Years ago when Dan first started working away I didn’t know anyone whose husbands didn’t live with them full time. Now days I know a lot of people in the same boat as us, mums who run the house and look after the kids (with or without work outside the home) and husbands that work hard away from their families. It does take a bit to get used to. We’ve done 4 days on, 4 days off, 11 days on, 3 days off, 21 days on and 6 days off and 4 weeks on and 6 days off, Dan has worked at Brisbane, Dalby, Bowen, Western Australia and Chinchilla. WA sucked. I’m sure the state is perfectly fine but working on the opposite side of the country means much of your ‘time off’ is spent travelling.
You get into this weird headspace where you have a ‘husband home’ routine and a ‘husband away’ routine. For me that generally means that when he is home all routine goes out the window. The time is just too precious so it’s too easy to put off errands until he leaves so I can maximise time with him. Even if you’re not actually doing something together, it’s nice to be in the same room. Right now he is watching a re-run of NCIS and I’m doing this blog post but we’re in the same room and it’s nice to just be close to him.
It’s been 6 weeks since he had a full week off because he had to go to Tafe so his shifts have been all funky. As a result it took me a couple of days to get use to him being home. You have this mixture of happiness that he is at home and irritation that you aren’t totally running the show. For example, the other day I went to the dentist and when I came home he was playing the X-box in our room. On a tv he had moved into our room. It’s worth pointing out we already have a television wall mounted in our room so now we had two televisions. Both the same brand. And therefore both receptive to the remote. I tried to watch something and turning on *my* tv turned off his. Hilarious. <—- sarcasm. I shorten my showers because I have to leave enough hot water for him. Tragic. <—- no sarcasm. And he requires bed space. I co-sleep with my kids until they’re older and ready to move into a bed on their own. So at this point Evie still sleeps in bed with me. Last night I get up at 1:30am to feed the puppies (Biscuit requires encouragement to lie down and let them nurse) and when I come back I snuggle in next to baby and I’m totally on the edge. Baby is tucked under my arm and his elbow is nearly jammed into her ribs from how close he is. I whisper, “Can you move over a little?” and he says, “I’M ON THE EDGE!” Now there is NO WAY he was on the edge. I just cannot fathom it, he isn’t that wide. I’m sure he must have had one big toe on the edge or something to be able to claim that in good conscious. Sometimes also he is semi asleep and believes he IS on the edge but actually is in the middle of the bed. Still, he is all, “I’M ON THE EDGE!”. He says it that way because he doesn’t have a volume button. He cannot whisper. He can’t even talk quietly, it’s a total physical impossibility. And when he can’t sleep he seems to think it’s only fair that I can’t sleep either. He will ‘whisper’, “I CAN’T SLEEP!” and I’ll be like, “*shhh* just close your eyes and lie there quietly.” and he’ll be like, “BUT IT’S NOT WORKING! I CAN’T SLEEP!” by which time Evie’s eyes have flicked open and she’s staring at me and now I’m cross because I have to get her and HIM back to sleep.
This morning I drew him some cartoons to describe how it’s like to sleep with him. He was very unimpressed.
Despite this I will miss him when he has to go back. I finally roped him into photos of him and me this afternoon. It was a big step for him because in general he hates being in front of the camera and this was doubly bad because he was having to have photos in public.