Becoming The Weekend Wife

The weekend wife

To avoid any rumors or misunderstandings, things at home are just fine. Today’s post title references a tongue in cheek moniker I bestowed upon myself one Sunday evening, admittedly to get a slow eye roll response from Randall as he packed his suitcase for the following week. This is part of our new normal now and how we cope with the temporary weekday separation. Leaving your family each week, microwaving dinner for one, and waking up alone is quite a beige life (*see below) and beige just isn’t in our color palette. My contribution is to balance the beige with well-intentioned sarcasm, jokes and creative hashtags along the way as I continue to chronicle this segment of our story.

Anything can be sustained temporarily. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s how we cope.

I’d like to briefly pause offering a bit more context and a congratulatory moment of accolades to Randall on his new job. Earlier this year he accepted a position reentering the chamber world as Executive Director of the Cedar Hill Chamber of Commerce.  It is a wonderful career opportunity in a field where he greatly excels and will allow our entire family to be embedded in community.  We’ve already found a new home and have been interviewing at schools in the area for next fall. Knowing that moving in the middle of a school year is never easy and that Sebastian would be making a transition to middle school this fall anyway, we decided things would be easiest if we waited and moved the children at the end of the school year. Thus, I became the Weekend Wife.

“Ya know, Marriage is the best sleepover of your entire life.”

As expected with our new lifestyle, we’ve both been fielding lots of inquiries and quizzical glances as we explain our chosen weekday separation. Maybe that’s why we haven’t made it super public as we figure out our new routines. We are given lots of “absence makes the heart grow fonder” winks, unsolicited advice, and a few quips about being grateful for alone time. I don’t think either of us is fond of the alone time. It feels more like everyone has just been picked up from the sleepover you hosted.

When we were newlyweds people would ask us “So what’s it like now? Being married and all?” I thought carefully about my response, how I felt each day as I woke up and replied “Ya know, Marriage is the best sleepover of your entire life!” I still believe that to be truest description of a good marriage. You only invite your best friends over to spend the night, to do your favorite things until the stars come out and you are fully aware that the later it gets the mischievousness and disagreements will come. Still, whatever happened the night before is forgotten as you wake up in a pile of blankets, sunshine on your face to someone making breakfast in the kitchen. See what I mean? A good marriage is the best sleepover you’ll ever have.

The house seems quieter and the bed seems bigger. Sometimes I sleep on his side instead.

The transition isn’t easy to navigate. My weekday hours have remained relatively the same. Weeknights are a heavier workload as I am solo project manager for homework, dinner, laundry, errand running, double checking teeth brushing, and lunch packing supervisor. This is the “ordinary” part of the day when we miss each other most. The time of day when brushing by each other in the kitchen holds the potential to transform into a smile and few minutes of  slow dancing or watching a documentary on Netflix leads to a in-depth commentary on the state of society at large. The house seems quieter and the bed seems bigger. Those nights, when I miss him the most, I sleep on his side instead. 

It’s not all bad I tell myself. The house is marginally more tidy. The entire stock of protein bars are mine for the choosing. There will be four entire days in which I won’t have to rush to get in the shower first or worry about drying off with a damp towel. We’re making the most of technology to stay connected. We find hidden moments in the day to send silly texts as if we were passing notes in class the way school children do.

He drives home every Friday evening battling rush hour and commuter traffic through two of Texas’s largest cities to see us for a little more than 48 hours. We cram as much into those hours as possible pretending everything is the same but an invisible hourglass consistently reminds us time is shorter than we like.

Sunday nights are the worst. That’s when the small suitcase is pulled out of the closet to be repacked with the freshly done laundry again. We tell the children goodnight and I watch him kiss each one on the forehead and tell them goodbye because he’ll be gone by the time they wake up for school. After that, we crawl into bed and hold each other tightly. In a few hours he will quietly silence the alarm doing his best not to wake me. He’ll dim the bathroom light and crack the door getting dressed in the shadows. Quietly he walks to my side of the bed, leans over to kiss my cheek and wakes me just enough to make sure I heard him whisper goodbye.

Anything can be sustained temporarily. That’s what we tell ourselves. It’s how we cope.

 

(a”beige life” is like a biscuit without jelly. Colorless and really, what’s the point??)

 

 

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Comments

  1. Being the “weekend wife” has its perks, but there are so many downsides too. To be honest, it’s not easy. Finding a balance helps a lot. During the 17 years, my husband and I have been married, I’ve been more like the “whenever he comes home, wife.” Between getting married while he was in the military and now his career in the oil & gas industry, we spend a lot of time apart. This year, we are looking at him being gone about 70% of the year. It works for us, but not many can make it work. It really puts a strain on marriages and it definitely put a strain on our marriage in the early stages. Once we learned how to make it work, his travel schedule makes us stronger as a couple, miss each other more and we get really excited about seeing each other when he gets home. The life we choose to live isn’t for everybody, but it’s definitely pulled us closer together as a couple.

    Y’all have such a strong family dynamic and these 12 weeks will fly by faster than you think. Hugs to all of you. 🙂

  2. This is so beautifully written and I can feel the sincerity and pain. I know you guys will get through this because you clearly have a strong enough bond to withstand it.

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