My husband's temporary active duty military job is now over and he's back to flying the friendly skies. This means back to the unpredictable schedule that I thought I so sorely missed just a couple of months ago.
The monotony of my days that had previously been broken up by long periods of him gone and then long periods of him home was challenging.
And boy did I ever dread Mondays like I've never done before.
But, I've enjoyed having a regular schedule, even though he was around much less than he was as an airline pilot. For the first time in years, he was home every weekend, and while the two days went ridiculously fast, the consistency allowed me to plan a few more family activities.
And because he was within driving distance, it was actually easier for me to do a bit more travel for my own work.
So, it's ironic that after receiving his August schedule, I'm now scrambling to find coverage for a couple of upcoming work trips, including the BlogHer conference next week.
If you're curious as to how a junior pilot's "reserve" schedule actually works, let me take a moment to enlighten you. At the middle of every month, my husband puts in a request for his schedule, which at this point does not include actually asking for specific trips, but rather requesting certain days off. If I know I'm going to be away, or he wants to be home for something, then he will politely ask the temperamental fairies over at scheduling to grant his wish.
Sometimes they oblige. And sometimes they don't.
About a week or so later, he gets his schedule, which is conveyed in a series of "X"s, "*"s, and then open spaces. The "X"s are days off that sometimes he or they can move. The "*"s are days off that cannot be moved. The open spaces are days that they *could* call him to fly.
Now, as you can see, this can make life, particularly any semblance of a social life, fairly complicated. He could actually be home on all those open days if they don't need him, but I can't depend on him to be around and make any sort of important plans because he could also be gone.
And since I don't really get his schedule until the week or so before the month is over, it's a pain to try to plan anything -- personal or professional.
Up until he took a military leave, it's been somewhat easy for him to move his "X" days, which has helped greatly in allowing me to travel for my Mominatrix book tour and other work engagements. But due to things beyond his control, they are fairly shorthanded, and therefore, it will be impossible for him to get permission to move those days.
And because he was on military leave, he had no ability to request his August schedule. And surprise, he's on call for the four days over BlogHer, as well as the following week when I had hoped to take a couple of business trips before getting ready for the baby to arrive.
As you might guess, this becomes extra challenging when my due date nears -- especially since he can't request time off for the baby. The only thing he could do is "sick-out" from a trip if it gets assigned and I'm in labor or I just had the baby. Even then, it only covers him for a short window of time.
But I've got another two months to worry about all that.
I've learned over the last few years that this is just par for the course, but that doesn't mean it doesn't give me a headache, mostly because now we've got to ask for help from relatives (read: my in-laws), and just thinking about that turns my little throbbing headache into a gigantic migraine.