My family is used to doing things a little late, like sometimes if we want to eat dinner together, I have to make sure the kids get a late snack. Late being 8p or so. Every school function, doctor dentist appointments, and family nights are scheduled.
We have a dry erase board that practically is in a relatiobnship with us. It is there that has our lives and our communication lives. Our first dry erase board was a smaller sized one that was magnetic and I put it on our fridge, so it could remind us of dates for bills…and things I really didn’t want to talk about with my mouth, but to let the board do the talking *wink*. When I was working, combined with his pay schedule, was the dates we had in sync with our bill dates.
There are days that he “has” to be gone fairly late, and those are my nights. I catch up on my shows, read, look a little crazy, and I don’t have to open my mouth..well that’s when I make the kids to go to sleep early *smiles* THANK YOU DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME!!
Family nights, though we’ve gone through a transition lately, were Tuesdays, and you should choose one that works for your family. Tuesdays are the days the Hubs gets home at a decent time like 6p. We live on a tight budget, so we try to find somethings that are fun, low cost unless we’re spending on purpose. On the dry erase board we write down ideas(things that fit your family’s interest) like, the fabric shop where bought fleece material and made blankets. If you were to see the Hubs, this stocky and rouged exterior hunk of a man, tying a pink blanket together for my 6yo. Quit hilarious, but sweet.
We all like going out to dinner, mainly because, I’m the short order cook in my house and mama just needs a night off. Go see a play, rent movies, spa night with pedicures and yogurt facials..unless you decide to buy some real spa items. The library is fun. In my city..which is nothing special, so I’m sure there are other better options at your library, they have a kids floor, where they have toys, computers and little activities to do to distract entertain your kids. This way us parents can cheat and get some much deserved quite reading time.
To make schedules to work for the family, they have to be “thoughtfully” planned, like sitting down “together” on a Sunday, and plan out your week. Maybe you’re like me who can’t really see in the future because of all the surprises in a single day. But all the things that are written in stone, go first, and then build around it. Take a mini vacation with just you two, NO KIDS, even if it’s in the same city at a nice hotel with room service, for the weekend, to recollect your martial union…it’ll keep you sane. Things like functions for school, meetings, things that you want him to attend, as soon as you know about them (even months in advance), give him the date by keeping it visible until the day arrives. Unfortunately mamas, the sun does rise and fall on his schedule.
Don’t feel sorry for the kids or cottle them because of their fathers are missing out on some important things. This is “their” normal, and pick your battles. You just have to deal with him being there when he’s there and deal with his absence. Kids are troopers. We’re the basket cases. If you’re a single mother, you have the advantage at looking crazy as long as you see fit, which I envy. All the same rules apply, only if you have girl-friends, get away once a month and do grown-up things, so that you can reclaim your individual-ness, which we often can’t remember. Have a support for yourself, whether it’s coffee and cupcakes with friends, parents, play dates, all to keep you somewhat sane, because we often only talk to kids all day. And when he gets home, make sure you’re sweet smelling and pleasant to the eyes, even if you’re tired…which I know a lot about that, but it keeps your fire going for each other and not that young tart that he meets at work *wink wink*.