Working full-time with a traveling husband

April - posted on 01/22/2010 ( 59 moms have responded )

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I am new to the group. I have a very unique situation and maybe there are some of you out there in the same boat as me. I have two kids 8 and 3 and I work full time. My husband travels for work and I really am sick of hearing from my friends and neighbors "I don't know how you do it/" Well I just do. My job is challenging and rewarding. I went to college at the University of Utah. My husband and I have a close relationship over the phone we talk all day long. Only a few hours go by without saying hello. I don't know anyone else in my situation. Do any of you work as much as I do? I am have a great daycare provider who lives right down the street from me and my family lives very close too. My husband has a buisness where he remodels hotels so he is gone sometimes for weeks.....and weeks, and weeks.

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Jane - posted on 01/31/2014

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Wow I am so glad to have found this community. I imagine many woman who find this group do so because they are stressed out and looking for support. I definitely fit that description. I work full time with a 30+ minute commute each way. We have a 15 month old. My spouse works away from home M-F. I am so stressed out that I sometimes find it difficult to be nice to my significant other (SO). I am guilty of flying off the handle, resentment, hostility, all those emotions I'm sure we have all felt and sometimes have a hard time repressing.
The thing is, I never wanted kids. I actually love being a mom now and think the world of my boy. He brings me a lot of joy. But I didn't get married and have a kid so that I could be a single parent 5 of 7 days a week. When we got married, I had no idea my SO wanted to take a traveling job some day. When the opportunity first came up, I said please don't. I don't want to live that way.
Well, since my SO hasn't been able to find other local work, the traveling job became the way to bring in money.
The money is good and we need it, so I can't complain about that. I try so hard to be positive and appreciative, but I'm so stressed out that it is difficult.
Example. My SO came home today after 5 days away. Our son is sick so I have been at home with him all day. He is so whiny and screams, and I just can't take it. Finally it's Friday and I am really looking forward to some relief. Well, after only an hour home my SO guess to the store to pick up a few things and ends up being gone for nearly two hours. I flipped out. I feel terrible, but I need peace and quiet too. I've been cooped up and alone with this screaming pukey monster all week. Is it really too much to ask for a few hours of relief.
I love my family but I'm starting to hate my life.

Christine - posted on 10/08/2012

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April - I hear ya. I have a traveling husband, who is away for weeks at a time. Our kids are 7 and 9, and we have been doing this for 5 years now. At first, I had to deal with daycare, and now they are both in school, so it is a little easier. I work 10 hour days, rush home in time to get the kids off the bus (which they have been on for an hour and 20 minutes), and rush them back to town for judo or kickboxing. When we get home, we have an hour and a half to do homework, cook, eat, shower, and go to bed. We read at bedtime (8 pm), for a half an hour, and then all go to sleep. I get up at 4:30 am, so I don't get that alone time after they go to bed. Unless you count sleeping! I do not talk to my husband every day. Although he likes to talk on the phone, I simply don't have the time. I am either at work, or running around trying to get stuff done. He does help out when he is home, however, he needs to be reminded of everything. I am so used to doing everything myself, I can certainly remember to tell him what he needs to do next. Luckily, he doesn't mind. One thing I can tell you about your neighbors and friends wondering how you do it -- You are lucky. Obviously, other people notice that you are doing an excellent job under your particular situation. My friends and family stopped saying that long ago, and I sometimes feel as though no one notices my struggles anymore. It makes you feel even more alone. I try to think of it as though I make it look easy, so that is why no one says that to me anymore. Good luck to you!

NISHA - posted on 08/13/2012

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HI..
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[deleted account]

Most important thing is to build your support group and make sure you get time for yourself so you have something to give back to your family. My husband is a pilot and is gone for 3-4 days a week and every month that changes, so planning anything is a challange. My oldest is in Kindergarten now which helps, my youngest goes to daycare. I am fortunate to be able to work from home FT ut I need them out of the house so I can actually work, then I have a PT job outside the home and do consulting. As soon as the hubby gets his schedule, I sit down an start getting back up where I need it. I aso have a housekeeper twice a monthwhich is a must and worth every penny.

[deleted account]

Hi April,
I thought I had a unique situation also but I've found that many happily married people are living apart for long periods because of a job. I have 5 boys with their ages ranging from 6 to 21. It was hard to adjust but we're making it work. My husband works for a company called Siemens and his job is based in Chicago. He manages the Service Department for the country. He comes home every weekend.

