“Can you drive me here?”
“Where are you going?”
“What time will you be back?”
Cripes, I’m being micro-managed! My husband has been on gardening leave for the last month or so, and this has been the most consolidated amount of time we’ve spent together as a family. His job, particularly in the last couple of years, saw him travelling a lot, working longer hours and busily checking his phone in his downtime. The kids and I had gotten so used to our own routines and generally getting on with things, that for me, it’s taken a bit of adjusting to have him home 24/7.
But it’s been great! The kids love having their dad around so much and for me, having another parent on tap to break up the fights, bark orders and try to maintain some order in the house is fantastic. We even have meals together now as a family, something that would normally only happen on a Sunday.
The biggest change I’ve seen though, is in him. I guess the pressure of the job built up over time and now that it’s gone, he’s not stressed, he’s not constantly thinking about work and if he was any more relaxed, he’d have trouble standing upright.
The bubble will burst next week though, when school goes back and the crazy routine of homework, activities and constant food preparation starts up again. And the school runs? The hour round-trip to pick up the kids is something I’m hoping to offload – at least some of the time.
I’m sure the novelty of extended leave will wear off in the not-too-distant future and he’ll start to get bored but to circumvent that, I’ve compiled a laundry list of jobs for him to do leading up to the move. And I’m going to fully embrace the extra pair of hands to help sift through the stuff we’ve accumulated over the last few years. Surprisingly, sorting out what to take and what to throw has never been a task I’ve enjoyed.
At some point, job hunting will begin in earnest and I’m hoping that there’s a company out there for him that has their work/life balance in alignment. The effect of having both parents consistently around is enormous. And besides, the kids and I quite like having him around!