I know what it looks like NOW… but that’s all about to change.

Because the hours when Matt is awake are often taken up by him getting ready to leave or him arriving home from work while we’re all sleeping, we have resorted to using email to talk about most things so that I don’t feel like I’m ambushing him at the door (Honey, before you leave I need your input on these 8 matters! No pressure.)  Despite my repeated request that he learn to go to bed earlier so the kids and I don’t feel so bad when we wake him during the day (inevitable), I’m always a little disappointed to find that he did, in fact, go to bed BEFORE checking email and responding. (Well… I guess I won’t be going anywhere on that item of interest today.) 🙂  Ah well.  And I know that when we do catch the rare glimpse of his being up and open-eyed he is bombarded by all the things we wish we could ask him to do with us on a daily basis.  “Dad, wanna play badminton/listen to this play by play of my recent conquering of this video game/listen to me sing/answer all my questions/work on my treehouse/see my cool trick/play ponies/give me a piggy-back ride/….(or in my case help with fencing/bedtime/child rearing/yardwork/weeds/…)” ad infinitum.

BUT! Another week or two of the phantom husband and then he’ll be home full-time except when out with a client (which will be often, we hope, though I know that sounds bad in this context!)  I’m not sure I know how to handle having a husband that’s home and awake at the same time. 

I assume, for example, that if we continue to plague his waking hours as if they were as rare as they are now, that he will eventually go crazy and also get no work accomplished at all.  Fortunately, the novelty of having an available dad/husband will eventually wear off and playing tennis or badminton or biking or, you know, putting up fencing, and whatever will cease to seem so urgent to either the rest of us or to him, but there are other concerns.

For example: does this mean I need to learn how to cook real full-course meals, now?  Or can we continue to survive on sandwiches, pasta and finger foods? (Fresh fruit counts as a fingerfood for those of you freaking out on behalf of my children’s nutrition.)  

Selfishly, I wonder how many chores/daily things do I get to hand off before I’m asking too much with his new schedule.  (I suppose telling him he’s in charge of meals, bedtime child care and all forms of cleaning while I… um.. vegetate? would be pushing it? But I loved seeing him take over bedtime stories the other day so this concept of his being home to do things with/for us is an exciting part of my imaginings right now.)

We will have a car to use to go places at more varied times now… but will we ever know WHEN we can use it.  (Is “Honey, I know you just got the kids to the park, but I contacted a client and they want to meet NOW.” a likely phonomenon?)

And I’m fairly certain that some things won’t really change.  Instead of saying, “Shh!  Dad’s asleep!” I’ll be saying “Shh!  Dad’s phoning clients!”  That one won’t be too hard to adapt to.

I used to know what days worked best to schedule appointments.  (Well, Thursday’s are the turn around day, so let’s schedule my Dr. Appointment for Thursday morning when there is a good chance he’ll be able to watch kids if I don’t have someone else… pretty much everything gets scheduled for Thursday at this point…)

Do I need to run more things by him apart from the aforementioned car issue?  It will feel very odd just living life as if he’s nonexistant when he’s standing right there. “See you, Matt!  Sorry to leave you here with your nose to the grindstone, but we got plans.”  “What do you mean you don’t want the kids to dig a big hole in the driveway?”

How do I handle having people over?  Before he was sleeping.  People respected that, we were quiet, but we could still play a rousing game of Catan or go outside and throw a frisbee and forget he was there.  Will it be weird to invite people over and have a husband working his tail off in the next room more-or-less ignoring them?  “Pay no attention to the moving, breathing soul in the chair in the living room.  Just pretend he’s at the office right now… because… well… he is.”

How many times can I pull the wifely distress signal before I’ve officially become an intrusion into his workday.  For example is it a bad idea for me to be all “Honey, I bought feed that needs moved, can you get that done on your next 15 minute break?  It’s heavy.  And I had a baby… 3 years ago!  I don’t think all that lifting is going to be a good thing.” or is that a tacky thing for the wife of a work from home husband to do? 🙂

So, we’ll be figuring all this out.  In the meantime, since he hasn’t responded yet to my emails, I still don’t know whether or not I should be applying to be a supervisor in response to a call and a text I received yesterday from a place I worked for only briefly this winter but apparently gained credentials at from my much longer stint there many years ago.  Something about giving birth to the 5th child in almost 8 years in a mere month or so makes that idea seem a bit farfetched, but it is intriguing. 

And then, of course, we’d be adapting to both the “You’re home” and the “but I’m not” aspects of it all.