For this last year of residency Bret's new chief schedule means that he works every fourth night in house (in the hospital all night) and every fourth weekend (except in a few months when one of the chiefs goes out on maternity leave) during which he can come home if nothing is going on. On the day after their call night they work until about noon and then are off for the rest of the day. Although it is hard to have him gone for call nights and most weekends are spent entirely in the hospital the hardest thing for me personally to get used to is having him home for half a day during the week sometimes two half days.
You would think that more time together is better and it is. It's just that I work from home. The kids and I have worked to get a pretty good routine going and with the help of a babysitter now and then we are doing great. It's just little things that will take time getting used to.
For example a lot of time shortly after Bret gets home it is time for the kids to lay down for their nap. If Bret has had a really rough night of call it would be ideal for him to lay down at this also. He, however, always wants to sit and watch TV. The TV is a big problem for me. With the exception of the occasional cartoon or kid's movie the TV stays off all day. I love watching TV even if it is bad TV or something I am not at all interested in. It is distracting. We only have one TV and one desk and you guessed it...they are in the same room. So I pray each time that Bret will fall asleep quickly so I can shut the TV off. He is trying to be a good sport about things once I explained to him that I can't work with the TV on (and once he understood that I wasn't kidding). He now will play a game on the computer or read. Still it is weird for both of us.
I too have made some adjustments. I have to work about 5-6 hours a day to get all of my work done. I make sure on post call days to be up and at 'em first thing in the early morning and work hard all morning. That way when Bret gets home and asks "what are we doing today" I have some time available to hang out with him and the kids and not feel guilty about the work.
I am such a sucker for routine. It gives me a lot of comfort. Over the past few years if I have learned anything it is to be flexible. Our lives, our routines, our version of normal changes so often that I have learned to just go with it. At least I am learning to just go with it.