I got the best news ever last week. Well, maybe not as good as having my son living with me, or a green card for my husband, but as good as it gets in this life I live. Awesome news. My husband finally got switched to day shift. I know I haven't really talked about it in the blog, but this schedule was eating me alive. I never saw my husband. I am gone for work from 5:00am-6:00pm. It's a long day in itself. What has made it worse is that my husband left for work at 2:45pm and came home at about 12:45am.
At first it was fun. I was so excited that he was working because those 5 months when he wasn't were rough, to say the least. He had lost his motivation to succeed, second guessed the decision to move to Mexico, and drove me completely insane. So when an opportunity finally came up for work, I considered it a gift from God. I didn't care that he was earning $1 US an hour, he seem revived, proud and productive. He had reconsidered his place in this world. It is impressive and dramatic really; what a low-paying, back-breaking job in a third world country could do and did for him emotionally is indescribable.
Only a month or so later our "Mexico fund" ran out. Everything we had saved, for almost 2 years, while planning our move was gone. With our accounts depleted we realized what was important. The logistics of my El Paso salary surfaced and it was finally time for us to adjust to my 30% (and my husband's 90%) salary decrease. Suddenly, the $50 US he brought home each week became a huge deal. Sure the cost of living is lower in Mexico but we still have several bills in the US such as medical and auto insurance as well as student loans. My checks are now gone the day I receive them and we depend on his check for groceries, gasoline, etc. The importance of his job became quickly and ridiculously apparent. And so his inconvenient schedule had become just that, an inconvenience. It wasn't a "make or break" factor for us.
After about a week the novelty of having my "alone time" wore off. About two months in we had encountered about 15 instances where his schedule affected our daily activities, such as car repairs or bill paying and something as simple as him getting a haircut became difficult. We only have 1 car. 3 months in we were dying for a day shift. It wasn't so much the little details that bothered us, but we never saw each other. Ever. That's no marriage, in my humble opinion. I may catch some back lash for saying this because I know I have readers that never see their spouses (due to immigration issues), but for us in particular, that is not a long-term option. In our eyes, if we weren't ever going to see each other, this whole move made no sense. I began to wonder why I was even living in Mexico. If we were only going to see each other once a week, why didn't I live in the US and commute to Mexico on Saturdays for visits?
Upon inquiring he was told that he needed to wait until he had been with the company for at least a year, or find someone who was willing to switch shifts with him. After about 4 months of digging, he was able to find a man whose wife was pregnant and was longing to spend time with her during the day. In the end, after quite a bit of struggle and paperwork, they ended up switching shifts. My husband now works 6am-3:30pm. I even drop him off at work in the morning. At this point, with the schedules we have and the companies we work for, I couldn't be happier.
Everything is falling into place for us here in Juarez and I am amazed to see that, over a year later, I have yet to regret our decision to move here. Now I just have to figure out how to get Mr. Cruz in bed by 9:00pm!