My husband is a chef. He's been in kitchens since he was 14. It's the only job he's ever done in his life, and so far seems to be the only job he'll ever do. From the first time we even got together (at the ripe old age of 17) I knew that we wouldn't be one of those couples who would be home at the same time for most of the week. I was fine with that- I'm one of those people who likes to be alone at times and I thrive on setting myself in a regular routine. Up until 2009, my husband worked at stand alone restaurants or in the hotel industry. This meant that nights, weekends and holidays it was pretty much a lock that he'd be working and I'd be home alone with the kids. Again, I knew this when I signed up for the gig as wife of a chef.
In 2009, this changed. He went into corporate dining (for privacy's sake, I won't mention the name, but it's a big company). This meant a bigger salary, better benefits, and supposedly "more family time." As in, in theory, he works Monday-Friday, 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM (pretty normal hours for a corporate chef). In practice he works from 5:30 AM until 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, or even 9:00 at night. I would be fine with this if there was some sort of consistency. There's nothing worse in not knowing when he's going to be coming home. It sets the kids off- they always ask "when will Dad be home?" Sometimes he's home for dinner, sometimes he makes it home for goodnight stories and other times he doesn't get home until they are already asleep. In a way, I would rather he not be home until after they are in bed all the time. We have a routine, and when he comes home randomly, it just screws with the routine.
We had a talk about this issue this week. I honestly told him that I need him to be more consistent. And if he was going to be home after 6:30 but before 8:00, he should delay until after 8:00. This didn't go over well. But honestly, I can't deal with it. Dinner to Bedtime is awful in our house. Adding him to the mix randomly doesn't work.