Friday, February 15, 2008Organization and flexibility
In an attempt to keep order and get everything done, our weekly meetings schedule out the bulk the day, leaving only pre-6:30am and post-9pm available for deviation. A 5 minute slip is often resultant in dinner getting cold or no dinner at all. Even with this schedule, there are three factors that are daily monkey wrenches in our routines.
1. Work. My work and her work keep us separate, since when I work, she either works or is on kid duty, and when she works after I'm done working, I'm on kid duty. My work demands extra hours from time to time, and more often than not I'm pretty sure my boss wants me just to stick around with him just because it is good for business. I do find myself working late hours, usually starting at 9pm and going to really late, and this means we put any post 9pm activities away for not just that night, but the next night as well since I am usually very exhausted the next day and a tired sub is a bad sub, at least in my case.
2. Kids. Per the contract (rule 9), work and parenting come first, and the children are often the dommes of the house. Illness, excessive homework, messes, and stubbornness are things we combat a lot and that means our schedule is often shot. When assumptions are made about the schedule (like me being at work and the kids being at school) and then one or both children get sick, whatever she planned to do for that time slot is now either put off, rescheduled, or done because I came home to babysit. When homework keeps the kids up past 9, our time is shot again, and usually we're cracking the whip on one while the other plays and makes messes and demands attention.
3. Traffic. It's not such a big deal if it's just every so often, but driving as much as we do (across down 3-4 times a day with no cross-town highway), an accident or slowing of cars can add up to 15 minutes of sitting around waiting to go. Me getting home 15 minutes late can be the difference between 5 minutes early and 10 minutes late for her to her next scheduled thing, be it work or otherwise. We see some relief to this in the future, cutting our cross-town trips from 4 to 2 per day, but it's still several months off.
These three factors contribute to the bulk of our exhaustion and scheduling conflicts. Since before 6:30am is basically reserved for sleeping, that leaves us after 9pm given no other issues (exhaustion, kids still up, illness, or prior commitments) to take care of ourselves and each other. More often than not, 9pm comes around and we're barely able to stand anymore, and it's bed by 10. Sometimes we sleep on each other on the sofa in front of a TV looping the DVD splash screen because we slept through the end of the movie. We sometimes spend the time talking and catching up, and sometimes it's our designated free nights or pedicure nights, but it's really tough. Even still, we persevere, and while it may not be an ideal setup, it is what we feel we have to do to maintain our relationship, household, and general well-being.