Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dadda at Jedwit money

This is M-girl's summation of this week. Yes, Daddy is at Jesuit because he makes money for his family, although the pay obviously doesn't vary by the hours spent at work in the academic life. We explained to the kids that Dad puts off doing grading and planning so that he can get time at home, and he needs this week to catch up. This semester will likely be the worst because he's teaching all new material this year, and he has summer courses starting soon. As time goes on, he will have less prep to do because his courses will include more repeats. He wants to make sure to put effort into writing good exams that will accurately reflect student knowledge without being torturous essays to grade. I told him it's worth it because he'll be around to reuse the exams, and it will make grading much easier.

Part of the dynamic that works really well in our marriage is that we both would rather offer to be flexible than to wait for the other to ask for flexibility. When we offer to be flexible, we're starting with a positive mindset about the change or sacrifice, and we can't get upset about something we offered to do in the first place. It works for us because we both do this for each other as needed, so no one feels used. On the really busy weeks, we try harder to connect as a couple as well so that we don't lose touch with how the other is feeling.

In addition to academic work and family responsibility, over half of his small dept is moving on, so there are end-of-year and farewell dinners to attend. On the homefront we figured the best thing was to give the kids a consistent plan for this week: Dad has to work late, but only for this one week, and we can all make a sacrifice. It's actually going well. They understand that it's temporary, and I can do anything for one week! The downside is that the weather is miserable, so fun outdoor time isn't an option.

So we're doing baths, dinner, homework, and bedtime with just Momma, whose patience wears thin from time to time, but they also don't get as riled up when Dad isn't home to play in the evening. The Jedis are usually still awake when he gets home, so he sits with them until at least one is sleeping (usually A-man). Then he does the dishes and makes sure laundry isn't sitting in the washer. Last night he ran out to get milk for breakfast and some tin roof sundae ice cream for me. I was happy to see that he also got a 6-pack of some fancy-pants beer for himself!

We do the morning routine together, and this morning I asked him to do me a solid. I have a hard time getting a shower in the morning with M on the loose, so I asked him to take the Jedis to school and have her ride along. He takes the boys sometimes and then returns the car and walks to work, so this was one extra detail for him on a day when I really needed it. He agreed and was back in 15 minutes, and I was showered and happy. Ahhhhh!

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