What it's all about...

I'm a 39 year old wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt & friend. That should tell you who I'll be writing about most of the time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Huge, Fantastic Change

I can't believe that it's really going to happen, but it's official. Starting in two weeks, Shell will be working days for the first time since our kids were born. She has worked graveyard shifts for so many years and although I am grateful that we had the benefit of being the only two people to have raised our children, I'm so happy that it is changing now. We never had to put the kids in day care and probably wouldn't have had them in preschool if the school we wanted them in didn't test prior to kindergarten admission. They actually only attended about 4 months of preschool and still passed their admission test with flying colors! They've always come home after school and Shell has always been home with them on days off or when they've been home sick.

We've had many discussions over the years about when would be the right time for her to go to days or even swings. These talks didn't go far when we contemplated what to do with the kids during summer and other school breaks. We couldn't afford to put them in any type of after school or daytime programs and we definitely weren't comfortable with them staying home alone or walking home from the bus stop on their own. However, a shift has occurred in these conversations over the last year. Working nights and not getting a full "night" sleep during the day has started taking a toll on Shell and although we've made it work for a long time now, it has never been easy for us to only see each other for a small amount of time during the week. This became very clear when I started school and working part-time. Before those happened a typical week day looked like this: Shell doesn't get off work until 6am and it takes her about 45 minutes to get home (without heavy traffic), so I'd get up and get the kids moving in the morning. She'd get home between 6:45 and 7 and we'd chat as I finished getting ready. I left with the kids to head to the bus at 7:15. Fifteen to thirty minutes is all the time we had in the mornings to connect and catch each other up or discuss what needed to happen that day. On days that the kids didn't have school, we'd have an extra 10-15 minutes before I had to leave for work. She picked the kids up from the bus at 4:45 and I'd get home around 5:30. We'd prepare and eat dinner, help with homework when needed, and watch some TV before she started getting ready for work around 8. I'd even sit in the bathroom most nights and talk to her while she was in the shower just to be able to cover everything before she left at 8:45.

When I started school and working part-time, many of those evenings ceased to exist. When I am working, I head straight there from my day job and don't get home until after she leaves for work. On those days the only time I see her all day is for those 15-30 minutes in the morning. The nights I had class, I'd go right to school from work and wouldn't get home until after 7.

Needless to say, our weekends were our primary opportunity to reconnect with each other, but they were also the days when we went grocery shopping, cleaned the house, did laundry and everything else that needed to be done. Our only two nights a week together were always expected as the nights we would make love, but that didn't always happen. Many times we were just too tired or the stress of the week would take over and there would be some bickering or arguments and in those cases having sex was the last thing we wanted to do. Mostly though, we're just tired. We have learned the hard way that if we let a weekend pass without making love it makes the following week harder to deal with and if we're not careful it often results in arguments and less patience with each other by the end of the week. This leads to a weekend where now we're not so much tired as we don't want to be intimate. It is a vicious cycle that we've fallen into more times than we'd like to admit. All this to say that the prospect of having the opportunity to make love or even just be able to snuggle up and go to sleep together every night instead of just 2 a week is VERY appealing.

When a position opened up in a different department where she works, Shell was hesitant but after we talked about it she applied. The kids will be 13 this summer and although it means that they'll have to walk home from the bus and be home alone when they're not in school, they won't really be alone. They'll have each other. And even though they argue and annoy each other all the time, they do really well when we leave them to run errands or go out to dinner. My parents live very close and Shell's best friend lives pretty close too, plus it only takes me about 15-20 minutes to get home from work. We're still nervous, but know that once we work out the little things it will be so much better for us as a couple and as a result, for us as a family.

Two weeks from today our lives will change in a huge way and I can't wait!


Stacy said...

Sounds like a really positive change!! And I'm sure your kids will be great. They sound so responsible!!

And reading that you guys "fly" twice a week usually makes me muy jealous. :) Good for you!!! That's awesome!!

Does Shell work in Denver? Sounds like a long commute for so early in the morning. I used to work in Engelwood and it would take me about an hour in the morning.

Teaberry said...

Wow, that sounds great! And B & T sound like really responsible, well behaved kids, so I'm sure they'll do great on their own!

And yeah... twice a week? I'm jealous!! ;-)

DaniKel said...

This is awesome!! I know that when Kel moved to days, I was ecstatic. She was only on nights for 6 years, so I can imagine how much you have missed Shell with her being on nights for 13!

I am sure these next two weeks can't go fast enough! :)

This Mom said...

Okay, I must clear this up. Stacy & T~ we just have the opportunity to "fly" twice a week. It is very, very, very typical that Saturday nights we are both too tired to even consider it. Shell works Friday nights so she needs to sleep but since she wants to be able to sleep that night, she usually only sleeps a couple of hours. I usually work on Saturdays or am trying to get stuff done, then we do our grocery shopping that evening. By the time the end of the day rolls around, we're exhausted and just want to sleep. Sunday is really the only day we expect to "fly", and it is often hit or miss. The hard part is knowing that if we miss Sunday, the next opportunity doesn't come up for another week, thus causing a lot of stress and pressure.
Thanks for the laugh this morning though... ;)

This Mom said...

Oops Stacy, I almost forgot. Shell works in Aurora. We're not sure how long it will take her going in the opposite direction in the morning, but we're figuring at least an hour.
Dani~ I have missed her a lot, but we're both going to have some adjustments to make. This morning I realized that we're both going to have to take showers in the morning now, it's only been me as the kids always do theirs at night. Maybe we'll start taking showers together...you know, to save water & time. ;)

DaniKel said...

Showering together sounds like a great idea! Ya know - to save water... not sure if it will save you time though! haha Yes, it will be an adjustment for both of you. Getting used to being back together every evening. But in the long run, as you know, it will be a wonderful change!!

B said...

Wow! I'm amazed at how you both made this work for so long! I'm glad you're on my FB now. It's so nice getting to know you better. Congratulations to the whole family!!

CJ said...

Woo hoo!! Congrats! Ash works nights and the kiddos come to work with me, so we've made it work too! It's a different life style, that's for sure!

Stacy said...

Wow, you guys are so environmentally conscious! Showering together to save water?? That's so "green" of you. lol

Ooh Aurora? That is far! We used to go to HMart and then L&L every now and then so I could get a Hawaii food fix. :)

I think you'd like Emma Donoghue. I read "Touchy Subjects" first- a book of short stories. It was a nice read. And now I'm reading "Room". It's really interesting so far. Try it out and let me know what you think. We can have a long distance book club. :)

StephLove said...

This is big news and it sounds like it will be good for all of you. Congrats.