Ahh yes, the dreaded duty night. As I write to you now, I am sitting at home. Baby is sleeping upstairs and the husband has duty tonight. He actually just called me to tell me he thinks he may get off early tomorrow… he’s funny…
It’s all too easy to feel sad, lonely or bitter on duty nights. Especially if you have children, and you’re solo parenting once again. For me, it’s all about perspective. Duty nights will always be there, so plan accordingly so you can look forward to them.
For me, I like to do the following:
Hang out with my daughter.
I work about once a week and I’m a full time student completing a post master’s certificate, so I almost always have a list to work through. Shout out to my daughter’s AMAZING school and babysitter- couldn’t do what I do without them! So I like to use duty nights as an opportunity to spend special time with her, just the two of us. My daughter is currently two years old, but if she was older I imagine we’d go out to eat, probably something my husband doesn’t particularly care for (he’s not a huge fan of sushi).
Deep clean the house.
I love what I do, but I also love being a “part time” stay at home mom if that makes sense. I enjoy all the annoying things – like cleaning my house top to bottom on a weekly basis. My husband is messy, God bless him, he tries… sometimes… I love to deep clean when he’s on duty and not in my way. It’s comforting to me. Instant gratification.
Watch bad TV.
On the other hand, there are the duty days where the baby has been screaming all day, slapped you three times, and you just need to sit on the couch and watch mindless, crap TV. So do it. I am currently watching Sweet Magnolias on Netflix. Do what makes you happy and what you need in that moment. It’s also about the small pleasures, like sleeping on his side of the bed. I happen to prefer that side but I am nice and compromise every other day of the week. But on duty night, it’s mine.
My point is, don’t sit around bored or feel sorry for yourself because your spouse is on duty. If you’re an extrovert, get some friends together and explore the area, try a new restaurant. Schedule a phone date with a friend or family member back home, or put on that pore cleansing face mask you’ve been thinking about all week. If you’re an introvert, plan a fun night around something you like to do, such as cooking or reading. Make the most of duty night, because it’s your night too.
How do you pass the time on duty nights? Do you have any “traditions”? I’d love to get some new ideas!