I am currently a production widow. It means J is spending long hours & nights, working feverishly to meet a hard deadline.
This is my world. I met J at midnight when he crashed at his aunt's house when I was house/teenager sitting. We have done this for our entire marriage. Some nights, he doesn't come home.
When we were childless, I would stay with J for those long hours. I've unpacked par cans, inserted gobos, hung curtains, cut holes in 50 ft flags, held ladders, operated a Genie lift and more. I've run camera, run words, been a stage manager, served the crew food, you name it. I still remember the pain of unraveling about 200 strings of Xmas lights.
It wasn't all drudgery. I've met some of the biggest names in the industry and hung out with their kids and crew. Let's not talk about the time I picked up the talent from the hotel and took the wrong way on the turnpike when he was already running late for sound check.
I am NOT a showbiz kinda girl. I don't get off on being a roadie. What I do enjoy is helping my husband achieve his goals and deadlines. I enjoy spending time with my husband. Sometimes that means that I am keeping him company even though I'm snoring on the front row of seats. It could mean I'm bringing dinner to serve the crew. Or that I'm part of the crew.
In order to learn more about what my husband does and talks about, I started reading his trade publications. Fascinating reads! I could tell you all about the most recent Installations in Vegas or a mega church.
Since becoming a mom, mostly it means being a single parent for a few days or weeks or a month. It means I am the only one that cheers our kids on or that I only cheer one kid on and a friend cheers our other child on across town. It means that if the dishwasher is going to break, it will happen during production week. Or both kids will get sick and I'm the only one to care for them.
I hate it when new production wives call and put pressure on their husbands to go home. I want to yell: "It's for the greater good, Woman!" It seems immature and childish for a woman to call her husband home to what - sleep next to her? Unless your kit says you are ovulating and this is the window, let the man do his job.
Be supportive. Encourage your man. This is especially important when he is nearing crunch time. Don't trouble him about Johnny needing braces. Johnny will still need braces on Monday. Just let it go for a couple of days until after the crunch passes.
Try sending supportive texts or leave messages in his lunch. This was a private text I sent to my husband this morning. I'm sure he will be fine sharing it with you:
"I am so very incredibly proud of you. I know the toll this production has taken on you mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. You have poured your heart and soul into this production to bring glory to God, focus people on Jesus, and to enable people to connect at whatever level they are at. I love you dearly, J."
I'm not a perfect production wife or widow. Nor am I super human. I miss my husband. I miss him in bed next to me. I miss him at the dinner table. He is my best friend so naturally, I miss sharing my day or troubles with him. Our kids miss him.
My husband doesn't just do what he does for a paycheck. He does it because he was born to do this. He does it because he makes a difference in people's lives. He enables and enhances the artists. Don't believe me? Let the artist try singing or talking on stage in the dark or without a microphone.
Yeah, I'm going to be supportive of my husband during production season. Will you?