Our family is fairly “normal”. Two parents. Both work outside the home. Three kids. Two dogs. Ballet. A love of parks and fun. But in a lot of ways, that’s where our “normal” ends.
You see, my husband and I have jobs and work schedules that allow for one of us to always be home with our kids. My husband works part-time at Target (which, side note, is seriously awesome!). He gets up at 5:30AM and heads to work and is home usually by 11AM. I head to work at 1PM and am there until at least 10PM. We absolutely are very thankful for the flexibility our jobs have and that we are always home with our kids. For the most part, we don’t feel that different.
There are times, however, when it’s hard:
- When your mom and sisters are all at their homes and texting in the group chat. I take a quick break and check my phone and see 67 missed text messages!
- When the kids’ school has an event in the evening. Thankfully my job is very flexible and I can take a bit of a longer lunch if needed. As a result, however, I will be staying later than usual to ensure my work is done.
- A group of mom friends is meeting up for a mom’s night out during the week. Again, I can run out on my dinner. Most likely though, I will be late and have to leave early. Not to mention the fact, if I’m heading back to work, I must abstain from adult beverages!
- Church groups. Our church is comprised of small house churches. There is literally no time left other than Sunday where our family could meet up with a house church. We really miss out on being a part of a smaller, close knit group.
- Time with my husband. We both get to spend time with the kids each day. But our time for just the two of us is very limited. We have found ways to ensure we stay connected. If I happen to have a day off we go out for lunch (sometimes with the toddler, sometimes we drop the toddler off at my sister’s house). On evenings when he is off the next day, he’ll stay up at late, waiting for me to come home, and we’ll binge-watch TV, have an actual conversation or somedays, simply enjoy sitting next to each other while staring blankly at our phones! (Hey, three kids and work – sometimes you just need to chill!)
To be perfectly honest though, we really do love the way our schedule works. We don’t have to pay for daycare. One of us is always with our children. They get to spend their day in their own home with their puppies. My company pays shift differential which is a huge plus. It truly works for us.
What about you? What’s your normal?
Is your family “normal”? Or does your family’s normal vary a bit from everyone else’s? What tips do you have for surviving parenthood when it looks a bit different?