Who else out there is dealing with a husband gone for long periods of time?

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

I have a 16 month old son that I'm pretty much raising by myself, due to my husband being away at work for long periods of time. He doesn't even have a regular schedule like 2 weeks on and then 2 weeks off. He's just gone for a week here, a month here, 8 weeks here. Sometimes I get him for 15 hours, sometimes a week, sometimes a months. I never know. I just go with the flow of it and try not to let it stress me out. I was just curious how many others out there are like me. Raising their children pretty much on their own, but not totally by themselves. Single moms with benefits! I was also curious, what are the hardest things you experience and what kind of tips you would pass along that make life bearable for you and can help another mom in your situation.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jenny - posted on 06/17/2010

4

4

0

Hi there, My husband in a merchant seaman and is gone 8 to 12 weeks at a time, then he is home again for that long. it can be really hard sometimes, my life saver is routine and organisation as i have a 17 month old boy and a 3 1/2 year old girl. Most of the time i cope fine, it can even be enpowering to know you got through the day all on your own without help from anyone else. But then there are those other days where the kids are sick or just having a bad day or (god forbid) you are sick and you could really do with you partner by your side lending a hand.
It's better now because the ship he is on now has satalite internet, so we can skype every few days. Until recently we only had basic email that was sent once a day and we could only call each other every 3 weeks when his ship returned to Australia. Skype is great as it allows the kids to talk to their dad and see him at the same time. if i could give you a tip it would be to not make a big deal of your husband comming and going, i try to make the day they leave fun for the kids with somthing to distract them eg "daddys leaving now but when he goes we can do this" that way when their dad goes it's not always a bad experience.
My husband just got back Monday 9pm, the kids go to bed by 730pm. i didn't tell them he would be home that night only that he would be home this week ( i didn't keep them up to see him as it would have put their routine out which would have given them a bad night sleep) Maddy came into our bedroom about 3am crawled over her dad said "hi dad" snuggled in between us and went back to sleep. It just goes to show how easily she has excepted him comming and going without the highs and lows associated with it. i hope this has helped you. Good luck in the future and stay strong.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

16 Comments

View replies by

Z - posted on 06/17/2010

8

3

0

"trapped" at home - yes, that's how i feel. I used to go to the theatre twice a month, out for a meal or a few drinks with mates regularly and on a whim, go to art exhibitions, swimming even, now I do nothing but look after my son. When there's no-one to take over in the evenings, or indeed any day, I am stuck indoors and now have lost most of my friends as they can't make plans with me and I can't go anywhere with them anyway.

Z - posted on 06/17/2010

8

3

0

I am a single mum without any benefits! My son's dad is always working and when he does make it back before bedtime, he just over-excites his boy by playing with him without any consideration to the consequences ie.difficulty getting to sleep afterwards. He also does no housework as he has done a full day working and is "tired", regardless of the fact that my day's work is rarely done before 9pm and always starts way before his, at 7am! I have taken my son to playgroups which helps make things less unbearable. However the best thing would be for dad to adjust his working pattern if possible (and I would think in 90% of jobs, it is possible), and give you an entire day off. If he can't or won't, then he may not understand what it is to be a parent. Another thing you may do, is try a creche in a gym, so you can enjoy some sport or even gentle swim. It clears the mind and helps you cope with the stress of being a single parent!

Kim - posted on 06/16/2010

9

0

1

Wow--it is so good to hear that I am not the only one is this boat! My husband is a fireman and is working two different jobs. He is also going to school full time to be a paramedic and with that he has clinical hours and ride hours he has to get in. We are lucky if we see him one or two evenings a week. When we do he is so tired that all he wants to do is sleep. I am a teacher so I am off for the summer--that makes it nice, but now I feel like I need breaks! I am used to it just being my son and I, but on top of that we just got a very high energy puppy. I DON'T KNOW WHAT WE WERE THINKING! He is about to push me over the edge! My 17 month old is always running one way and my puppy is running the other--the exhaust me!! I am not an animal person so that makes it even worse. We decided to to get a dog b/c chances are our son will be an only child (can't have more kids) and he loves dogs and we thought he needed something. Sounded like a good idea at the time---NOT. But, it helps to know that others are out there like me! I also decided to still take our son to the babysitter once a week during the summer. I do have tutoring jobs in the morning, but that one afternoon is my time and boy do I treasure it! Keep your chin up ladies!

Carla - posted on 06/15/2010

3

16

1

My husband is away a lot during the winter and we have a 17-month-old son. Sometimes he's gone a week, sometimes a month. I have had a career and had some pretty tough times in the work force, but none compare to the challenge of raising a little person. If you have family near by, ask for help. My mom is in another city, but once in a while when things get really tough she will come for a visit and it makes all the difference. If you don't have that option, there is the friend child-swap option. If you have a friend with a child who is interested, you take hers for a day and then she repays the favor. Sometimes we just need a day off. Other than that, groups like this are invaluable. Just knowing you are not alone is a huge help. Best of luck to you!

Miranda - posted on 06/15/2010

5

31

0

Yes that is my exact situation and I also work full time myself. It can be hard at times but like you I try to not stress about it. One of the hard things is finding someone to watch my son who is also 16 months old. I have a good support system but sometimes I feel guilty working full time and having to ask someone to watch Cameron even for just a few hours one night. I find I just have to take him along with my alot. A good way to keep contact is through the phone. Now whenever Cameron has the phone or a playphone he says dada...it is so cute! He adores his dad even though he doesn't always see him on a regular basis. When he is home I encourage him to spend time with him and take him on the 4-wheeler etc. I worry about what it will be like when he is older and understands what is going on a little bit more and how that will affect him.

