How can I make my wife feel appreciated when I rarely see her and she's always exhausted?
I've been (happily) married for over 12 years now and life is pretty good. The problem is, our schedules are crammed to the breaking point. I know a lot of people say they have no free time, but let me explain...
I work days. I leave the house at 8:15 and get home around 6:00. I work Monday - Friday with 8 hours shifts. My wife works nights. She leaves the house around 6:00, and gets home around 8:15. She works (usually - sometimes the days vary) Thursday - Sunday as a nurse pulling 12.5 hour shifts.
Things would be fine if my wife could sleep during the day, but it's not always possible. Why? I haven't mentioned our four kids yet: they are 9, 7, 4, and 6 months old.
So five days a week, we hand off the kids to each other on our way out the door to/from work. Two days a week (Saturday and Sunday) my wife can sleep while I watch the kids. But two other days a week (Monday and Friday) she tries to nap when possible while watching the two little kids, all after staying up all night working.
When I get home from work on Monday evening, she is wiped out and usually crashes immediately, which I have no problem with. That leaves us Tues. and Wed. to spend time together or hang out with friends.
I'm not asking for your sympathy. I'm actually happy with our life and the fact that our kids have never gone to daycare. What I *am* asking is for some good ideas to let my wife know I appreciate all that she does. She gives and gives of herself, and I'd like her to feel ... motivated to keep it up, I guess.
We rarely get to "go out on a date" so we usually end up trading off our down time (i.e. I'll go to a concert on Wednesday, she'll go to a movie with friends the next Wednesday...). Oh, and she loves to cook - baking especially. She used to blog about it regularly (obligatory pictures of her awesome work)
but she's too busy (tired) these days.
One last note: I have free time at night after the kids are asleep. They go to bed by 9:00 and I usually go to bed at midnight. But I'm still stuck at home, so I waste the time with TV and video games. And some occasional cleaning. My wife, on the other hand, seems to always be working or taking care of kids.