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Mrs - posted on 03/05/2014

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I have a big question I hope someone can answer me back please....
I have an 8 years old son the only child very sweet caring and obedient. Now my husband has gone to another country for 4 months on some project. The son is changing though I am gentle and friendly with him he cries on petty things and ignores if I tell me not to whine etc and says strange things about himself like says he's stupid and stuff like that. I never said that to him. But I am afraid that he will get negative feelings in his head and I don't want that. Then he says he misses his father. I asked him if someone at school tells him that he is stupid or bullies him he says no. The teacher also said that he's very obedient. I don't know what happened to him? Is it really true that he is missing his father and we will be moving to another country so he's not accepting the change?

Christy - posted on 01/27/2014

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Hi I am new to this. I never knew this existed, just stumbled across it. I'm glad to know that I now have a place were I can express my feelings and know how other wives cope with dealing with having a traveling husband.

I have 2 kids, work full time and my husband travels a couple weeks a month. He usually leaves Thursday and comes home Monday and sometimes will be gone every weekend for 3-4 weeks. He attends auto shows and has to entertain clients at night. It makes it difficult to sleep at night when he is gone and out late. We live pretty well but I am starting to realize that it's not worth it. I'd rather have my husband at home. My son suffers from his Dad being gone all the time and missing all family activities since it's usually on the weekends. My son's teacher even brought it up during a meeting we had.

I was just wondering how do I cope with it? I have no real hobbies plus my kids are with me all the time.

Jennifer - posted on 04/02/2013

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Hi my name is Jenn. I just joined for pure support. I am a working mom, whose job is somewhat political. I commute at least 40 minutes one way to work. My husband has a 12 year old child from his first marriage, who we now will have full custody of starting in June, at the end of his school year. We also have a 2.5 year old who is EVERYTHING to me. My husband had lost his job 3 times last year and has now taken on a job, as of January, where he travels full time. We got very behind in our bills due to me being the only income and he has to make a certain salary for us to be able to live. He wasn't left with much of a choice in jobs. He leaves on Sunday evenings and arrives home late Thursday evenings. I am finding myself very resentful that i am doing it all on my own. Work, doctors appointment, daycare, taking days off of work if our child is sick, making decisions that impact all of us etc. I too have created a pretty strict routine just in order to be able to get everything done. I am exhausted and this is NOT the family dynamic that i wanted for my son. We unfortunately do not have family around to help either. I am also not one who asks for help very easily. I am looking for other moms to vent to who understand the day to day struggles. Most of my friends here have a lot of family to help them out or have their husbands who are home by 5pm. Thank you for letting me vent. Any time saving/energy saving tips is appreciated! :)

Summer - posted on 10/29/2012

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I dont have a husband but I have a fiance and a 5 year old. Recently we have been going through a lot of stress financially and now he is heading north to those storms because he works for GA power and I may not see him for weeks. He is so stressed that the little bit of time we do have in between trips have been not so perfect and I am just so frustrated because "I am a worrier". I know that relationships must go through things and its the outcome that will show whether we will prevail but I feel so alone sometimes .... all the household stuff, all the bills, the child, just a lot of stress. I am so supportive dont get me wrong I have never said this stuff to him, BUT I am super emotional. :(

Kristen - posted on 10/07/2012

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I am a full time teacher with 2 kIds and my husband works in a new position (not by choIce) out of state mon-fri he comes fri night and leaves sun night vetting difficult doing it all. I hear ya!

Julia - posted on 07/28/2012

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Hi April, I am also new to the group. Gosh, do I know how you feel! I am in a simalar situation. I am a mother of 2 young boys (4 and 2). I am in a very high pressured corporate job that takes alot of my time and energy. My husband works away from home, and is away for weeks at a time. His line of work is wildlife - and that means that he travels to remote locations, and doesnt always have cellphone contact. We do not talk until very late in the evening. My nanny starts in the morning (while my boys are at school) and then leaves as I get home. So I practically have two full time jobs!! It's exhausting!!! All my collegues say the same thing "how do you do it?". I just do - because I do not have any other option. My hubby and I have been married for 7 years... and we have always been close... but now... things are taking there toll I'm afraid. I am absolutely burned out, stressed and have no friends.. as all my extra time is spent on being a good mother to my children. What to do.....

April - posted on 07/09/2012

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Hello another April :) I am in the exact same situation except I am a full time student. I take at least 15 hours a semester of classes and have successfully completed a couple of 18 hour semesters. I have four children: 7, 6, two 5 year olds, and I have two step-daughters, ages 11 and 10. My husband does remodels for big box retail stores around the US and is gone from mid-February to the end of November, and a week each in Dec and Jan. I never know when he's going to come home and like your husband, mine is gone for WEEKS at a time with only a few days home when he gets here. I get SOOO sick of hearing "I don't know how you do it" comments too. It just works. I don't have any other choice, so I find a way to make it happen. I've heard the comments like "you've got your hands full, don't you?" so often, I finally started answering with "tell me about it", or "you think?", and while that's kind of rude of me, them steering me away from focusing on my children when I'm clearly busy just for a comment like that is frustrating.

