melancholy mode, I have a hard time snapping out of it!!
- Take some time to focus on other goals and other people you can encourage and/or serve. Sometimes I’m tempted to just go into “survival mode” when Kevin isn’t around. I act like the college version of myself and eat chicken nuggets (organic & free-range, of course, haha). Things are much better when I make an action plan of things I want to accomplish and stay productive. If you need ideas, here’s a list of ideas of of ways from Ann Voskamp on how you can Give It Forward Today.
- Treat yourself a little bit. And your spouse when they get home. There’s a reason the Starbucks baristas recognize me now…. Maybe even make some pumpkin cupcakes to welcome your spouse home after a long trip. Whenever Kevin gets home, he always does a quick sweep of the room to see if I baked him anything. So predictable.
This was a lot easier for me to write now that we’re in sort of the home stretch and have some vacation coming next week. Next year, I’ll have to look up this post and preach it back to myself. That’s one of the great things about blogging!
Have you ever gone through a season where one or both people in a relationship are working too much? How did you handle it? I should mention that Kevin did a great job pitching in while I was working two jobs. And we went out to eat. A lot. And he let us start CrossFit so I could workout at 5am before both jobs and keep my sanity.
Here are some other Wifey Wednesday posts you may enjoy: