Guest Post by Jeremy Derricks
One cause of frustration is the disruption caused when you return. It may be an odd statement. When you’re on the road you get set into your day to day routine, so does your spouse, and your kids. Both of you need to understand this. Be understanding and work together to avoid frustrations in your home.
Just as with a previous article advising to allow a driver to readjust to being home and not under the OTR gun; you, the driver in this case, need to put out a big effort as well. You can’t change your spouse’s day to day life then go back out. You really need to fit into their routine.
Your spouse may not say anything about your disruption. How can they bring up the fact you’re never home, without sounding accusatory. A prevailing fight might mistakenly come across as resentment that you’re gone all the time, which is an issue all to itself, when really it’s the fact you keep putting things in the wrong spot or blow up the kid’s homework schedule. This will cause strain on your relationship. So I’ll say it driver to driver – you’re never there. You’re out earning a living.
The solution is really simple. Talk to your spouse about it. Find out what the family’s daily schedule is.
My wife and I keep the family schedule on the fridge. When I’m home I know what after school activities the kids have that night, my wife’s work schedule, when homework time is, when dinner should be ready, and so on. I do what I can to disrupt this schedule as little as possible.
Get involved where you can. Sitting down to do homework with the kids may not be the most fun thing you can do with your kids, but it will give you time together and keep you involved with their day to day life.
Helping out around the house while everyone’s at school or work frees up time in the evening for the family. Just because you’re home doesn’t mean the household stops. Years ago I asked my wife to keep a ‘chore list’ as well as a ‘Jeremy to-do List’. At first she felt like she was treating me like one of the children, but it was something I needed. I would come home on a Wednesday and, trying to be helpful, clean the bathroom only to find out that it had been done the day before. Or my wife would ask me to do something when I got back, only that was a week ago, and now I can’t remember what it was. This organization helps me be helpful when I’m home, but it’s also worked for the rest of the family. Be observant. If you see something that needs doing – get it done.
Give your wife time away. While you’re gone she is responsible for a lot and there may not be time for her to get together with friends or just have the house to herself for a couple of hours. Get the kids out of her hair every once in awhile and be understanding that she needs time for herself as well. At the same time you should plan some time for just the two of you. Go out for dinner, or a walk, or plan another activity that the two of you enjoy. Spending time with the entire family is important, but it is equally important to make time with your spouse.