It seems inevitable... When things go wrong at our house it is usually when my husband is on shift and what goes wrong would be something he would usually handle. As I am writing this I am sitting in my living room with two fans blowing full blast on me, windows wide open and my hair pulled up to help keep from sweating profusely. Why not just use the AC you ask? I mean it is 87 degrees in my house right now and 88 degrees outside in Sacramento at 11:00 pm. You read that right... 11:00 pm and 88 degrees outside. Can you sense the frustration?!?
Well let me back up a bit. You see the babysitter called me while I was in between sessions with clients to tell me the garage door broke and almost fell on the car parked under it. No problem right?!? I got this... Call the garage door guy, have him fix it and easy peasy, husband does not even have to be bothered. This will be fixed before he even gets home tomorrow from his 48 hour shift.
Garage door fixed and no hassle to hubby: Check
Two hours after the repair guy for the garage door left, the babysitter calls again to say that the AC is no longer working. Really?!? You have got to be joking. Okay round two. Trouble shoot the issues over the phone, try everything I can think of to fix it and.... Nope. Completely broken. Good times.
Now here is the real issue -- to tell the hubby or not to tell the hubby. My issue with telling him over the phone while he is at work is that he is really unable to help. You see I married a fixer. Give him a problem and he will fix it for me. He is a problem solver after all at work as a fireman. He can't however solve problems at home when he is at work. This usually frustrates him because he feels helpless. Decision made not to tell him until I have a plan in place for repair.
AC repair scheduled: Check
Really the list goes on and on with things that are handled as if I were a single, working parent for 48 hours up to 96 hours at a time. Here is the added pressure though. Even though I can handle the tasks, the decisions that are made then get rehashed between us. It just complicates the process. You see some days I operate alone and then other days as a unit. This can be a hard transition for some families. While I always logically know I am married and we are a unit, emotionally it is challenging (read draining, frustrating, lonely) to go it alone some days.
This is where communication and intentional connection with your partner comes in. When we communicate I always ask, "Am I communicating logistics or am I communicating with the intent to involve my husband in the process." The latter almost always goes over better. See my goal is to remain connected in this game we call life. If I only communicate logistics I am telling him what is going on in our household rather than involving him in it.
So how does the story of this 48 hour shift end? Garage door repaired, AC is fixed and daddy/daughter brunch planned complete with scones made by the girls and date night planned for us.
We only get one round at this game of life. Moral of the story is: what will you do today to laugh when things go wrong (they will) and still work to remain connected to your spouse?