Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Traveling Man's Wife: Survival Guide

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As many of you know, I'm the wife of a husband who flies out every week for work. When he first started I was always looking for mother's in similar situations for any advice and just someone who knew the life to relate to. Come to find out there are so many families out there in the same situation. That's just how a lot of businesses work these days. So after over a year at this job here's my two cents on how to survive with no husband for the week and 2 kids at home.

1. Just learn to expect looks of pity when people find out your husband travels each week or make. It is tough having your husband gone a lot, but there are ways of making it work and still be a close and happy family regardless of what some people may think.

2. Friends keep you sane! I don't know what I would do without friends to talk to, do things with and rely on when Eric's away. Especially since we don't have the good fortune of living super close to family.

3. The kids ALWAYS get sick when dads gone. This has rung true just about every time one of my girls have been sick. Luckily Eric is home by the time I catch it.

4. The meaning of bedtime will take on a whole new meaning! Some days its all I can do to put the girls to bed with a final push of patience and then go sit on the couch with a bowl of cereal and a guilty pleasure show and not move for a couple hours and convince myself I can make it through another day. Don't we all have those days as mother's regardless of it our husbands travel or not?!

5. Take some "ME" time! Going week after week taking care of someone else's needs 24/7 it's important to take some time and do something the rejuvenates you. The other night when Eric was home for the weekend I grabbed my stuff and headed to Barns and Noble to do some studying for some classes I'm taking. Normally studying isn't something I jump for joy in terms of doing, but being able to have some time to do something for me without Mia whining for a drink of water while Livy is crying because she is hungry was so rejuvenating!

6. It's ok to ask for help. This is something I've really had to work on as I like to be Miss Independent and would only ask for help in extreme circumstances. Like when I was 7 months pregnent with Livy and had been throwing up for 6 hours with Mia on her 3rd movie until I finally called my sister for help. She was a pure saint and drove a hour with her own baby to come take care of mine.

7. When it come to having younger kids, forget having a schedule and just go day to day. Some days I get a lot done and some days, depending on how things are going, we just chill around the house in our pj's.

8. Find different ways to keep in touch with your traveling spouse. Eric and I try really hard to keep each other involved in each other's day regardless of how far away he is. For example, we made a goal to send each other at least a picture daily, we send texts throughout the day and then video chat in the evening with the girls.

9. It gets easier and becomes a normal lifestyle over time. Confession...the first week or two are probably the roughest and is a tiring adjustment, but I learned that after getting into a routine and getting use to it, it gets a lot easier and becomes the norm.

10. Find joy in the situation. Eric loves his job and I even love some aspects about it too however as with any job there are always downside and being away from your husband is one of them. I've found that it's made Eric being gone so much better when I go about it with a good and supportive attitude. Of course, he feels bad that he has to leave a lot and it makes him feel even worse when I sit and complain about how hard it is sometimes. So for both our sakes I try to have a positive and happy attitude about it and Eric comes home ready to take care of the kids and help me when he gets that chance.

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  1. This is an excellent post! For the first 18 months of our marriage my husband traveled a lot for work. He was gone two weeks out of every month. Just last April, he got a different job (with the same company) and now he's home every day.

    What you have written here is SO true!

    1. Thanks! Wow that would be so nice! We're hoping one day it can be kind of like that without having to switch jobs.


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