I am a teacher, and my husband is an internet sales manager for a local car dealership. I have Saturdays and Sundays off. He has an “unconventional” schedule with random days off and sometimes works well past the kids’ bedtime. We don’t typically have weekends together, and he definitely doesn’t work the typical Monday-Friday 9-5 job.
I knew what I was getting into when I married him. At the time, he was in the golf industry and his days off and non-traditional schedule were very similar to what he has now. Back then, I didn’t mind it. We didn’t have kids, we could meet up when he got off work, stay up as late as we wanted, and we made it work. Now we have a 3- and a 5-year-old though, and our day to day life is very different.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it’s really hard sometimes. I was bitter for a long time when we first became parents. Dinner, bath, and bed time are often done by me alone. The weekends were (and still are occasionally) lonely, and I longed for my husband to be at all the weekend events with me and my kids. It’s typically just me and my two boys at church on Sunday (he is usually working), and I find myself looking around at all of the husbands and wives sitting together wishing he was next to me.
About a year ago, I found myself in a funk. I was letting my husband’s “unconventional” schedule get to me, and it was affecting me, my kids, and my marriage. I knew I had to make a choice to either keep letting it bother me or let it go. I chose to let it go. I’m not saying I’m perfect and that it never gets to me anymore. That would be a lie. I still get sad sometimes, but I try really hard to not let it affect my daily life.
I started to think about all of the positives of his job… my husband loves what he does, he works for an amazing boss/company, and he is really good at his job. He feels successful, and he is happy. As I sat there and thought about all of these things, I honestly began to feel thankful and blessed that he has the job that he has.
Instead of feeling down about him not being home some nights or on the weekends, I also began to find ways to make our “unconventional” schedule work for us. For example, my kids and I drop off coffee or lunch sometimes on the weekends so we can see him. If he works until the store closes, we FaceTime him before they go to bed. Since the weekends are big for his industry, we started doing date nights on weeknights instead of not making date nights a priority. We also do breakfast as a family every morning, since dinner isn’t always an option.
I had to consciously choose to go to weekend events (that I may have opted out of before) and enjoy them, even if my husband wasn’t there due to work. I began to make an intentional effort to be present instead of just wishing that my husband was there. What a difference that made in my attitude.
My husband tries to be at as much as he can and is an amazing dad and husband. We aren’t perfect, but we have found a groove that is working for our family. If this resonates with you, I see you. What seems “unconventional” to other families can become “conventional” for yours.