I commend you on the job that you are doing. As a society, we are so lazy that when someone does something like you are that should seem absolutely normal, some are amazed by it. There are people who just don't get it and never will. And people who don't understand ask and make ignorant comments. I mean, honestly, what is the difference between you, a married, working mother with children in your situation, and a single, working mother with children? You have the support, friendship, and love of a husband, even if it's just over the phone. You're definitely not alone. :)

Heather - posted on 07/07/2012

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Ummmm, I thought I was the only one! Husband is a OTR truck driver, me a stay at home mom for the time being til the three year old gets into kindergarten. My children are 18, 17, the twins are 7, 5 and 3.Yes six! I do it ALL by myself with no friends or family in the area to lean on. One of my twins is on the autism spectrum which adds to the stress of being alone. My husband comes home on the weekends but not your normal weekend. He may arrive on Saturday, sometimes on Sunday. Never get a full weekend. I wish I had friends in town, I feel alone. I am fairly quiet and don't usually start up a conversation unless someone chatty sits next to me. I rarely have a babysitter for my kids. If my teens watch the four young ones it's for me to run an errand or grocery shop. I never get out!

Lonely - posted on 06/29/2012

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I am frustrated, lonely, depressed, and broken hearted, but can put on a smile and no one but my closest friends would know.
Hi, I am new to the group and so is my problem. Let me start off by saying I am a 31 year old female who married her high school sweet heart and the one and only true love of my life next to our son who is now 4 yrs. old. We have been together for 16 years but married for 6. I am a teacher by day and loner by night (that's after the lil one goes to sleep).
My husband had a stable job but started to hate it after 6 years of mistreatement. He decided to do something different about 5 months ago and put himself through truck driving school which I was cool with but asked him to please only take a truck driving job that would allow him to be home every night. He keep working and took classes on the weekend until he finished. When he finished his classes he was offered a job running a dedicated route. I thought to myself great, he will be doing what he wants to do and can still be home every night. Boy was I wrong.
He quit the other job and went for orientation for this new job but decided not to take the job because he would be gone for 4-6 weeks before being able to come home to actually start the actual truck driving job (dedicated route). Matter a fact, he talked to a guy we know who asked him to come apply with the company he work with, which was a construction company. My husband came home and got the job and has been working with the guy who is now his supervisior. The company put them up in hotels (two men to a room). He and his supervisor share a room now. He has been with them about a month now. He is mostly gone from Monday to Friday and stationed about 75 miles away from home, so I thought. That was the first 3 weeks he worked but he was sent with this crew to another state 8 hours away and will drive to another state in a few days about 8 to 11 more hours away from that state. He left on 06/18 and want be home until 07/04 and he thinks I should be cool with it. Don't get me wrong, the money is good and he is a dam good provider and always have been. But let me back track for a minute.
I do not trust my husband because of things he has done in the past. He used to work with a lot of females. He also got a few of his boys from his hometown hired; they rode and worked together anywhere from 1-4 years. I found many cell numbers mostly from females who he worked with or was from around that area. He used to tell me stories about people having sex on the job. So I thought to myself maybe he was too. He did start to work every weekend at one point and even work holidays and long weekends for the extra pay so he said. Pay in which he devoted all to his family and I thank him for that.
We had many arguments about him working so much and not spending time with us. He hardly ever had off but yet had time to talk to other females and not to mention an ex who he crheated on me with back in high school and several other times. She had a child and he always blame their conversations (when she comes back in the picture) on her claiming the child is his, in which he says he thinkshe is not his because the child looks like her now husband. WHAT??????? (I could go on and on about this one, but I'll stop here).
So I thought the job change would be a good idea too but things have gotten worst lately. After the job changes he started to become more arrogant, don't want to go anywhere with me, gets and attitude when we are together, loves to watch porn. I even recently found a picture of a girls vagina in his phone which he claims was saved from a text message sent by his supervisor/friend. I've recently become paranoid that he is cheating. I even did a lil research and found a few emails (not too too big of a deal though), but the dating website threw me for a loop. Then, I am wondering if he is gay. Again, WHAT??????? It is like I am screaming but nothing is coming out. Now I am too the point where I am like what the F_ _ _ K!!!!!
I am sorry y'all but I already told you I was frustrated, lonely, depressed, and broken hearted.
When I asked him about the cheating, of course he denies it and guess what???? He just so happens to be working in the same state as the ex that keeps popping up in the picture. I talk to him everyday sometimes up to 20 times a day. So frustration comes from still taking care of everything while he is gone which includes our son, cooking, cleaning, washing, and exercising all functioning off of sometimes 3-4 hours sleep mostly because I can't sleep. I watch TV and surf the Internet with a glass of wine (or few).
I am the model wife most of the time and would do anything to please my husband, but now I am getting tired. I am stressed, now on meds for high blood pressure, and cry alot. I do not know what to do. I can't prove that he is having sex with other females or males but have a deep gut feeling that women get and you know what they say about that. I do not know what to do or where to turn. I love my husband and family and don't want to lose it and our son loves and misses him so much just like I do but it does not seem to bother my husband much at all unless he calls and I am not at home. If it was not for our son, I don't think I could make it. But I think this marriage is coming to an end slowly but surely. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

