My husband works very long hours, and has about a 45 minute commute to and from work now that we live outside of the city. He has become so busy this last year that we are lucky if he can "take a day off" during the week...which normally means he can play one weekend day, but will go into the office the other day (or work from home if we are lucky). In the last couple months we have even added in some travel so there have been 1-5 night stretches where he has been away for work. If my husband could, he would be home for dinner every night, be there for bath time and to put our daughter down, but right now we only get to see him for about an hour in the half in the morning, 45-60 of which I am walking the pooch, and the remaining time we spend in the car to the train station. And lately instead of coming home at 9 PM, he is coming home closer to midnight.
Needless to say sometimes I feel like a single mom.
I know if he could he would be here every night for bedtime and to have dinner with me (which honestly happens sometimes, but it is like a 9 PM dinner), but his job is demanding and allows us to live a very nice lifestyle. He also loves his job, and is extremely good at it, which is an added bonus for anyone. But I know it breaks his heart to miss so much of our daughter's life.
At least 2-3 times a day I am calling him telling him about something adorable she did, or something new she learned, and he listens as she says new words over the phone. It has gotten to the point where she will hold up my iPhone and say "dada?!" Does she want me to call dada? Or does she think that dada exists in that little black rectangular box (which led me to this post)?
To be honest I am happy with the way our lives are now. They aren't ideal, and I would sacrifice anything to get to see my husband more (and for him to see our daughter), but I am plenty capable of handling one child throughout the day and night. I know that at some point in his career things will calm down and become somewhat normal...or will they? What happens when we have a second child? What happens when Marlo is old enough to understand where daddy is all the time? Will she blame him for not being home more? What happens when the kids have things that parents need to attend and something from work gets in the way?
To help with this situation, we have agreed to have him come home early one night a week so that he can see her before bed, tuck her in, and the two of us can enjoy a nice dinner at a reasonable time. He can work all he wants after that, he just has to be home to spend the family time once every week - no matter what. And I am adding in that the Blackberry MUST be off. He was very keen on the idea, and we are trying it out for the first time tomorrow night. M & I cannot wait to have a dinner date with dada that doesn't involve an iPhone.