The term that has defined our financial / work lives over the last 6 1/2 years continues to ring true today. After being laid-off for four wonderful weeks, Bryan returned to work last Monday, February 23rd. He has returned to work for a contractor that we were with for about three years before and absolutely loved. He has a lot of friends working for this particular contractor (at various job sites throughout the metro area) and is working on the same project with a good friend of his. He seems to like his foreman and the other people on the job - this is always a plus! The commute is about 30 minutes, so I'm hopeful that he's enjoying his "alone" time while in the car, as he's not getting it anywhere else! He is working six days a week (M-Sat), ten hours a day. The project should last for about four more months, and they are scheduled to bump up to twelve hour days and eventually seven days a week. (Obviously the "feast".)
When he's on a "normal" job, he is home by 4pm at the latest. The job he was on prior to this started an hour earlier, so he was actually home by 3pm for the last 6+ months. Since the kids and I are so used to having Daddy home so early, these much later days have required some adjusting. We're eating a little later than "usual" and I've had to figure out how to get dinner on the table while also mothering! But we are doing amazingly well, I must say!!! The kids miss their dad, but they are awesome little troopers. Zach had a couple of rough days at first (we'd all been sick too), but we all know the drill now and eagerly await Daddy's arrival everyday.
A part of me likes these times a little... Bryan and I notice just how little time we have together right now and are making extra efforts to get the boys in bed on time, hold hands on the couch, whisper to one another during dinner, leave sweet notes for each other, and have even been on a date! I also find that it is suddenly a much higher priority for me to keep the fridge and pantry well-stocked, make good dinners with plenty of left-overs for lunch, and keep Bryan's work laundry cleaned. I notice just how much I take him for granted when he's here all the time!
Our time with the kids is also more intentional. We have family game night whenever the kids want, shut the TV off and battle imaginary bad guys nearly every night (we're a family of super heroes), do special science or art projects if they want, and I fill Bryan in on every big thing that happened throughout the day so that he's sure to ask the kids about it if they forget to tell him. Since Bryan only gets two hours a day (at most) with them M-Sat, we try to make all of it quality time.
Keeping this schedule up for 4-5 months will not be easy, but it is always well worth it. In that time, Bryan will earn an entire year's salary... He may be laid-off again when the project is over - we don't know. If he is, we will not worry. The Lord knows what He is doing and, while unpredictable, our family is so very blessed by this craziness!
It is my prayer that when the time comes for us to return to a "normal" schedule, that I will continue to appreciate Bryan and our time together. He is my best friend and I love him to pieces.