Laura - posted on 04/11/2012

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I just wanted to share an amazing resource for all of you amazing women www.plane-janes.com it is full of women just like us AND we are hopeful that we can grow it, build it and produce something amazing for women who will join this crazy life:) We need your support and your stories! Come check it out:)

Jeannine - posted on 04/11/2012

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Seems like a lot of us are in the same boat (or plane). We should all be spokespeople for Nike, the "Just do it" phrase is our motto.

I only work part time time in the afternoons for payment. The mornings I am finding different choreography and music to teach in my Zumba class.

Lately I'm beginning to feel as if my husband is only my financial support. Like he's only a border in the house.

He travels three weeks, and then he's home a week. All he's got to do each day is log in his time, and maybe take a phone call during the week. Sometimes he comes home for the weekend, sometimes not. I never complain about the weeks that he's gone. The kids (13 and 9) and I get into this routine, and it seems like we are running on auto-pilot (still funny). It's the weeks that he's home that irk me most times.

I've always assumed (and probably shouldn't have) that my chores and duties should be reduced a little when he's home. He's home this week. I came home from work last night, and homework wasn't started, the kids haven't eaten and the kids chores were minimal chores were done. I had 15 minutes to change clothes, feed kids, and remind them about homework and chores before I had to run my son to trumpet lessons and go to my Zumba class.

I think most of that should have been done to help me out.

I found my husband on his computer when I got home, on Facebook. UUUUUGH!

Said he didn't know about chores and homework. HELLO! Did you see my kids are 13 and 9? Homework is not new!!

Maybe I just needed to vent to people who know what I am going through. My husband really does work hard some weeks, and it can't be easy being away from your family for a long period of time. I'd like to try it for a while.... LOL..... don't have to make my bed, don't have to let dogs out, don't have to clean, grocery shop, cook, homework, OMG! Seriously? what a week!! Just working and taking care of myself: shower when I want, go to the gym when I want, eat when I want. Can't be all bad. (Yes, I do get a little jealous of him).

Anyhow my husband and I had a big discussion about this a few hours ago, and he told me to "deal with it". Oh how my feelings were hurt. I thought that's what I have been doing.

Ashley - posted on 03/21/2012

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I work, too! I actually think I would find it harder to be home full-time without the distractions of my job. I need that break from my children. Going to work is my "me" time. My kids LOVE their daycare and have great social skills because of it. It works for me. :-)

Laura - posted on 03/05/2012

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I am not sure if you still follow this, but I just started a support blog for moms whose husband's travel.

www.plane-janes.com

I encourage you to come and share your story. I invite guest bloggers all the time so we can learn from one another how to struggle well. It is not easy mamma- hang in there!

Francesca - posted on 12/07/2011

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We have two kids, 5 and 2. I work full time, and it's now starting to be the case that I need to travel as well a few days a month. So on the weeks my husband's not traveling, I might be gone a few nights. (So far it's never happened that both of us HAD to be gone the same week...)

We don't have family local. Sometimes we can fly in a grandparent to help out with childcare, since my parents are and his mom are retired and his father has a very flexible work schedule. We have a great nanny who's been with us since the beginning, and we depend on her a bunch!

For those who were mentioning the difficulty of a social life when you're new to the area, not single and not a couple... I looked for Mom's night out groups specifically. I have a book club that meets once a month to discuss books, but also meets irregularly for movies, coffee, shopping, etc. These ladies are my lifeline!

Michelle - posted on 08/29/2011

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I only have one baby but I am hesitant to have another for this very reason. We both have to work and I already feel so bad for my son because his daddy is not home 3 days a week most weeks...What to do?

