I am a new mom with a traveling husband that works in oil refinery and needs alot of advice.

Alex - posted on 12/06/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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I am 27 yrsold mom with a 2 mo baby girl and he works as a boiler maker(oil refinery) in CA, which is thousands of miles away. I stay at home with her day in and out pretty much and it gets stressfull trying to adapt to being at home all the time and not being able to do the things you were once use to. He is gone for 5-6wks and only home for a week r 2. He really has an unpredictable job because he never knows when hes coming home or leaving so i cant plan anything and when hen he comes home he dont even unpack his suitcase so i dont feel like we are a real family. I want him to be home for her first word,crawling,bithdays,christmas,etc..I know he works hard trying to bring in our income and give us the nice things, but im not happy when he is away and i have to be her mother and father. I want her to know her father and I want his help to raise her because Im new at this and it takes alot off your shoulders when you have somone else to help. If he came home and worked he would have to drive 2hrs to work everday there and back and workin 10hrs a day we wouldnt get much time to spend either and he would take a pay cut,but I think my mind would be more at ease. I dont know if any of u out there worry about what ur man is doing with his free time,but i do, not because im jealous but because he has already been caught talking with other women and its hard for me to trust him being that far away especially. It always stresses me out having to wonder if he will run away if he finds someone he likes better and me at home with our daughter. SO do you take a pay cut and the nicer things we are use to so that he can be closer to home and be a family. Then if he does come work around home will we be able to adjust to being around each other everyday. I think its real hard trying to be a family with someon thats never home and then when they do come home itsa rush to spend time wit each other and take care of things that u have to do togeather. I dont know if I should jus let him make the money while she is still young and then come home to be the dad thats around when she starts walking and talking and becoming more aware of our situation. There is a ton of questions that i have wrote about my concerns. I can use some advice on them

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Liz - posted on 12/07/2009

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It is a tough life. My husband is a contract rig welder and works in the oil field and has an unpredictable schedule. We've been married 5yrs and have a 3yo son. the closest work my husband has had is 8hrs from home. My hometown is two states away, and so is my family. My advice... go stay with him and travel while you can and the baby is little. If you can't then stay close to family/friends so you have some help/support close to you. After more than 3yrs of living apart I feel like I have lost a connection with my husband and don't feel like a family. He is not willing to leave his job and do something else while there is still work and good money, at least until he is older. I am sick and tired of feeling like a single mom, being lonely and depressed, I want a family life and don't think I can live like this anymore. I would rather live together with less money, but apparently he doesn't. I worked pt for a while but then I wasn't free to travel whenever he wanted me to visit and I was exhausted from work and doing everything at home by myself. I'm afraid we may be nearing divorce. So do whatever you can to stay connected and together! Remember to take time for yourself too, to do things you enjoy, without baby!

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Cheryl - posted on 02/04/2010

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Hi Alex. I do understand your concerns of being a single parent, which is what we basically are. I have been a wife and mother of a traveling husband for 27 yrs. I raised three boys, one was my step-son, all by myself. It's tough. I also worked a full time job. I now have a 9 yr old daughter (adopted -long story), but have choosen to stay home. When she was small, my days were pretty occupied, but as she go older and started school, I needed something to do, so I started a home business.

Maybe you need something to do for yourself. Whether that be a home biz or something else.

You can't drive yourself crazy by wondering what if! Trust is a major factor and you can't accuse or suggest he is doing something he shouldn't without absolute proof. I have known men and women alike you have been accused to the point they decided to go ahead and do what they were being accused of. As far as talking to another woman - if he is just talking who cares. My husband is extremely friendly and talks to everyone - however if there is some serious flirting going on by either of them I would be concerned, but if he is there and you are here, how do you really know?

Can you move to where he is? My dad had a job that caused us to move nearly every year - there was five of us kids. My parents tried to never move us during a school year, but we moved often..

When my husband was younger, he was totally focused on work. He regrets that now. If we were to do it over, we would take less money, live without certain things and I would have stayed home with all my children. My hubby's hindsight is perfect, but if I had suggested he take a lesser job when we were younger, he most likely would not have done so. It is a hard situation. You can decide you are going to be happy and do all that you can to protect your marriage. Your attitude toward your hubby, your support of what he is doing, makes a big difference. You need to tell him how much you appreciate how hard he works and you can even add the "but" I wish you could be home more.