Bonnie - posted on 06/14/2010

1

18

0

really nice to read all your stories! I'm in a similar situation, hubby is a truck driver, and it is really hard some weeks. We never know when he is going to be home, every week is different. He is home at least 2 nights a week though, so it could be worse. I find it can be quite confusing for my 17 month daughter, and she isnt sleeping very well at nights. My hubby tries to help when he is home, but most of the time he's too tired and falls asleep in front of the T.V. So sometimes it feels like I'm alone even when he is there. He does want to help, but I guess I'm so used to doing eveything myself I don't see the point in asking him. I also feel abit guilty because he works 50 to 70 hour weeks, and i get to be a stay at home mum. We try to make a point of doing something fun as a family on the weekends, that helps :) Love the term 'single parent with benifits/financial backing' good one ladies ;)

[deleted account]

interestin cos i find myself in a similar situation.my husband is hadly home for a week before he travels again.even though my 16mos son cant talk i still put him on the fone with daddy evryday. he smiles n tries to say hello & when he's around, they play all day.i'm working & 34wks pregnant, so yes it does become frustrating atimes.like when i have car troubles or just someone there to take over while i sleep. so he tries to get evrythin around the house working n in good condition before travelling.and ofcourse i do have help at home.

ASHLEY - posted on 06/13/2010

1

8

0

MY HUSBAND IS IN THE MILITARY. WE ARE LUCKY ENOUGH NOW TO BE OUT HERE IN KOREA WITH HIM BUT EVEN SO HE STILL WORKS LONG DAYS. JEREMIAH HAS REACHED HIS TEMPER STAGE. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO OTHER THAN PUT HIM IN TIMEOUT...POPING HIS HAND WHEN HE DOES SOMETHIN WRONG DOESNT WORK AND I CANT EVEN THINK ABOUT REALLY SPANKIN HIM RIGHT NOW CUZ HE IS ONLY 18 MONTHS. OH AND TAKIN HIS BOTTLE AWAY HAS NOT HAPPENED ...HE HATES HIS SIPPY CUP!!

Regina - posted on 06/11/2010

9

25

0

We have been attempting to relocate for my hubs new job since December. So he primarily is gone for work. He gets to come home maybe a day or two a week. And we occasionally try to make trips to him, but he works 7a-7p so he doesn't get to see SC on those days. It's very difficult, I have no family in the immediate area, so once SC goes to bed @ 6pm I'm "trapped" @ home. I LOVE taking care of her, but sometimes I just wish I could get a few hour break, a pedicure, a haircut. We are also pregnant again, so nap time has become a necessity for ME! I hope we find a house soon so we can all be back together again!

Mandy - posted on 06/10/2010

2

5

0

i feel ya... my bf is a truck driver so its just me, my 16 month old, and my 1 month old most of the time! It can be really tough some times, especcially right now because of the new baby. But we stay on the phone and talk as much as we can. He comes home when he can during the week, and plays with our oldest son. What makes it so bearable is the fact that because he is doing this I can go to school and stay home with our boys. It is nice though to know that I am not the only one who feels like a single parent with benefits!

Angel - posted on 06/09/2010

32

15

3

Wow, I sometimes feel like a single mom at times, when my husband works a lot, and it's just Mikaela and I all day and evening...but nothing like some of you! I would really try and get a support system, someone who can give you a break, a babysitter if you can afford one, or a relative or friend. Every mom needs a break, especially if she's doing it on her own for the mostpart! Give yourselves a pat on the back for the great jobs you ARE doing too!!

Camille - posted on 06/09/2010

155

14

7

I don't have it quite as bad as you. I feel like a single mom at times, though. My husband is at work 5 days a week and I don't have a driver's license. So it's just me and the toddler home alone, all day, every day. I recommend finding a playgroup or something where the kids can play and the moms can talk. Like La Leche League, toddler gymnastics class, a church/temple/etc group, or just the mall's play area or an outside park. Then on the weekends when my husband is home, I make sure we do something as a family, and he spends some one on one time with our daughter. But I have to remember he does need some time to himself too!

Alisha - posted on 06/04/2010

29

30

8

I also call myself a single mom with financial backing. My husband is a long haul trucker. He is home once a week for one or two days (usually one). I find the toughest thing is having no one there to take the focus off of mommy. What I wouldn't give to have someone else entertain while I make dinner. We do pretty much no TV except when I am making dinner. I find this a cranky time for my 16 month old babe and definately use it as a babysitter so I can get dinner made. I also find I need to get out of the house at least every other day with baby to change the scenery. I also got a 2 day a week 2 hour a day serving job for some mommy mental health time and some extra bucks and it is easy to babysit swap with someone when it is only a few hours. We use Skype too when hubby has internet access. I think he likes it more than the squirmy baby at this point though. I am lucky that he does want to spend lots of time with her when he is home and is very helpful with her.

Melissa - posted on 06/04/2010

15

21

2

well my hubby 2 be isnt gone 4 long periods like that. but he does shift work which either fall 8am-8pm which he then has his supper then go bed doesnt do any wakes in the night and u have 2 beg 2 change a nappy or he does 7pm-8am which all he does is sleep b4 he goes 2 work and the day after. then all he wants 2 do on his days off are stay in the house playin computer, which is has been no help 2 me at all, i also think im finding it alot harder being 34 weeks pregnant as well :(

Vanessa - posted on 06/02/2010

4

10

2

lol i completely understand!, my husband is the same. the best thing you can do is try to keep the bond growing between bub and dad so you dont feel like a 'single' parent.i show ed my little ones photo;s of daddy every day, better if they are together at different stages of bubs life so they know that person has always been there. if you read stories to bub use ''daddy '' instead of persons name in book it helps the kids bond and they have something to ask dad about or show them when he comes home. good luck and remember your not on your own...

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms