Husband to start working out of town

Mandi - posted on 07/21/2010 ( 12 moms have responded )

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After much prayer my husband will be starting a new job with a truck driving company in about a month. I anticipate that he will be gone M-F and some weekends. I am very supportive of this decision and the main reason he is changing from being a welder to a truck driver is for health reasons.

If your husband is out of town a lot, how do you keep him involved in your children's lives and an active participant in the decision making/discipline? When he's home I don't want him to feel like a visitor but nor do I want him coming home and telling me how he thinks things should be done. With all the technology we have today I know it's a lot easier than it was years ago, but this will be a change for both of us and I wanted to gain wisdom and insight from those who have been here. Thanks!

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Jill - posted on 08/02/2010

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my husband has been truck driving for the past 4 yrs... things are no different than before.... he still does stuff with the kids, takes them to karate, goes swimming , still disciplines... still does his share of the chores, we have 3 kids... spends all his down time with me and the kids... he calls them before bedtime and we call him when we wake up in the morning... i like when he is home and i like when he is not home....i can go either way on it... i am so used to this life style.... i don;t know any other way... every job my husband had he was gone 12- 14 hrs a day anyway.... God Bless you and your husband on his new venture and if you have any questions i will help you anyway i can

Christine - posted on 07/25/2010

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Mandi (and Wendy),

Wow - what tough situations! That would be so hard having my honey away Monday-Friday!

My encouragement to the two of you would be to think of two things:

1) How do you keep him updated and involved in discipline now? He's probably gone Monday-Friday right now anyway except for mornings and evenings, so what efforts do you make now to affirm his leadership and involve him in decision making now? How can you increase or make that better if need be?

Once you've thought through that process, sit down with your guys and say something like "So, right now we're communicating this way on the kids, house, etc. I really want to make sure that the kids continue to view you as the leader of our home and I want to make sure you're kept updated on what's going on here so you can make the best decisions for us. How would you prefer that I communicate with you during the week regarding decisions and discipline issues?"

Phrasing your questions a little like that gives him the opportunity to first, feel good that you still want him to lead your family, and second, decide what will work best for him while he's on the road. Be flexible though too! Once he's on the road you may discover that the plan he made doesn't work, so re-visit the conversation if you need to.

2) I was a little concerned when I read the following from both your notes:

"When he's home I don't want him to feel like a visitor but nor do I want him coming home and telling me how he thinks things should be done."

"I also don't want him to try to step in and tell me how he thinks things should be done either since he hasn't been seeing how things flow during the time he is away."

"I am worried that he will want to talk on the phone for hours on end (evenings= down time alone in hotel) and I will lose my patience due to not being able to get things done that I need to."

My concern is this. I can see where you might feel that because he isn't home with you and the kids every day that he might be out of the loop and therefore not capable of making the most informed decisions.

That being said, we as women need to remember that God placed our husbands as heads of our homes and not only when they are capable and well-informed. It is an exercise in faith for us to trust that God is more powerful than our husbands and will lead them to the best decisions even when we don't feel that they are right. Your husbands will feel like visitors in their homes, or worse, if you consistently bypass them and their authority because you don't feel they are capable of making sound decisions. You will be the one leading your home if you don't allow him to "come home and tell you how to do things" at least every once in a while without knowing all the details. After all, is he really in charge if he's only in charge when you want him to be?

That being said there are plenty of things you can do to make sure that he has the information he needs to be the leader in your home! Make a list on your refrigerator, or on a note pad next to your bed of things to talk to him about (or your blackberry if you're a techie). Also, try to get whatever you need to get done completed during the day so that you're free to talk to him at night. If something doesn't get done - leave it to the next day. If it's something that's non-negotiable to leave until the next day (ex: your kids have no more clean clothes) then ask if he can call you an hour later that night so you have time to get some laundry done (or get a bluetooth earpiece so you can talk to him WHILE you get things done). Remember that overall you want a solid marriage and not a clean house.

Sorry, that was a bit more lengthy than I anticipated! I'll be praying for wisdom for you and your guys as you work your way through this difficult maze of communication and responsibility.

Respectfully,

Christie

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Rebecca - posted on 10/29/2010

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My husband has been a truck driver for the past 8 years.

He used to be gone for days, and for a while, weeks at a time. He is now working locally, but still long hours. Most men think they will make more being gone for days/weeks at a time, but most of the time that is not the case.

Our communication was through phone. It depends on the man, but my husband would want to talk all day, as it gets very boring and lonely on the road. I think especially for a Christian who is surrounded by a lot of bad influences on the road, (cb/truck stops/other truckers).

Don't call him whenever there is a problem with the children, that will put more pressure on him. Unless he asks just handle the situation the same way you currently do.

Call him when something new/important happens, keep him involved. Ask him what you can do for him while he is gone.

Pray for his safety, there are many hazards. Pray that he will be kept from the temptations around him.



