My husband travels a lot for his job. He attends conferences all over the country. This leaves me in charge of the house and the kids.
If you have a spouse who travels a lot, you know how hard it can be for everyone involved. There are still times I want to cry my head off, but there are ways to make it easier. A crazy travel schedule can be hard, but if you are intentional about things, you can make it work for you, not against you.
Are any of these situations familiar?
- You attend functions with friends, but feel like the odd one out with no spouse there.
- You have to plan birthday parties around your husband’s schedule, and this makes you a bit upset.
- You are a fabulous texter.
- You feel a little bummed that you aren’t eating out each day.
- You put on make- up and your kids say, “Oh, is Dad coming home today?”
- When people finally meet your husband people say to him, “So you do exist?”
- Your children crawl into your bed with you as soon as he leaves.
- You are fairly independent.
- You try not to feel bitter as you drive the kids all over the world to their activities.
- You steal your husband’s socks out of his drawer. (I may be the only one who does this.)
While I laugh about it, it can be very difficult to keep from feeling resentful
I go from telling him I am tired of it and cannot endure it another day, to feeling thankful he has a job that makes a difference, and provides us a living. While I hate having him gone, I am also proud of his hard work. In between SOS texts and frenzied phone calls, I try to do these three things to help things stay a bit calmer and happier.
At times, I would much rather grumble about my tough job. It is hard being a single parent. Not only that, it gets lonely without him at home. It is so tempting to be negative and feel a little sorry for myself. But I am catching on to something. When I choose to be that way, I always feel worse. It does no me good. When I ask about his day, and stay interested in his progress, it makes us feel like a team. The distance is hard enough, if there is bitterness or anger between us, we feel even further apart. A simple kind text can change the tone of the day.
This helps me to focus on the bigger picture. He will sometimes call for prayer right before he goes on stage to speak. When I am praying for him, I usually have a more patient and positive attitude about his trips. It doesn’t matter how far away he is, prayer connects us instantly. I can find myself feeling a little frantic when he is gone, so prayer helps anchor my emotions. It often keeps me from total melt down, is what I am trying to say. And it’s just plain comforting telling God how I am feeling.
Oh, we fail at this. But we will not give up! We have had small kids from the beginning of time. It can be tricky finding the chance to go out, but it is so important. It can be as simple as grabbing coffee or going for a drive. It’s like pushing a reset button, isn’t it? When I return home from a two hour outing, I walk into our home, kneel down and hug my children joyfully. My lilting voice full of motherly affection. They look at me confused, because when I left them, I was hollering in a strained voice to nobody in particular, and wringing my hands. When I go out on a date with my husband, I am reminded that I am a wife, a woman, a friend. Not just mom. I am also able to eat food I didn’t have to prepare, and that makes me over-the-moon-happy.
You see, when Scott and I began our marriage, we didn’t just do dishes, fold laundry and mow lawns. We laughed, sang to music in the car, and kissed a lot. This should still be a main theme in our relationship! Laugh, sing, kiss. And repeat as needed.
If your husband travels, how do you make the best of a tough situation? I would love some more ideas!