A couple of months ago, my husband made the decision to go full-time as pastor, and dissolve his very successful fire alarm business. As a result, he stopped traveling for business, something he had been doing every week for years.
Initially, I was a bit apprehensive of such a major change, for a number of reasons. One of these was that I am very much a creature of habit, and had developed a fine-tuned routine to get all my work done each day. With my husband being home more, I figured there would need to be some major changes necessary to my schedule.
Home to eat with the family three times a day now
As it turns out, my husband being home every single night (as opposed to only four nights or sometimes even less per week), as well as being flexible with his working hours during the day, has only been an improvement to my quality of life. In fact, I have become so spoiled, I don't think I could ever go back to him being gone for days on end again.
Homemade, naturally fermented root beer - one of the culinary experiments I have had time to learn how to make during my quiet daytime hours
For one, he takes the kids to many of their extracurricular activities each week. One of my favorite times is when he takes all 7 to the park on Tuesdays for P.E. The oldest five participate in a homeschool group that works out with a "real" coach, while the youngest two play at the playground. Even when his schedule is swamped, my husband can keep an eye on them while making phone calls and working on his laptop. This gives me a good 2 hours at home, all alone. Even though I typically spend the whole time getting caught up or ahead on chores, it is still a wonderfully refreshing time of not being interrupted, or having little kids undo my work behind my back while I am working in another part of the house.
Also, since a large part of my husband's work is done on his computer, he can work on those things at the hours most convenient for me, which typically is during nap time. That way, I can leave the little kids home napping, while the older ones do school work, and I can go out shopping or on errands by myself, or with just one child along for some special one-on-one attention. Other times, he will go to his office at church with all the big kids. They do their school work there independently, and I have a quiet house because the only kids left at home are the ones that are napping.
Not to mention the countless little benefits, like having someone lug 5-gallon water bottles onto the cooler, open stubborn jar lids, squash bugs, and help diaper blow-outs while I am in the shower (our kids have impeccable timing like that).
My first quilting project - a small pillow for Becky
But one of the most exciting improvements of all has been that I have been able to attend several craft classes at Jo-Ann's recently. With my husband's erratic schedule, this has never been an option before. So far, I have taken a class on quilting, and am currently attending one on cake decorating. (It was a bit of a challenge at first coming up with alternative ingredients to the toxic Wilton ones required for the class.)
These are from the very first class of the most basic course they offer, so I am by no means a master cake decorator yet by a long shot
These classes have been so much fun! I typically go in the evenings, so by the time I get home, the house is picked up, the kids have had dinner, are bathed and ready for bed, with teeth brushed, the dinner dishes are done, and story time is in full swing. If that sounds like a dream come true - well, it is! :)
I don't expect my husband to do any of these things, as they are my responsibilities and not his, but I am very grateful that he has chosen to make this possible for me. Ladies, if you want your husband to help you more, be appreciative and genuinely thankful for what he does, little though it may be. In time, he may feel inspired to do more. Nagging and guilting on the other hand, will have the opposite effect. Just a little tip :)
Well, I could go on. Please excuse me as I sew a couple more squares for a quilt I am working on before heading to bed.
What is YOUR favorite thing to do in your spare time?