My husband has been leaving for work a little early and coming home later than usual for several weeks. These few extra hours are only the beginning, but they have not come as a surprise. I’ve actually known for a couple years that this season was coming.
This time last year, I was dreading the inevitable. I resented the fact that my husband’s job would eventually require a lot of overtime. I didn’t want to give up so much of him.
Thankfully, over the last several months, God has changed my heart! I know that the next year is going to stretch all of us. Probably to the breaking point at times. We’re going to need a lot of God’s good grace and the support of many friends.
What I’ve realized is that this time won’t just be hard on me and the kids. It’s also going to challenge him. I have no question that he’ll still be here for us. I also recognize that my parenting and homemaking burden is going to become greater. I don’t want my extra requirements to lead to neglect of my husband. I want to support my husband in the work that God has given him at this time.
My hope is that sharing these ideas will encourage you to support your husband when you find yourself in a similar situation.
Ways To Support Your Husband When He Works Overtime
Pray for him.
Not just in my prayer time or as I think of it throughout the day, but in front of the kids. I want them to know that God is in control of this time. That I want God to help daddy do the best job he can at the work God has given him right now. That God will take care of all of us when daddy has to spend so much more time than usual at work.
Show an interest in his work.
His work may not be my world, but I still want to care about what he’s spending so much time on. I know this isn’t true for everyone, but my husband loves his job! He’s excited about the projects he gets to work on and likes to talk about them. I can ask questions, listen to stories and explanations, and be enthusiastic about victories. I can make time to take the kids on field trips to see the progress.
Cultivate a pleasant spirit.
It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman.
No one likes to be around a negative person! This is going to be a tough time for all of us. I can make the burden a little lighter by maintaining joy. It will be easier on some days than others, and it will only be possible as I rest in God’s plan and rely on His sustaining grace. This will come through on my face when he walks in the door, in my tone of voice when he calls to say he’ll miss bedtime again, and in my general demeanor when the kids are pushing the limits more than I’d like.
Provide adequate nutrition.
A body (and mind) that’s working extra hard needs extra fuel. I want to plan ahead so I can:
- prepare nutritious breakfasts
- supply energizing snacks (No Bake Whole Food Protein Balls and GF Chia Seed Crackers are some of his favorites)
- pack hearty lunches (and call or send a text mid-day to remind him to eat!)
- check on water intake
- minimize sugars (but still include fun treats on occasion)
Overtime hours and impending deadlines are stressful and exhausting (even when you love your job). Physical exercise is a great way to relieve some of that pressure. H. enjoys running and handles stress better when he is able to do that regularly. I can encourage him to keep this up since he tends to let it go when he’s already out of the house a lot.
Include him in daily activities.
The kids and I are going to miss him when he has to put in extra time in the shop. He’s going to miss us too! I can include him in some of the daily goings on by:
- emailing pictures
- texting funny conversations
- letting the kids call when they’re excited about something
- telling him what’s planned
- asking his opinion on our activities
- putting pictures and notes in his lunchbox
- stopping to say ‘hi’ when we’re out on errands
Make time for dates.
It may seem like there isn’t enough time for one-on-one dating when work takes up so many hours. But our relationship is still a priority. Our weekly date nights may have to be re-worked. I may need to take more initiative to arrange for times out together. When he has to leave extra early, I can get up and eat breakfast with him. I can arrange to meet him for lunch. Maybe we can get out together on a Sunday afternoon. Time for just the two of us will still be important.
Be available for intimacy.
This is another area that’s tempting to ignore when days are long, nights are short and exhaustion is high. Even in busy, stressful seasons I can affirm and encourage my husband by making physical intimacy a priority. I may need to let some insignificant things go to preserve energy, but it will be worth it.
Have you weathered a season of overtime with your husband? Help me out! What did you do to support your husband and keep your marriage strong in the midst of it?
Shared at: Christian Marriage & Motherhood, Nourishing Joy, Wifey Wednesday, Thriving Thursday, Grace & Truth, Tuesday Talk, Coffee and Conversation, Women With Intention, Thoughtful Thursday, Saturday Soiree and Fellowship Friday.