The noise level in the house is different when Doug is home during the week. The kids climb all over him when he's sitting down, like they haven't seen him for years. They fight over who is going to go with Daddy to the dump or the grocery store. They play together better when he is around.
The tension I carry in my neck, shoulders and back releases when Doug is home during the week. I feel like a different person knowing that at least for one day, the daily responsibilities are not all mine to bear. I leave the house on these days, usually to volunteer for a couple of hours in Meg's classroom, or actually run errands (which I never do when I'm home with 2 or 3 of the kids during the week as it's just too stressful). I come home feeling refreshed, happy, less anxious. It's a nice feeling, a different feeling from how I feel the rest of the week.
I told him last night that it actually bothers me deeply that the kids are better behaved when he is around. I'm not mad at him about it. I'm just sad that the air in the house is so much more negatively charged when he is at work. I want to bottle some of the positively charged air when he's here and sprinkle it on the kids when he's at work that they can be nicer to each other and to me. The days of Daddy at home during the week won't last too much longer (for which I'm happy, yet sad) and it would be lovely to find a way too keep some of the happiness that comes from him being around. Because certainly if I feel it, the kids feel it too.