Ask me ANYTHING! What’s it like having a spouse that travels for work?
Happy Monday all ya’ll beautiful people!
I’ve used Monday’s for random musings, but a question from an old friend about having a spouse that travels for work changed that for now.
I’m open and honest about my experiences and give no nonsense answers. I’ve lived a different life than a lot of folks. Currently, I’m a busy mom, trying to have a successful romance writing career while jump starting a second one as a fitness blogger and health coach, and homeschooling her kids in a third world country with her spouse away two to three weeks a month.
Granted, throughout my 15 years of marriage, my husband has always traveled a lot. Within a week of both births and for six weeks in a row when both the kids were in diapers. But it is what it is. And that brings us back to my old friend who messaged me recently with a question, (the clouds parted, and the sun shone through because I have a rule NOT EVER to give unsolicited opinions or advice. It can and will bite you in the ass at some point but open season if someone asks a question. YEA!)
“Hey! So, my husband and I are contemplating a move/change of occupation that may put him on a schedule where he has to be far away from us weekly. Can I ask what your experience has been like? The awesomeness and the ugly.” – friend
I’m glad she included the ugly because honesty can sometimes be ugly and I don’t sugar coat anything… sugar coated bullshit is still bullshit. But I always provide some advice on how to make it better. I can find the positive in most situations; there’s always a silver lining. But sometimes folks just need to get the fuck over it first.
Okay, so here we go: How is it to have your husband travel for work?
It can SUCK! It’s hard, lonely, and overwhelming at times. You have to do it all; you’re mom, dad, housekeeper, teacher, tutor, and chef. I’m sure I missed something because honestly, it’s a fuckton of work. It can place a lot of strain on your marriage, your relationship with your children and your relationships with others because, quite frankly, you don’t have a whole lot of time for anyone else in your life when you have a spouse that travels.
Okay, that’s the ugly and inevitable so here are ways to minimize the effect of all that crap. These are also helpful for any busy parent juggling 20 balls in the air at once.
I’m going to talk about one a week but here’s the complete list.
- Schedule and set alarms for freaking everything.
- Learn to say no.
- Talk – Bargain /Negotiate – Live by the deal.
- It is what it is.
This week I’m going to cover scheduling and setting alarms for freaking everything. As a super busy SAHM with ADD and a husband who travels I set alarms and live by my schedule. It is so easy for something to slip because it isn’t staring at you in the face. Or perhaps I’ve trained my brain to react when I hear a bell like Pavlov’s dog. Regardless, scheduling almost every minute of the day and setting alarms for all the necessities like taking kids to school/schools, grocery shopping, showering, and if you need reminder’s of upcoming alarms set those too! Find what works for you!
You might think you don’t need to do this, maybe you do all the little things yourself already, but trust me when I say it’s different without someone to bitch to about the chatty-slow cashier at the grocery store when you have five minutes until you’re late at the end of the day. It just is. So, sit down and jot down what your day will be like when your spouse is away. There’s additional work for a spouse to leave as well like packing or zoning to make sure you don’t forget anything, so keep that in mind as well.
I highly recommend you schedule some me time for yourself as well. I’ve been getting up at least an hour before the kids normally do since birth. It was the only quiet time I have, and it’s necessary for my sanity.
Unfortunately, If you’re the parent of an infant or toddler pay no attention – Do what you can when you can especially if you have more than one running around. You will not always have a clean house, your laundry will never be ‘caught up,’ and it’s okay to take a nap when they do.
Next Monday – The fine art of saying, ‘No’ and not giving a fuck what people that don’t matter to you think about it.
If you’d like to Ask Me ANYTHING, send me a note but expect a no bullshit response.