Around our home, we have a new reality. One where Chris is gone for 2 weeks out of every month.
This may not seem like much for some, but it is for us. It is a huge adjustment having him away, and then we do have to adjust to having him home. While it may take most 30 days to develop habits, it appears it takes the kids and I two weeks to develop them.
For the kids, they get used to the routine sans Daddy. They don't necessarily like it, but they get into a new routine. They learn Mommy's rules, meal times, where we sit (we tend to sit at the counter when it is just the kids and I because I hate cleaning our table and all of its hidden food cracks, and the table just seems too big for the 4 of us), and having just one parent. Chris, aka Daddy, has been home 9-10 days now and we just ate at the table for the first time yesterday (excluding during Alivia's birthday party). The rules are more flexible when Chris is home as I may be a bit more busy doing other things or just plain distracted to ensure I follow through on household rules (like what happens if you get out of bed at night, for example).
For me, I am alone for 2 weeks. Alone. I had a small window of a break last time where I got my hair done and my mom watched Asher. Other than that, I have to get up at 5am to work out to have any sort of break. Usually, someone was awake until the moment I shut my eyes at night. Although I would not change places with Chris for the world, I do miss my quiet, alone times (if even to go to the grocery store alone). I adjusted to not running so much that I now run every other day while continuing Turbo Fire daily. I would love to hire a babysitter, but Chris is making the same money as I hire away things he would do that I just can't do. And, I am now trying to work only 1-2 on call nursing shifts per month to maintain my sanity while he is away (and get to see Chris while he is home). We do not have the luxury of a babysitter so I can chill out in peace.
Chris has to adjust, too. Two weeks of alone at night, made to order meals, and working at Central Command (that is no stress, right...okay, being sarcastic)...then coming home to us? The first few days he just adjusts to the time zone and tries to get back into the flow of daily life. Then it is back to work in his home office for 15 hour days. At night, he is still keeping to himself while I have continued my new habits of reading, cleaning and going to bed early when I can at night. It is like we are in the same home, but not living the same life sometimes.
Chris will be doing this at least through 2012. Nice, huh? Yeah, and his new manager knew this time frame all along but failed to tell Chris that. Going back to his base office here does not appear to be an option as they just do not have a place for him. Chris is hoping he does not go through all of this to find out they will cut him in January, something that has become a new thing they do every year after Holiday Break. Chris has just been lucky that he knows someone who puts him to work within the company.
So...this is our new reality. Sound fun? We shall adjust, at least by January.