Amy - posted on 06/09/2010

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Hi all, well much like all of you i am also in this position, i have a very stressful, full time job,( but arent most peoples jobs stressful) my husband works away from home for 3-4 months then comes home for 6 weeks.
it is difficult, but you do what you have to do.
I am considering getting a cleaner in to hlep as the "big clean" of our house every week is really difficult.
My sons is adjusting to our lifestyle and now accepts that Daddy goes away to work.
To all of you , keep up the wonderful work , being a mammy isnt the easiest job but for me it is certianly rewarding.
xx

Felicia - posted on 05/26/2010

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OMG!! I FEEL YOU SO MUCH. TOTALLY UNDERSTAND I GET SO MANY OPINIONS ABOUT MY HUSBAND HAVING A SMALL CONSTRUCTION BUSS IN TORTOLA,B.V.I IF THIS IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN HANDLE FORGET THE REST. YOU KNOW THE PHRASE OPINIONS ARE LIKE!!##.... THE KIDS ADJUST TO THE LIFESTYLE TOO MY TWO YEAR OLD TELLS ME DADDY CAN FLY BACK HOME AND KNOWS THAT HE WILL CALL OR WE WILL CALL HIM EVERY NIGHT AND SHE LOOKS FORWARD TO THAT. KEEP DOING WHAT YOU DO AND IT WILL PAY OFF IN THE END. BLESSINGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY***

Lisa - posted on 05/26/2010

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Audra, I so feel your pain..... my husband too is a Journeyman electrician, and too likes to yack on the phone. Love him dearly, but at times I long for just a few minutes of quiet times.... I also work full time in a demanding job.... My kids however are older.... so different in that way.....

Audra - posted on 05/26/2010

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I feel alone, but I see that I am not! My husband is a journeyman electrician and travels allllllllll the tiiiiiiiime. I have a 3 year old daughter, 22 month old son, and am 17 weeks pregnant! I also work full-time for an attorney. So, I have demanding children, a demanding husband, and a demanding boss! So, no time for me!! My husband likes to talk on the phone, and I DO NOT. I feel bad for him, because he's all alone working, but I just like to talk on the phone if I need to ask a question...or if he needs something. It's so annoying when he wants to sit on the phone for 30 minutes and there's nothing to say! I love him, but I like my quiet time after the kids go to bed so I can clean up and watch tv in peace:) I get little to no help from family, so it's just me basically. I hear "how do you do it?" all the time, but I just tell them that it is very hard and some days you just have to take it MINUTE BY MINUTE. Love my babies though! My daughter is finally getting the hang of potty training. I hope to have the older two trained before the new one gets here in October! Stay strong ladies!

Yasmine - posted on 05/21/2010

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I am at the same situation as you are, I love my job which is a full time ob and my husband is a flight attendant, and that makes him away most of the time, but I know for a fact that my baby boy is happy and well, so I don't care for the talk that I hear about leaving my job and try to act as a good mom

Cassie - posted on 05/09/2010

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My husband currently lives about 4 1/2 hours away for work. It is hard. He has also been in the military and gone for months at a time. I try to remember that he is sacrificing also and that many other moms are doing the same things we are. When I started asking around, I was amazed at how many women are in the same boat.

We are strong. We do what needs to be done. Try not to compare yourself to other "normal" families. This is what normal is to us: Dad gone for a week or two before we see him and then only for a day and a half before he leaves to go back to work. My teenage daughter and preteen son have realized how much their father loves them to sacrifice living with us. We are so fortunate to have e mail, text messaging and cell phones to keep in contact. Many years ago when he was deployed we had to wait for mail because phone calls were too expensive and while he was at sea there was no contact.

Build yourself a support group. When people ask what they can do to help, take them up on it. I have had friends babysit because family is too far away. My kids now have many "aunts and uncles" that love them dearly. I also try to keep a positive attitude. There is always someone worse of than I am. I am very thankful that I can work and so can my husband. We are not homeless and we are making ends meet. Our house my be messy but there is plenty of love to go around.

Katie - posted on 04/09/2010

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Its great to hear so many others in the same situation! I like Andrea's comment- not everyone COULD do what we do! We are pretty fabulous mothers :) I don't have any family close by, but I have a fabulous daycare provider and I've connected with a neighbor in the same situation- its been a dream to walk the strollers and dogs together in the evenings. Usually we trade off having dinner at each other's too... and a cleaning lady is next on my list!

AFOLABI-BALOGUN - posted on 04/08/2010

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April, you are not alone. I have two children 6 and 3 work in and academic environment and my husband away more than 75% days in a year. Get a reliable housekeeper, enlighten your eldest child to be the keeper of the younger one, try to us what you earn to create a world of your own for them.

