Prior to the impacts of COVID-19 and social distancing, my husband and I worked two very different schedules. I work the usual Monday through Friday between 9 to 5 while his hours can be all over the place. Although I would sneak in hugs and kisses early in the morning before starting my day, most times I won’t get to see the hubs until late at night when he finally gets off work.
When we received news that his office would be closing and I’d be working from home, we were excited that for the first time in a long while we’d be on the same schedule. The first few days into quarantine, we were stuck to each other. All we wanted to do was be around one another and catch up on the time we normally don’t have together. But as the days continued on, we were starting to annoy each other.
Being home together in this capacity is outside of our normal routine. We got so used to our night and day patterns that we had to adjust to having the same schedules and finding a way to not drive each other crazy.
The times I would normally have to enjoy some peace and quiet were times he wanted to vacuum the entire house. The times he would like to sleep in later were times I wanted to make a smoothie. The times I wanted to rewatch The Office on Netflix were times he wanted to blast music from the speakers. We weren’t in sync.
We knew we needed to create a system that would work for us during this time, especially while we’re confined to the safety of our homes for God knows how long.
Here’s what we’re doing:
Giving Each Other Space
Normally, when my husband has a day off, I’m all over him. My son and I can’t get enough of the time we have together when he’s home. And now that we’re advised to stay home, there are moments when we still require space. Moments when I would rather write in my journal with soft music and moments when he wants to be in his man-cave playing video games.
Although the temptation of taking advantage of this time we have together is high, we’re giving each other space for me-time even if we’re stuck at home.
Dividing Household Responsibilities
Because my husband’s work schedule is crazy, taking care of the meals and grocery shopping usually falls on my plate. Now that he’s home to chip in, we alternate who takes care of what.
Since we’re both home, we’re able to find a balance in carrying the household responsibilities instead of taking on uneven loads due to our schedules.
Keeping Communication Open
I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t say that we get on one another’s nerves sometimes. It’s easy to get to a place where nitpicking can become constant, but we’ve been able to keep communication open by expressing what we need from one another or what may be bothersome to avoid tension build-up.
At the end of the night, after our son is down for bed, we continue with our check-ins to make sure we didn’t overlook anything or misunderstand one another at any point during the day.
Getting Creative With Date Night
Clearly, we can’t go anywhere for date night. And just because we’re confined to our homes doesn’t mean we can’t still “date.”
We’ve had movie nights. We’ve enjoyed the nice weather in our backyard with some wine. We’ve ordered takeout and “pretended” to be in a restaurant. There are ways this can be done, but the options are endless. As long as you make it fun.