My husband works in hospitality, which means that his hours are all over the place. I used to work in hospitality too so I have some sympathy for what it’s like, but my memory is often short and I have to admit I get frustrated easily.
I’m not going to lie; it is a challenge on many levels. The hours for him are long and hard and it means he does a lot of nights and weekends. My hours are pretty standard: 8.30 – 6pm, Monday to Friday with the occasional week where I work until about 8pm and the even more occasional weekend work.
Overall, we’re pretty used to it. It has always been this way, either when I was in hospitality or since he’s been back in it. There was a time, but a distant memory now, when we were BOTH in hospitality so we could generally work similar hours and see each other more, which made things easier.
But, like I said, we’re pretty used to it and overall, we make it work. Sometimes we even prefer it – I am one of those people who likes time to myself, so the odd night here and there when I am on my own and I can watch MY shows on television or read my book in peace, or have the girls over for drinks, or go to the theatre or go out for dinner, suit me fine. And C enjoys having his weekdays free and doing his own thing too, and he loves the social aspect of his job.
Except, we often get the weeks or months like the last few we’ve had when we basically don’t see each other apart from on social occasions with lots of other people. There’re only so many nights in on my own I can do before it gets a bit old. The life of a pub manager’s wife means a lot of meals for one, a lot of time when you have the bed to yourself (which can be both good and bad), a lot of interrupted sleep as he comes home in the middle of the night, a lot of calls to say he has to stay a bit later, short term planning (which doesn’t usually sit all that well with me), that feeling of ships passing in the night and many, many social occasions when you have to fly solo because he can’t be there.
So far this year we’ve had to cancel or reschedule 3 different trips, and it’s now been a week and a half since we’ve had a proper conversation in person. So it means a lot of our relationship happens over phone calls, texts or when one of us is half-asleep, depending on the time of day.
Because he’s the Guv’nor (aka: Manager, Boss, Publican, The Man) it means he often suffers when people can’t make it into work or when disaster strikes. And he’s had some terrible luck this year – working the first few months of the year with no assistant manager, then trained a new assistant up only to have him leave, and now in the throes of training another new assistant while also losing a few strong supervisors.
On the evenings he is home, we find I am tired and ready for bed much earlier than he is, and on the weekends he’s home we find I’m up a lot earlier and ready to go out and do things when he’s still catching up on his sleep.
I’m not whinging or placing any blame here, I hasten to add. He is an incredibly hard worker, he’s extremely dedicated and he is so brilliant at his job. It is a part of what makes him the person he is and I am proud of how well he does at it. He is doing what he loves and working towards our future – who can blame the guy for that? It’s just that sometimes he just can’t get away, or he’s too tired to do anything around the house, or simply not there to do it. And I will admit, sometimes I get lonely, and sometimes I get frustrated and sometimes I actually get a tiny jealous of the time he spends at the pub instead of with me. Unfair, I know!!
It’s hard on him too. Like I said, it’s long hours, late nights and little free time. He misses out on seeing his friends a lot, he has very little time to himself, his sleeping patterns are all out of whack, he can’t plan too far ahead (not that he’s ever really been a ‘planner’ like me) and he has to give up a lot of things he wants to do.
We have talked a lot about starting a family and it really worries us how difficult it’s going to be. The hours we both work are challenging now, and it’s already hard to get any ‘us’ time… throw a baby into the mix and I don’t know what state we’ll be in.
I know we are not the only couple in the world who experience this – others in the industry, people who have partners who travel for work, or who work in the hospital system, or do other kinds of shift work obviously feel the same pain. And I know we probably still have it easier than some. We just have to make the most of the time we do have together, or when it does work in our favour. Talk about a first world problem!! Geez! I’m ending this post now before I sound any more ridiculous!