My husband is a rock star. Seriously! He is music's Clark Kent or a robot (we will stick with the Superman thing, I think): he works a great job as a Navy Band musician during the day, but at night he is a freelance musician, mostly working for the awesome group The OJays. Tonight is no exception...he's already on the road into DC for an OJays gig.
It is a great gig for him! He gets to play great music with other musician friends, have a "break" from his crazy work routine, and get to do what he loves. Notice, that I didn't mention our little wolfpack on that sentence. I'm not going to lie, it is tough on me sometimes. Part of me wants to be sitting on the amps listening to the show, but the reality is that nighttime is my break from the day-to-day shuffle. I look forward to sitting on my rocking chair and devouring a novel, but it is difficult on nights that he is away on a gig. The girls know he is gone, get upset he won't put them to bed, and go through periods of wakefulness asking if he has come home yet. Sigh!
While I know that days like today are tough on me, they are doubly hard on him. He often feels like he is a stranger in our little group. He is up and out the door at the crack of dawn for the Navy, often being the first in the building, and is the last at leaving his job too. So, the sad reality is that we don't see him very much and when we do get a chance to see him....well, it feels like we're playing catch-up. It definitely puts us in a hard spot as parents, because it can get difficult to keep up with routines, and even harder to discipline. It is quite confusing for all of us. Add to his crazy schedule some nighttime gigs, and it is a whirlwind.
Good thing about this, is that for the most part we discipline the same way. Sometimes just a look is needed and that's enough to get the little monsters to behave. Where it gets crazy is that there might be things that the girls do that are allowed by me and not so much by him. Granted, there has not been that many incidents but as I write this, I remember the night where the girls asked for a quick five minutes playing with their dolls before bed. Granted, it was already a little past their bedtime, they had already bathed and dressed for bed, but they had been in the car a lot that day. I had been running errands and they were having a little bit of a hard time settling down...it made sense to let them okay for five minutes. Daddy did not agree and let them know so. Off to bed they went and it took them a whole two hours to settle down to sleep. I think the look I gave him said it all, but I didn't want to say anything out loud because I could tell he felt bad, especially after the zillionth time that the girls called me into their room to help them with blankets.
This is our norm. We try to get routines down and live around his schedule- he is on duty every day, rain or shine. It does get confusing but the thought of asking him to give up anything related to his music is something we would never do to him. It is his outlet, his gift, and he has to use it. We are so proud of him for all his accomplishments with his job, with his music, and all while providing the best life he can for all of us--he really is Superman. But, as everyone knows, even Superman has a bad day and as I see him get dressed for another gig, I feel bad for him. We've agreed though, that we are going to try our best to keep him more included in our daily successes and failures, so that he doesn't feel like he's a stranger in the house. It makes for lots of text messages, phone calls, and pictures during the day, but I'm sure he appreciates it. It makes for good stories! I mean, who doesn't want to call their Dad to tell them they grabbed a worm, or ate some delicious ice cream? We're making it work, day by day, for all of us. Just add love, laughter, and mayhem. Sounds good to me.
Have you ever been in this position? How did you include your partner in your day-to-day?