Friday, October 16, 2009

...Because My Husband Works Away - Social Engagements

I have been planning to write a post about how I cope "...Because My Husband Works Away". I was reluctant at first as I know there are a lot of single mums, army wives and widows that might read my post that felt a bit wrong writing about it.

But then I realised that we all have our unique situations and we all cope with them differently and maybe something I write might help or give an idea to someone else. Plus it is a big part of who I am and my life that I wanted to share.

The thing is there are so many aspects to having your Husband home only one week in every three that when I started making notes I realised the post would be horrendously long and bore the pants of anyone who read it. So I thought I would start a little series and write about different parts positives and negatives of our family arrangement.

In this post I wanted to talk about how we deal with social engagements for us as a couple and me on my own. Last weekend when Hubby was home we had 3 party invites for the Saturday night. Apparently October 10th is a popular day for birthdays!

We had already made plans with another two couples to come to our place for a curry night, so had to decline the 3 invites we had. You might think that we would have cancelled or rescheduled our night but babysitters had been booked for the other couples and the plans had been made first and well in advance.

This often happens on Hubby's weekend home. We have quite a few different circles of friends (well aren't we the popular couple *she says sarcastically*) and we often 'book' in to see friends in advance so when other stuff comes up we usually have to decline.

This means that Hubby does miss out on quite a few social events on the 'other' weekends and depending on whether I can get a baby sitter or take the kids I pretty much go to almost everything I am invited to even if he is not home. I am so used to this that I have a little method of deciding what we go to and what we decline.

Weddings and Funerals trump everything. Regardless of previous plans made. I have never had either on the same day so haven't had to decide between the two. Hubby will always try and make them even if it means having a few days annual leave.

Previous plans take precedent over everything else. If we have committed to something we will pretty much always follow through with it. The exceptions are of course the Weddings & Funerals and also if we get invited to something that is a once off like a going away party where we won't get to see the person for a long time.

Special considerations are also given to BFF's and Family. Like on my Mum's birthday this year Hubby is away and I have also been invited to a going away party for a good friend of mine. So first I check with Mum if she has any plans for her birthday like a family dinner or anything. No, she is off to a wedding the next day so is heading off for the weekend. Bonus! I don't feel bad about having to cancel one or the other and as Mum has the day off work to get her hair done and pack I can see her during the day!

BTW if Mum had been planning something I would have tried to get her to do something the next night (I am an only child so no need to worry about siblings!) and no, I wouldn't have got her to babysit on her birthday - I'm not that bad...but if she had offered.....

I am very lucky that most of my friends are mindful of my situation with Hubby working away and so we try to plan book club when he is home or I will plan other things with the girls when he is home too as he acts as an instant babysitter. Or I will plan to have things take place at my house when the kids have gone to bed.

As with babysitters we are very lucky that we have a few people we can ask but I won't waste babysitting opportunities. I realise that sometimes we just have to say no!

Needless to say the week that Hubby is home we are both very busy, me having a bit of time with my girlfriends without the kids and catching up with couples or attending parties, going out for dinner.

The most important engagement though is Date Night with Hubby. We make sure we always have one night where we chill out together at home watching a movie and getting take away or we go out on our own for dinner and movie or something along those lines!

So, do you have filter system like me with your social engagements? How do you decide if it is worth getting a babysitter? Do you have Date Night with your Hubby?


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