So my husband travels for work, a lot. He travels all over the world which is really amazing for him (yes I am a bit envious!) but not so much for the kids and I.
This is a new job for him, while he travelled in the past it was nothing more than a night away a couple times a year. Now he is gone for weeks at a time and seems to be traveling at least once a month. It is hard because I am not use to this. I am happy for him and his amazing job doing something he loves. He really does have a cool job!
It is hard on the kids and I. For 7+ years we have had daddy around and now we might go days or for the kids a week without talking to daddy. He goes away for a night or two and the miss him dearly. Although it isn’t as hard for me I do still miss him.
I miss not being able to pick up the phone and call him during the day. Sending him a text message about something I need his input for. Or seeing him at the dinner table with us. We have been together for 17 years and this is the first time I have had to really have to do it on my own.
Don’t get me wrong, I already got huge flack on Facebook for posting about how taking care of my kids on my own is hard. I understand I am lucky to have him even if he might not be around. But he is such a big part of our family and a huge help for me with my business that after he is gone for a couple of days I am exhausted and stressed. We don’t have a nanny, a babysitter or family close that is there to help when he goes away. It is all me 24/7. There is no girls night out, taking a trip to the mall at the end of a long weekend. I don’t have my late nights working as I am so exhausted I go to bed when the kids do.
So yes I still have a husband and partner to help me raise the kids. He brings home the bacon. But when he is on the other side of the world I am not able to just pick up the phone and call him. If something happened I can’t call him and he hops on a plane and is home in a couple of hours.
The first time he went away to China I had someone take a personal attack on me online. It was 10:30pm and I sat down at my computer to find it unfolding in front of my eyes. I was hurt, scared and angry. But worse I was alone. He was on a plane and had been for the entire day. His flight still had another 5 hours before he landed.
He was my go to person. He was the head of reason and saw things clearly when I had emotion wrapped up in it. I remember sending him an email hopeful that he would turn his phone on the second his plane landed. I didn’t sleep that night, I was worried what else could happen while I slept. I was worried for my kids and my safety while we were alone. I was hopeful he would get my email in the middle of the night and call me.
I waited all night and I never got a response to my panicked call for help. How could I fault him, he was on the other side of the world on business. He had just flown 15 hours, hopped on a train for hours and whisked right into working. I did finally hear from him the next evening.
I was lucky that the next day after I safely dropped my kids at school that my mom came and took me to the mall as a distraction. She stayed that night. Still I wish I had him.
So yes he is still there but if something really serious happened and I needed him right away. It would take a day at least for him to get home.
I don’t feel bad saying that it is hard parenting by myself when he is gone. What it really is, is hard not having him around. If we didn’t have kids and he left me for a week I would still miss him.
Now don’t get me wrong, there are some nice benefits to him being gone. The kids and I get nice one on one time. We go out to dinner and do fun things. We try to make the best of it however we can. We enjoy cuddling on the couch and watching movies together. We make a big mess of Lego and leave it all over the living room for days at a time. There is less laundry, less food to cook, less mess to clean!
I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to travel the world with him. But for now I fear the next trip where he goes to the other side of the world and the kids and I will have to miss him.
At times I think about how I didn’t sign up for being the wife of a husband who travels like he does. But he loves what he does and he gets to experience these amazing adventures that without this he wouldn’t experience. And that makes it all worth it!
Does your spouse travel? How do you get through? Do you have any tricks or tips? Please share as it looks like it is only going to happen more.
- Lindsay Brewda is a graphic designer, owner of GraceAnnouncements.com, wife and mother of two. A chocolate lover and Pearl Jam fan, Lindsay also loves to blog about her crazy life - raising kids while running a business!