Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Being a Coastie Wife... What we Have Here is a Failure to Communicate.

Last week Mike ended up with two days off giving him a long weekend for Easter. We were very excited at the prospect of having Daddy home since before we didn't think we would have any time.
Although the time off was filled with appointments for me, birthday parties, and Easter celebrations, we were able to get some time at home just breathing.

Sounds lovely but I noticed I was really on edge. Things were not going nearly like we normally operated and the kids were exceptionally hyper and confrontational at all this new time with Daddy.
I felt like I was constantly playing mediator between people in our house and I was not happy about it.
Upon a bit of reflection I realized that the main reason we were all not meshing well was that we weren't all on the same page.
I know that Mike had been working long hours but I never really stopped to think about how that affected our communication. We talk about our day, the events, what we will plan for , but since there's so little time from the moment he walks in the door to the time he collapses on the pillow we never really get a chance to get to the "meat" of things.
I have the opportunity by being home everyday to change things as I see they are needed to best work for our family. Because I am the homeschooling "teacher" for the most part, the day to day decisions of scheduling, mediating, sensory work and stuff has been left to me. This is not because he's a "hands-off Dad" but because I'm the one here all the time. And unfortunately lately he's not.
Problem comes when I have been tweeking our schedule, eating and sleeping habits, discipline approach and such and not relaying these to Mike.
He trusts my decisions but none of us like to come home to an old game with new rules that we haven't been privy to.
So after a bit more reflection and carefully choosing my words so the explanation in changes didn't seem like a personal attack on his parenting, we were all able to get on the same page and actually talk "meat". As always he was able to offer views I did't see and together we have been able to be supportive in our parenting.
So my lesson to learn is to remember to make time to talk and stay on the same page even when our schedules get too hairy. I'm thinking a running notebook of letters to one another might help.
Makes me wonder if this is part of those hard parts when the guys get back from deployment. It can't be easy for those families whose spouses are gone for months and months.

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