(After I posted this I noticed this is an old post. Original poster, let us know how everything is going)

Elizabeth - posted on 10/29/2010

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I am so glad that you posted this. I just joined so that I could be a part of this conversation. My husband is just starting a job out of town and will only be home on Saturday and part of Sunday. We have 4 children together (triplets plus one) and I am in graduate school. Not only have I been crying in anticipation of missing him, but I am wondering how my children will handle it and how I will handle the pragmatics of every day, stay strong, and be a good wife, mother, and student. I look forward to reading how other women handle this. Thank you!

Carla - posted on 08/03/2010

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Christine, good (but lengthy lol) answer! Skype with webcam is great, and can make hubby feel more a part of things, and also let the children see him and take away the fears of him being away so much. This is going to be very stressful for them, too. Make sure you both cut them a little slack, feelings-wise. You will both need extra prayer covering. Pray for hubby, have him pray for you, then you both pray for the kids.



It is hard for a family to be separated. Wisdom dictates a lot of grace be given to each member to get their feelings and emotions in order.



You are in our prayers, God bless.

Christine - posted on 08/01/2010

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Mandi -

Glad you found it helpful! I think that in either case where the husband is criticizing the mom, obviously that's not desirable at all. Especially when he's not there to make the calls on certain things, however, it's also up to the mom to go to her husband and say "Honey, are you criticizing me because you didn't feel involved in the decision, or because you truly don't think I did the right thing?" and with either answer he gives say "What would have changed about how I would handle that?" Certainly we don't want to be doormats, but if we have that openness, a lot of times our husbands will see that "Hey, you know what, I wasn't around so she made a judgement call" or "There wasn't any other way for her to involve me." But rather than us saying "You weren't around" which sounds like a judgement or "There wasn't a way to get in touch with you" which sounds like an excuse, we let them see for themselves that they're being a little irrational :) BUT I have to say that sometimes he comes back at me with a way that I COULD have done something differently and I have to say "Oh, okay, I see your point and I'll do it that way next time."

Good luck again to you!

Mandi - posted on 07/26/2010

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Thanks for all the help! I have never heard of Skype but I have heard about webcams so I will be checking out Skype now too. The nightly prayers sounds good too. I am pretty much responsible for night time and although he is home in the evenings he needs a lot of prodding to get hands-on involved with our daughter. I am hoping that he will feel a lot better when he is on the road than now because he's working all day out in the sun (or if it's winter in the cold) and he comes home drained, exhausted, and only wants to sleep. I am praying that we are able to get lots of quality time together on the weekends and that once he is comfortable we will be able to go on the road with him occasionally.

Christie--Thanks for all the advice. I guess my fear of him coming home to just criticizing me and my efforts is from my childhood and comments his mom has made about his dad. In both situations the moms were basically told they weren't doing a good enough job or didn't make the right decision (my dad was home every evening and his dad was a truck driver back in the 1980s so it's changed a lot). Anyway..thanks for the insight!

God Bless!

Shalaina - posted on 07/26/2010

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I agree with Alisha plus make sure to keep him updated everyday if possible on what the children have done that day (good and bad), if something did happen that they needed disciplined tell him how you handed it and also ask him his opinion on the subject. I also like how she said to have an evening prayer with everyone. If you can't Skype just having him on the (speaker) phone for prayer and to say goodnight when you tuck them in will be great for everyone. Good luck!

Wendy - posted on 07/25/2010

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My husband just started a new job this past week that involves travel. It isn't driving, but it does require him to travel for 2 weeks at a time, and they are saying now that they will have it so that he gets a week at home before leaving for another 2 weeks.

I have had the same questions going through my mind. How do I keep him involved and make it seem like he's not missing out on everything (and that scares me because what if he would quit his job and we wouldn't have that income). I also don't want him to try to step in and tell me how he thinks things should be done either since he hasn't been seeing how things flow during the time he is away. Technology definitely makes it easier since we can talk on the phone each night.

I am looking for others who have been here or are here too to get wisdome and advice. I am worried that he will want to talk on the phone for hours on end (evenings= down time alone in hotel) and I will lose my patience due to not being able to get things done that I need to.

Candi - posted on 07/25/2010

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wow, coming from a family of truck drivers, I really hope you both understand, Truck Driving is one of the unhealthiest occupations out there. It leads to poor diet, back trouble, fatigue, and a long list of other complications. On your question, make sure to take lots of pictures, attend special events, get involved with all your kids' activities. Don;t stop doing things b/c your husband isn't there. When he comes in, keep your schedule and he will figure it out. Believe me, my husband is in the military and he is never home(it seems), but we took lots of pictures, let the kids talk to him on the phone, kept busy with church, school, scouts, dance, etc. Good luck!

Becky - posted on 07/25/2010

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My father-in-law is over the road and I also have a friend whose husband is out about 3 weeks at a time. I would just encourage you to keep the lines of communication open. I will keep you all in my prayers

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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Skype is great! You could be prayerful and perhaps even call him to pray with you and the kids before bed.

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