Laura - posted on 04/07/2010

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As with many of you on here, I am in the same situation. My husband was in the military for 18 years, on this deployment and that deployment, gone for MONTHS at a time. WHen he retired last year, I thought that would be the end of his "deployments". Well, now we are currently seperated by THOUSANDS of miles while he is working in Alaska. It is a great opportunity for him, and will make our future more financially stable and sound. So we are ALL making the sacrafice.
I work full time as an emergency dispatcher (9-1-1) and my schedule rotates over a 24/7 coverage. The hardest part is working graveyards, my little girl doesn't get to sleep in her own bed at night, instead, she has to crash on someone's couch. Plus I have to have her go somewhere during the day so I can sleep. The other tough part is I live 3 hours from the closest family members, and in a little town where there are no day care providers that go past 5pm and are only mon-fri. For the last 2 years, this has been a HUGE struggle, but I always make it work. How? Why? Because THAT'S WHAT YOU DO. I also hear a lot of "I couldn't/wouldn't do it" and "I don't know how you do it" and it's amazing how many women out there think that they couldn't. Forget that! I am strong, I am flexible and intelligent. Where there is a will, there is a way. The sacrafice my husband and I are making for our family will protect us for the rest of our lives, so yeah, you MAKE it work.
I have found a solution to the lack of child care in my area. I have heard from so many moms that they would love time alone, or with thier husbands, or even one child at a time. I am in the process of starting a "Child Care Co-op" where babysitting is "free". There is no money exchanged, it's done by points on how many hours/children you babysit, you get that time in return; also quid-quo-pro is included. So many people cannot afford to go out because of the crazy child care prices and hours these days. What about all you single-but-married moms....how about a girls night? Covered--for free.
I live in a small enough community that I am taking this co-op county wide. I am SO excited.
Well, I commend all of you and want to tell all of you, keep up the great work and stay strong. Remember, you are not alone!

Ashley - posted on 03/28/2010

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Brenda! Thats exactly how I feel! I never take time for myself because I feel like my daughter is missing out! She already never sees her dad, how is she going to feel if I just pawn her off on someone else so I can go out. Then I feel awful if I dont get to say good night and tuck her in :( I just can't wait for my husband to come home for a while so we can be a "normal" family for a bit!

Brenda - posted on 03/26/2010

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Thank all of you for putting yourselves out there. My husband is a Railroad Engineer and is on call 24/7, no exageration!! We never know when he'll be home and not so we just do the best we can. Our daughter is 14 months old and I really struggle with us both not being here all of the time for her. I work a full-time job and RARELY get out because she barely gets to see us the way it is how can I leave her?!?!

Ashley - posted on 03/21/2010

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April, I am in the same situation! My husband is Active Duty Air Force and is gone alot! RIght now he is in Korea and has been there for about 10 months. We have 4 year old daughter and I work full time. When my husband is home he is still gone quite a bit because he is a firefighter and works 24 hour shifts. People always ask me how I do it and that they would never know that my husband wasn't around with how composed I stay, but honestly I just do it because I have to! If I walked around depressed that he was gone all day, that wouldn't change the fact that he is gone. Its hard, I miss him ALL the time, especially because sometimes we dont talk for weeks and the only way I know he is still alive is that there is activity on his credit cards! It isn't an easy life, but its nice to see that there are others going through it too!

Assu - posted on 03/13/2010

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You are not the only one,i have leaved in the similar situation where my husband is gone to work for one year,my kids are 3 and years old,its hard but be strong and do not listen to your friends and neighbors, you are all working hard for the future of your lovely kids.the best part you lucky that you husband calls ,mine calls ones in a while ,do not worry you will cope with it,
thanks assu.

Andrea - posted on 03/02/2010

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I don't know why you would say that it annoys you when someone says "I don't know how you do it", because the fact of the matter is there are many out there who could NOT do it.....It should be a compliment that you are able to manage your household as well as you do while maintaining your full-time employment, all in your husband's absence. You are fortunate to have support of family and friends.

My husband's job has always required him to commute & work away from home for long periods of time. Before we had children it really wasn't a problem, but as our family grew it became harder. I worked in management in a very demanding field that required a minimum of 50 hours per week. At that time, our children were both under school age, and we lived where we had no family support, as our families lived out of state. We barely had time to see each other, much less build friendships, so we had no one to help. Our saving grace was a wonderful child care provider who was very flexible and understanding of our circumstances. I am now very fortunate that I no longer have to work and can stay at home with our children. After living in this situation for more than 7 years, I can honestly say, I don't know how I did it, but I did.

You are right, you just do it, and most of us "do what you gotta do", but many marriages and families fall apart in far less strenuating circumstance. Kudos to you and your spouse for committing to make it work, in-spite of the situation, but please remember that there are many others who could not, thus the "I don't know how you do it" mantra.

Jessi - posted on 03/01/2010

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My hubby is sometimes home all week and sometimes gone all week. His work makes sure then guys are home on the weekends though, so that's good. I also work full time (8-4:30) and with pickups and dropoffs, my commute is an hour. I have a four year old and a five month old. Some weeks are hard and some are easy. The hard and easy are not related to if he's home or not though. I guess I'm a little more independent than some. I do find it encouraging that some of us use house cleaners. I am actually thinking about hiring someone. It makes me feel a little more normal to be wanting one.

