(Image from here.)
So, I’m back to working full time. For a while I was working part time and thought I’d love it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the hours, and I loved my schedule, but I was still working retail at Target and my creativity and mind were never challenged. I finally decided to do what I’ve needed to do for a long time, become a makeup artist. Everybody who knows me has given me the “duh” moment. Like of course that’s what you’re supposed to be doing with your life! Man, was I the last one to get the message.
I’m loving it, and tomorrow I’m doing makeup for my first fashion show! So much has happened and changed for the better in just the past nine months. Unfortunately, one thing that has not gotten better is my schedule. Now I work many nights, and Nate and I only have a few meals together every week. I work weekends most of the time, and that’s when he is off. Our schedules are opposite. I know for us, this won’t always be the case, but for now we have to deal with it.
The best piece of advice I’ve gotten about this situation is to really make the free time that we do have count.
1. It means planning ahead so we have concrete plans when we do have a day off.
Just recently, Nate and I have spent our limited free time taking fencing lessons, playing tennis, driving go-carts in the logging fields, and of course we do regular movie and dinner nights.
2. It means putting date night on the calendar so we have something to look forward to.
Even with our opposite schedules, we still find a way to do date night every week.
3. It means talking on the phone on our commutes.
When you do have opposite schedules, it’s easy to find the time to talk to each other during your commutes. Nate leaves at 5 in the morning, and I talk to him on the road before I go back to bed to catch up on sleep. My schedule always changes, and when I get off early enough I’ll call Nate on my commute home or on my break.
4. It means accepting the situation instead of complaining to each other in the very little free time we do have.
It’s amazing how you can communicate the same ideas in a negative way,
“Why are you never here? We don’t spend any time together! I hate this!!!”
or a positive way,
“I’ve missed you. I’m so glad we finally have time off together. I’m so thankful for this meal we can share.”
The positive spin makes all the difference in how enjoyable or frustrating the interaction will become. Remember, happy couples have 1 negative interaction per every 5 positive interactions. Make sure you are doing your part to make the positive interactions outweigh the negative.
5. It means making the time you do have together pleasant.
It’s tempting to want to complain and vent about these frustrations when you do have time together, but that would be wasting that precious time!
What are ways you deal with the problem of lacking free time with your spouse or significant other? I’d love to know.
Also, here’s a great article on 15 habits of healthy couples.