On being a tax widow

Tax season comes around once a year.  I have been married to an accountant for almost 15 years now.  He started out being an auditor and at a point that I honestly can't recall at this moment, switched to tax.  When we were first married, Tim traveled quite a bit, but when he was not traveling, especially in the summer, he was schmoozing clients on the golf course.  Over the years, and especially with the transition to the tax side, he schmoozes less and travels less.  Tax season used to be from around Dec. 15-April 15.  He would work such hours as 6:30 am to 3:30 am 5 days a week and from only about 8 am until 10 pm on the other two days.  He would come home to shower and head back to work.  That's when he was "younger" and with two or less children!  The hours aren't so harsh anymore...at least not for the entire duration of the season.  Now, he works hard NOT to work on Sundays at all and tries to be home in time to help with bedtime several nights a week.  Tax season is no longer from Dec-April.  In reality, it is more like December through Novemeber with a short 1-2 week break a couple of times during the year.  The hours are grueling from around March 15-April 5 or so, but definitely busier Feb-April than the rest of the year. 

Over the years, we as a family have transitioned a little better from year to year.  I still joke with Tim that he has to ease back into our family routine on April 16th slowly, as we have developed our own routine over the last 6-8 weeks or so.  When Jakob was a toddler and preschooler, we noticed a negative change in his behavior during tax season.  It started about the 1st of march and ended about the 1st of May.  We've encountered the same observation with Benjamin.  What a testimony to the importance of a daddy in a boy's life!  Being a single parent is tough.  I have to remind myself often that I should count my blessings that it is short and that I know Tim is coming home from the office vs. months to years fighting overseas without the guarantee of returning.  We are thankful for the evolving flexibility that has transpired from our growing family, Tim's seniority at work, and just the overall increase in maturity on both our parts regarding priorities.  Another standing joke that at times is less of a joke and more reality is that at some point during tax season, our family morphs from a family of nine with two adults and seven children to a family of nine with ONE adult and 8 children!  By April 1st, I am entirely ready for this season to end.  I'm ready for our family time to return, for my house to be a little less out of control (everything seems to pile up as EVERYONE detects the increased busyness and tends to rush a little more, put things away a little less and walk over messes often), return to a more fitting routine.  Bedtime by myself typically turns into being eager to get the kids to bed immediately following a 5:30 dinner because I'm exhausted from going it "alone" and I am desperately in need of quiet time to myself to do something mindless or productive.  I'm tired of providing conflict resolution to non-compliant preschoolers and even the bigger kids.  I'm not excited anymore about making dinner, or even cleaning up afterward...not that I'm ever excited about cleaning up afterward!  :)  I'm craving some time with my husband...more than a text or email to communicate...even just his presence in our home. This, a HUGE testimony to how I cherish not just the assistance that Tim provides me as a domestic roomie, but the gap that is present when our relationship is on the surface for weeks instead of where it usually is.  I miss my husband, my childrens' father, my friend.  I'm always happy to have him back after April 15th. 

This is part of being married to a tax accountant.  I know that, I'm ok with that, but I'm always eager for this part of the year to draw to a close.  There are benefits that we've found over the years...there are times that I relish the chance to have cereal for supper and hang out with the kids and reroute our routine from the norm, but we all notice when that "newness" wears off and find ourselves eager to have meat and potatoes for supper again! 

Now, all that being said, I must record that through this entire tax season, Tim has consistantly taken the kids to school.  I could probably count on two hands the number of times I had to take them to school.  He also worked from home a number of nights too, so at least he was physically here.  I assume that we will always modify as each year comes and goes.  But we will always celebrate the arrival of April 15th!!  It's almost here, and we're all ready!!