It is an adjustment when they come home. Before cell phones (am sure you don't know what that is like), my husband would get so angry at me because he couldn't catch me at home. I finally told him that I couldn't just sit by the phone and wait for him to call and he realized that I had to have a life outside of our relationship. Communication is so important, not whining or fussing at him.

I would suggust that you set up a date time with him when he comes home. A time that just you and him can spend time together if that is possible. I didn't have any family here to watch my kiddos so I know that sometimes that just can't happen. But even sometime after your little one has been put to bed.

I really do understand your concerns and hope you can get some good out of my rambling. Bless you and your family!

Lydia - posted on 02/03/2010

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My husband works here in Alaska as a drill site operator, usually he does two weeks on and two off we have a 21 month old and a 4 year old. It is definitely hard in alot of ways he missed my second child's birth and had to work a month straight plus it seems he always skirts past the major sicknesses, or stressful events. Honestly my advice is to be a strong independent woman, I find our relationship to be much stronger when I'm not being needy and we can just enjoy our time together, or our sometimes 30 second phone calls. My children are accustomed to the routine of daddy leaving and know he's coming home (they figure it out). I think they probably get more time with him than they would if he worked any 9-5 job. The first year - year and a half are very hard with kiddos it will definitely get better you just have to make it through (what I always keep telling myself) you have to work to make a relationship succeed and you should be on survival mode right now with such a young one.
The whole talking to another woman thing wouldn't fly with me though you'd have to be much more specific before I could offer advice there.

Xochitl - posted on 01/16/2010

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I read your story & I quickly browsed over everyone's response..I was happy to know that for the most part everyone had the same responses... My husband too works for the OIl Field & travels lots.. First off, hats off to you it is tough being YOU but if the work situation isn't going to change then you must bite the bullet & be Mom & Dad for as long as his out.

In my case, I did resent him while my son was a baby... My son is now 11 yrs old. It's ideal to have both parents involve but in reality your 2 month old baby only needs/wants Mom & thats the way it'll be until school time... Then daddy's presence is definitely needed...

I can totally relate to the "unpacking" they live in a Rig or Hotels for as long as they are out & they come home & expect 24 hr maid service... Not gonna happen...

Then, my son & I had a routine set up & he would come home & that routine would go out the window... until I put my foot down... Really, this only helps everyone stay on target. My husband & I had a firm conversation about how I knew my responsability when he wasn't home... WE TAKE CARE OF THE HOMEFRONT IN EVERY ASPECT WHILE THEY ARE OUT WITH LITTLE OR NO COMPLAINTS...When he comes home it's OUR TIME TO RELAX! (sort of speak)

There is no doubt who would pick up my son from daycare, who would drive him to school, who would cook, clean, take care of him while he was sick & do homework with..B U T... when hubby was home he had to do all of that...

Do not put your life on hold for him... Otherwise he will always expect that from you...

Don't get me wrong, do give him a big special welcome but be selfish, do it for you!

VERY IMPORTANT..about the flirtiness with other woman also mention how important trust is... My husband has never been off the tracks, but he often accused me of being jealous... I simply make it a point to remind him "whatever you're doing out there, I can be doing it just as well or better"... and I tell him "If I didn't trust you, you WOULD NOT have the type of job you have"... If you have doubts, then its time to sacrifice the nice things & keep your family together... Believe me it's worth it!

On the other hand, your last statement is important: Should you let him make the money now & be home later" Perhaps, but then he must have a certain career goal in mind... How long should he stay in there? Where does he want to be in say 5 or 10 years? Will this job allowed him to get there?If you both sit down & jot down where you both want to be as a family & career then can see the light at the end of the tunnel... and the sacrifice you are doing will be easier to achieve... It's tough... but ur not alone... let us know how it goes...