Sara - posted on 02/25/2010

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hi.I also new to the group but what you wrote touched me as I work full time job from 08am -06pm.My husband contract is to be away for a month in the field then comes home for a month but even then he goes to the office in towm through the day.I have two kids 6&3.my son is in grade 1 but still there are school homework to attend to when I get home.I hire a lady to stay with my kids through the day but they never stay for long .There is always a new lady.my husband and I communicate through the phone most of the time even when he is in town. sometimes I feel too stressed with the whole pressure Does any one feel the same?

Kari - posted on 02/21/2010

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I love that so many of us have found ways to manage this difficult schedule. I, too, have a husband who travels a ton and loves it. I am committed to being a good mom to my girls, but the biggest struggle I have is with being lonely. I work part-time so that I can run my girls from school to activities and have the flexibility to be home with them when/if they are sick, and most of my friends and neighbors are either full-time stay-at-home moms and their social activities happen during the day, or they are full-time employees and do stuff at night or on the weekends when I'm trying to get homework done with the kids or see my husband. I know that I need to get out there and find a social network because I'm lonely so much of the time, but it's hard to find one that doesn't require me to miss family time on the weekends or find a babysitter on a weeknight.

PAM - posted on 02/17/2010

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I am new to this group as well. Your post really encouraged me. I have recently become a trucker's wife as my husband had to change fields due to the housing market. I can totally relate. I work full time & have 3 kiddos ages 14, 12, & 5. Everyday is a challenge. People do say "I don't know how you do it." I say I just pray & keep on doing it. You just get up & face each new day & hope for the best. My husband is gone only during the week & home on most weekends. It's tough but you do what you have to & thank God for others who are willing to help out when needed. Anyway, nice to know there are others dealing with the same type of situation. I'm hoping it won't always be this way.

Beccy - posted on 02/14/2010

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April, I know how you feel! My husband is military. He is packing as I type to go on a TDY. He debploys every year for 4 months and has to go where ever the mission takes him. It was hard at first, but after 6 yrs weve learned to adjust. And the best part, which I tell all my civilian friends & family is that, yes its hard, but I still get butterflies when he comes home and its like seeing him for the 1st time all the time! How many wives can say that?!? We are lucky to have husbands that would do whatever it takes to provide for his wife & kids!!! Plus when hes home, he loves to get in some good family time! The other thing I wanted to say was that all my girlfriends are military wives or prior enlisted (I did 6 yrs as well) so they just 'know' how were feeling when our hubby's are gone. No one is shocked and asking ridiculous questions making you feel like it's all being done the wrong way...so I say get some friends that are in the same boat as you, then you'll always have some understanding shoulders to lean on when your hubby is away. Hope to help!!

Julie - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi Im Julie my husband works away as well, he will come home anything from 7 weeks onwards for a weeks RnR. I have one daughter 10 left at home and i work anything from 2 days to 5 days a week, plus look after our property

Lisa - posted on 02/10/2010

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We have been doing this for quite awhile, and I will totally second that having family helps. We luckily live quite close to both of our families, and my MIL retired last year, and is always willing to happen if I am stuck. I am very careful to not take advantage of that. My husband is a journeyman electrician, and he travels all over, and doesn't have a set schedule, and this is a huge challenge for us.

I do have a housekeeper, that cleans one a week. She come for 3 hours, and washes floor and cleans the bathroom. It makes a huge difference on the "busy" weeks. I have also learned to limit the number of activities my kids participate in, generally they have one activity, Cubs, and one sport a season. With two kids, I can't do any more than that.
It has helped to set some goals, so that we can see some concrete evidence of him being on the road. It makes it much easier for everyone.

Christine - posted on 02/10/2010

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It really is nice to know I'm not alone. I work full time, and my husband travels around the world for his job working as a contractor for the military. He is gone anywhere between 3 weeks to 3 months at a time. I have a 4-year old in daycare, and a 7-year old first grader. My job starts at 6:00am, but the daycare doesn't open until 7:00am. This was really a challenge for a while, but I was lucky to find a friend's teenager to live with us and help out. He is a senior in high school, and I provide him with a car to transport the two boys to daycare and school. Next year when the youngest can ride the schoolbus, it may get easier. (I already have his sister lined up for next year!) One of my challenges is that my husband's schedule is secret - indicates troop movement - so I never know when or how long he is going to be gone. Unfortunately or not, my kids are used to him being gone. He spent a year in Iraq with the National Guard when the oldest was 2-3. He was able to come home for the birth of #2, but left 2 days later and was gone another 8 months. Luckily, I didn't have to work during that time. That was a difficult time for my oldest, because he didn't know when or if Dad was coming home. We explained it by telling him he was at work. That kind of backfired when he got this job and we told him he was going to work. He was very upset for a while, until he realized that Dad was coming back more often. Now they are both pretty adjusted, and spend lots of time with him when he's home.

