Thursday, July 30, 2009

Where's my punching bag??

I just have to say I am really, really angry right now about how my husband's job is infringing on our family time. Part of it is the job, part of it is personalities... We had a little spat this morning and I'm still processing it ~ internally and with the man eventually ~ so I won't say more here. But I'm really discouraged.

So, while I'm ruminating, how do you guys keep the weird shift-work schedule and emotional exhaustion from ruining your family and marriage relationships?

9 comments:

Meadowlark said...

We nearly didn't.

But then prayer and him realizing that I needed to be more than third on the list of important things (1.Him 2.Work 3.Me) or I absolutely WOULD walk. Even if it meant throwing away (at the time) 20+ years.

Not that it was easy.

Leah said...

I'm curious about this as well. I am a teacher, and when school gets started, we literally will only see each other from 11:45 pm (I'm in bed) to 6:45 (he's still in bed)....5 days a week....yay....How do you make this work?

KD said...

Leah, I almost think that schedule would be easier -- or at least less annoying. Hubs works graves and has a terrible time sleeping. He's completely unreliable as to when he'll be awake or sleeping so I can never count on him for much. (Can you see where some of my frustration might have started vis a vis this post???)

copswife said...

I'm still learning this one. I guess I'm trying to be more zen about it and just expect that this kind of stuff is going to happen. It's not fun to spend the time we do have together angry. I'm developing my sense of independence and learning how to entertain myself. I think it's a lot about expectations - if I know what to expect and he knows what I am expecting, my feelings won't get hurt. The key is realistic expectations.

And for his part, he is trying hard to make quality time for me. For example, he used to constantly get phone calls when he was supposed to be with me. From his cop friends, of course. Now he talks a while and then tells them he has to go to spend time with me. Makes me feel valued.

Sorry you are frustrated and upset. It is an adjustment and if you figure it out before me, please do share.

mrs. fuzz said...

This has always been an issue for me(he has always worked graves and can sleep until it's time to go to work again). First, he had to realize (and he's still working on it) that he has a family and responsibilities so that means going to bed as soon as he gets home in the morning so that exactly 7-8 hours later he is up and HAS to spend time with us. Sometimes there are chores and errands to run, but we try and plan one fun thing with him everyday. If he's doing his part, then when there are opportunities to hang with the boys or do whatever he wants to do, it's not a big deal. It's seriously all about time management which we pretty much suck at. But we have found that when we plan it all out, we have all kinds of extra free time. But we are rarely on the same page. There are good intentions, but it rarely comes together. I've been working on a post that relates to this that I will post today or tomorrow.

I'm with cops wife, if you figure it out, please do share.

Oh, and also what she was saying about developing a sense of independece. We try to operate as though he is deployed in the military. I do everything and act as though he doesn't live here so that when he is here, he can join in on the fun and happenings of our life. I wish he were more proactive, but it's a fact that he's just plain tired and doesn't want to make plans or do anything else. He has responsibilities that he struggles living up to other than the whole providing for us thing and risking his life each day, but still. He needs to join us and take care of our emotional needs/desires to maul him and spend time with him and be loved by him. Am I making sense? I think I'm talking in circles. This is definitely one to brain storm and come up with ideas how to make their crazy schedules work for the family.

The Dispatcher and Her Officer said...

Gee.. I thought we had it pretty well figured out.. Maybe not..

My Officer is full time day shift. was mids.. He is also in school getting his BA. I work fulltime, and on my spare time write.

We get from 5pm to 7pm unless he gets overtime to ourselves. (Well every other week when his kids aren't here!). We both do our other work (write and him school) while the other is at work. Plus we do all our chores while the other is at work.. Or for me.. while his kids are here.

Once a month we sit down while we pay bills together (Very fun starbucks run.. I bake cookies or something to munch on several hour event) and we pull out our calanders and find days that we are off together. We both rotate days.. and they are never the same. So roughly.. in about 7 weeks we have 9 days off together.. at the most!!!

Also, if there is a place or event we want to go to.. we let each other know way ahead of time so one of us can get the time off for it. Our agency lets us trade days with someone else.. Or just work for cash for someone else.. So we can pay money to another co worker to get the time off. Works wonderful!

We text over 3,000 times each!! We email each other.. He calls me the minute he knows I am off.. I call him.. He tells me everything and when I am off work.. He comes home for lunch if he can. He doesn't always get a lunch.

Sometimes I will go up into his beat (not often) and shop up there.. Just the site of him in the parking lot as I am there.. Is heaven in my heart. I think he likes the sandwich I bring out to him from the grocery store when I'm finished shopping.

I have to admit tho.. I have a man that I don't see much. My co workers adore him.. He is thoughtful beyond belief. Once when I found out my dinner was bad(expired) I was going to suffer through the night.. He called up and had an italian dinner delivered to my work! He is always awesome.

For me.. When he is working and I am home. I don't mind the housework and chores.. and construction that I do.. Because it means we get more time together. He also doesn't hang out with very many friends.. He says I am his best friend and would rather be home with me.
I think I am just plain blessed with this man.
-Dispatcher

Hero'sWife~ said...

Just thought I'd drop by input here...My husbands shifts are changing and will be changing every four weeks to 3 months...so he never has the same! I know for us as a tight nit family* He has to Micro-Manage his time....MInd you he takes Krav Maga 4x's a week along with shooting range practice and other things that keep him busy. I know for us it's alone for time lately is late at night, and luckily he's on early shift..he gets up dang early around 4 and lately stays late by a few hours...as for our kiddos..the first thing he does when he gets home...is takes time even if its 20 minutes to play with the kiddos* and I just wait for him until thats done and than usual he an I step out on the patio and take a 5-10 minute break where he usually tellsme how his day goes and I tell him mine. The best advice I can give to you is don't freight it..Your husband has a job that requires him weird shift changes and frankly alot of overtime..You just have to take it in stride and try to have him take a lil break for you..even if its 10 minutes*) but mostly just pray about it! I'm sure theres a reason why your hubbs is M.I.A. from the household;

-Hero's Wife~

Rae of Light said...

I'm glad to hear that this is "normal". My husband is on his thrid shift, ever. I work from 6:30 am to 6:00pm and he works from 6:00 pm to 6am. He stops by my mother's house in the morning as I'm dropping the kids off to give me a kiss. Other then that I don't see him on the days he works. Does this get easier, because I'm lonely.

BunnyO said...

Ladies- I've been where some of you are at. The hubs has been a LEO for 12 years. This year he lost his job due to a false allegation stemming from an off-duty incident which was all over the media. He was crucified to say the least and I was there when the alleged 'incident' occurred. Anyway, I can't make anyone understand but as frustrating as it is to put up with the stress and strain of being married to a LEO, I have seen what it does to a man to lose his entire career and identity. I watched the IAD guys stand on my front porch and cry with us when my husband had to resign. What I can say is this - stop and breathe and then give yourselves a HUGE pat on the back. Our husbands rely on us more than we know. Even though we live like passing ships a lot of the time, he can only be as good as the woman who stands behind him. Stop and think and try to imagine what your life would be like if he DIDN'T do this job. It's a lot different than you'd think as we have learned the hard way. My hubs is back to work now with another department and life is all crazy again, but just remember that your selflessness means more to your husband than he could ever verbalize. Never lose sight of how proud you are of your men, even in the face of tyranny or opposition. Leave post it love-notes on the fridge, in his lunch, near the phone, etc. Bake him cookies - he'll enjoy them even if you're not there to share them together. Love each other because it could all be over tomorrow in one sad way or another.