For my entire married life (all seven plus years of it) my husband has had an erratic schedule. Over the years, we developed a system where he would call me when he was ready to head home so I would know when to expect him.
The range, on days when he worked a “normal” shift of eight in the morning to seven at night, varied considerably. Some evenings he would come home early, maybe around five. Other evenings his shift could stretch on past eight.
Throw in the overnight shifts and the afternoon shifts and the midday shifts, and the only thing I could rely on for scheduling my day is that anything could happen.
His new job (which he’ll be starting after his brother’s wedding this week), promises more stability in the scheduling part of our lives.
Hooray! But now, a new strategy needs developing.
Let’s say he works until five, and then goes to learn and daven mincha- the afternoon prayers- after work. Right now, mincha is around 6ish. Or 7:30. I prefer he davens the earlier one because the other time is smack dab in the middle of bedtime.
But if he comes home around 6:30, the kids have already eaten (usually around six, maybe. Sometimes) and are running around like crazy people.
I’d like to start getting them ready for sleep at that point, but I’d also like to see my husband, and spend time with him while he eats dinner. And I’d like to eat dinner like a mentsch, too, if at all possible (usually that doesn’t happen while the kids eat dinner). My wise readers, how would you suggest I orchestrate this time of day? I can be flexible, but I like to have a routine. I feel it is helpful for all of us.
Should I push off the kids’ dinner so we could actually have family dinner? Eat with the kids so I can start bedtime while my husband eats? Spend time with my husband while I listen to my exhausted kids expend the last of their energy in a final frenzy?
Looking forward to your advice!