Amity - posted on 02/08/2010

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I have a 22 mth old son and my husband is a journeyman lineman. He travels mostly for work and especially for storm work/power outages, and stays in his trailer most of the time. I work from home mostly but travel with him when I can. I am contemplating whether to get a job to help get rid of some bills but haven't decided yet.

I don't have any family close by and the closest is about 4 hrs away. I do get help from my neighbors and church friends so I can have somewhat of a life outside of the baby. I know if we had a second child things would be dramatically different for me and traveling with my husband would be really hard. I'm glad you posted this and I know there are a lot of mom's that just do what they have to do. I hear it all the time from my friends that they don't know how I do it. My son is a gypsy baby, he has traveled by car/plane starting early and he is a great traveler.

April - posted on 02/04/2010

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Laurie,
Thank you for the post, it is nice to see I am not alone and I am not crazy to be out providing for my family. We all must be good at what we do or we wouldn't even try working right? Don't get me wrong there are some nights and days I wish my husband could talk to me more, or say just the right thing, or be the supportive friend to listen to my complain about my situtation and he is just the wrong person to complain to. (As do most men he dosen't respond well to my complaining.) He is headed home from being away for two weeks. When he was home last he was here for two nights, then back to work. Sometimes I feel this resentment and want to take it out on him. I just need to feel appreciated and he is bad a that.

April - posted on 02/04/2010

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How refreshing to see that I am not alone! Thank you for taking the time to comment on this topic. Life has it's good days and it's bad days. Let's keep the conversation going....any other sugestions? When we get on our feet with the money situation I am going to hire someone to help clean the house. I think I spend every night making dinner, cleaning up, laundry and then trying to tidy up all the little messes. Ugh....

Olive - posted on 02/04/2010

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i am also in that situation, my husband works in Saudi Arabia while I work here in the Phils. I have a 4 yr. old son, but before i have a dependable baby sitter, now that she left me, i am now confused on what to do, i enjoyed working, but can't find a dependable one, my parents already migrated so, i'm asking what to do?

[deleted account]

I can relate to everyone's story. I am in GA and my husband is in VA for his job. He is gone for weeks at a time. He may be home for about 4-5 days a month. We have a 4 month old, but luckily all of my family and friends are here in GA. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my core support from them on a daily basis. I also work full-time. I do it because I have to, but it gets easier as my baby gets older. My husband and I learn not to take for granted the time that we do spend together when he is home!

Suzana - posted on 02/02/2010

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I am so amazed by all these stories! I always felt so alone in this game! My husband is often away for at least 2 weeks up to 2 months. When I say often it means that he is present at home few weeks at time and he leaves again. Max. presence is 2 moths without interuption per year. Our daughter is 21 months old and I work ful time in a country that became our home since 4 years now - but I never managed to socialize. I was always alone but not fitting the singles outings and I could not go out with couples without being in couple - if you know what I mean...
No family, not a lot friends who are available..How I manage? Not sure. Recently I started to have cleaniing lady once a week and thisgs look better already. But for the social part of the story I have not improved: I just refuse to do things without him as it seems that I will have separate life..And this I dont want :(

[deleted account]

Hi! I am also in a similar situation. My husband is a pilot and is gone 3-4 days a week. I also work a full time job and travel 1-3 days a week for my job. We have a 41/2 year old and 1 on the way. It is challenging, and our schedules are always changing. We are still a very close family and try to find quality together time when we can. Both my mom and mom in law are very helpful when we are both out of town. But it can be tough. Good to know we are not alone.

Tracy - posted on 01/29/2010

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Hi and welcome to the group. I am in the same boat as you. I have a girl who is 14 months and my partner works oversea. He is gone for months at a time, he trys to get back every 3 months for a couple of weeks. I work part time at this stage as I relocated when Maia was born. Now live at the beach in the middle of nowhere!!!! Bit of a change from the big city!! You just do what you have to do and it works for me.

Christina - posted on 01/29/2010

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Hey April, I am in the same vote as you. I work full time and I have a 22 month old. My husband travels about 2-3 days out of the week. He doesn't travel as much as your husband. My closest family is 12 hours away from us, but I do love my daycare provider. I must admit, it is very much like being a single mom. I hate to hear other mom's complain that they don't have time to do stuff, because most nights I don't get to sit on the couch until 7:00 and I still have her crawling all over me wanting to play.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2010

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I am in a very similar situation, I work full time, and my husband can be gone for weeks on end. I totally feel your pain! We have been doing this full time for 5 years, and he travelled part- time before that. I've heard "I don't know how you do it!" so many times I don't even listen.

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