If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my posts and stories using the hashtag #refereewifelife. I use that when I accompany my husband to a lacrosse game that he’s officiating, usually in a pretty location in Tennessee or the Carolinas. Traveling with him and turning those work trips into fun road trips is the highlight of #refereewifelife.
What you don’t see are the 3-5 nights a week during the school year that I eat supper by myself, clean up the kitchen and then reheat the leftovers for Paul several hours later. Because he works a day job in addition to his referee career, he is in bed not long after he eats supper and catches up with me for a few minutes.
There are lots of wives who live with less than ideal schedules, who attend functions alone and who reheat leftovers at 9 PM. It becomes our normal and we get used to it! Here’s the part of #refereewifelife that I want to talk about today – it’s the end of the school year and all the games are over. Suddenly, my husband is home every night for supper and all day on Saturday!
It’s great, right? Of course it is! But it’s also challenging. Summer is the exception. The rest of the year I quickly settle into my #refereewifelife routine, even though I certainly miss having him around.
I know I’m not alone. There are so many situations that might cause you to be in a similar plight – the end of graduate studies, a schedule change that puts him on day shift instead of nights, a wonderfully safe return from deployment or even a life change like retirement!
How can we graciously handle these major schedule changes? I am not the expert on this topic, but here are two things that have helped me over the last several years of #refereewifelife –
#1 Take a moment to celebrate the change
This will look different for every situation, but here are a few ideas:
- Make his favorite dessert or meal
- Go out for dinner – on an intimate date or with family and friends to celebrate
- Plan a fun weekend getaway to reconnect (especially if you’ve been apart for a while)
- Take a day off from your regular routine to just hang out together at home, to run errands or to reorganize
I think this helps to establish that his reappearance in your daily life/routine/evenings is something to be celebrated!
Rearranging schedules, getting used to sleeping together again, filling the fridge with enough groceries to accommodate more people at home during the day – those things can seem to be annoyances. Starting it out with a celebration creates a happy environment in which to tackle those challenges.
#2 Stick to your regular schedule
Every time that Paul is suddenly home every night, I struggle with this. He obviously has less to do around the house than me (and that’s fine – I’m the homemaker!), so he has more time to watch TV and relax on the couch. I try to take care of my chores quickly so that we can spend time together, but it also doesn’t hurt to let him see me in action as I do all the things.
I’ve found that it’s best to just stick with my regular schedule and let him settle into his own routine. I want his time at home to be pleasant and not chaotic, and my routine helps me to keep our in home in order.
What is your experience with a situation like this? I would love to hear from you! Please tell me how you make those transitions easier for your family. I know there are so many of us that are in this boat at one time or another. Let me know your advice, questions or struggles!