Image by iStock

Last night as the last 1/2 hour of my temporary 3 to 11 shift at the library rolled around, I tweeted that I didn’t think I’d be able to survive without some caffeine and one of my favorite tweeters, @f8likemustard, asked me the following question:  “Do you ever resent having to work nights @ the library? It would be hard for me; kids are so busy!”  I had an immediate answer for her…

Yes and no.  My normal schedule is 2 to 10 PM but this week and next (Finals’ Study Week and Finals’ Week for the students) it’ll be 3 to 11 PM which means that I won’t get home until about 11:45.  This also means that I won’t get to see my kids or talk to the hubs until the weekend.  By the time I get home, the kids should be sleeping and the hubs is usually huddled under the blankets unless I wake him by walking into something….  Seriously, I’m always walking into things like the wall, door, dresser, etc.

Not seeing my family has been difficult.  So we’ve had to get creative in the quality of the time that we do get to spend together.  My kids and I are friends on Facebook, so they send me messages when they get a chance and when they can’t contact me that way, they text me.  Texting has, in many ways, opened up avenues of communication for my kids and me that I never would have explored with my own parents.  Honestly, I don’t think I mumbled more than two words to my own mother from the age of 16 to 18.  But my kids are talking to me about everything ~ God, sex, self image, crazy school stuff, everything…

The hubs and I have also figured out a way to reconnect despite our wonky schedules ~ breakfast.  Every weekend, he and I go to our favorite eatery, KB’s Coffee House, and we catch up on the past week and fill each other in on our upcoming schedules.  And, every now and then, I surprise him with a salad on my way home from work. Yes, it requires that I wake him so that he can eat a salad and then go back to sleep but, hey, I think I’m totally worth the nocturnal interruption.

When asked, my family will most often say the thing they miss most about me is having a home cooked meal.  So once a week we have family dinner and everyone has to be present.  Usually the kids or the hubs tell me on Monday what they’d like for dinner that night so I can have everything on hand and then we sit and eat.  During those meals we talk, share, tease and laugh.  No, I don’t spend as much time with my family as I’d like but I do enjoy the time that I do get.

What about you?  How do you stay connected to your family when your schedule is hectic?