Tina - posted on 01/14/2010

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Oh Liz when I read your post I almost cried, I have been where you are so many times...I married my husband almost 22 years ago and shortley after we married, he decided that he could make better money being a truck driver and off he went...I told him that if I had known that was gonna be my future then I would have never had married him..yes it has been very tough, we have 3 kids and at times I would cry myself to sleep wondering what had happened to my life...But he is a wonderful provider and a good husband and we are making it...Not without a lot of bumpy roads, but we are making it...i would so suggest you and your husband talking to a couselor..Maybe they could help him see where you are coming from...Money is not everything.I hope this has helped a little :)

Tina - posted on 01/14/2010

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I am also a wife of a traveling husband. we have been married almost 22 years and he has been on the road all that time...I did not get married to be alone, but after 22 years I am well adjusted to it. We have 3 children who are now older..I do understand about having to be Mother and Father and everything in between..yes it has been a very tough time and there were many times that I thought about leaving...I know that he is just trying to make a good living for his family, and he has, but it is very frustrating knowing that he makes too much money to give it up...he only has a high school diploma and feels like he could not make it at a job in town...I know that he is right and I know that is what makes him stay on the road...I feel for you..I know it is tough and the wondering about if he would cheat or not...Well as much as I hate to say it, he could...Mine did and that was not somthing I thought he would ever do...Here I am back home trying to take care of everything and he does this to me....It has taken along time, but we are trying to put our marriage back together...I do wish you the best of luck, and am sorry that this is the life that you are having to live...I am here to talk if you need to...

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I completely understand what you are going through. And many of the other moms gave whatever advice I could provide. Its hard, my husband leaves for one month and is home for one month...Its tough to adjust from being just my son and I to a whole family...but you make it work. The one thing that I would like to comment on is being a family...its just as hard for "daddy" as it is for us. They miss out on so much. My son is a totally different person everytime my husband comes home, especially in the beginning. Also as far as holidays and events, there are some that daddy will not be able to attend, but you dont have to celebrate them on that day. My husband missed Christmas and New Years so although we celebrated with my family, I save some gifts so that my son and husband can open them together...Same for my sons birthday, my husbands birthday ect. We just celebrate when my husband gets home...it makes it that much easier knowing that we will celabrate together.

There are days that are harder than others, but as long as you keep a connection with your husband and you never talk bad about your husband in front of your child, you can have a strong family even if there is time away from eachother

Sarah - posted on 01/13/2010

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I can relate to you alot. My husband was military when we got married and it was all fine but then when I 7 months pregnant with our first child he had to leave for almost 3 months for the middle east. I didn't know if he would be there for the birth or not. It was really hard because I didn't have family around they were 10 hours away. i made it through because I was determined and I knew this could always happen. After the military my husband decided to work for the railroad. He was gone 8 days at a time and home 6 but then they forced him to move to Texas for 3 months and we just had our second child. He left when she was about a month old so I was on my own again. It was really hard and I cried alot but I somehow made it through. You have to be really strong. I know it's easier said then done but I have my medicine to help with the stress and just deal with it. As far has him going with another woman I ve always told my husband if he thinks he can do better then just leave and don't let the door hit him in the ass. We're woman we can make it on our own. Where there is a will there is a way.

Anne-Marie - posted on 01/10/2010

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Hi Alex.

Well you sure do sound like you have a lot on your plate. I personally am an advocate for marriage therapy! I think its something that couples should do as maintenance for their marriage not to use when the marriage is broken to try and fix it! Having a third party to talk to and give advice can be a huge help to both of you. As a new Mom you may be feeling bouts of depression as you cope with the adjustment to your life, and not having your husband around to help you must be immensely hard on you. If you don't already, book a babysitter to allow you time to get out. Not only will this make you a better Mommy to get some you time and rejuvenate a little, but getting out to the gym or the spa, or just taking a head clearing walk, will help build your self esteem. Feeling strong about yourself and who you are will help you with your feelings of doubt about your husband. Know that you are a good wife and Mom and make sure you are up high on that priority list!!! Oh yes and SKYPE is always a big help!!

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My husband works in Congo (we live in South Africa) for 6 weeks out of every 7. This year he missed our wedding anniversary, his birthday, my birthday, our son's birthday, and now he's missing Christmas and New Year too. He missed the first words, the crawling, the walking.But I had a video camera and managed to capture all those precious moments (and a few precious arbitrary moments) on video for him. Then when he got home he could watch what he missed. I don't have to worry about other women because my husband has a healthy disdain for any woman who is not me. Plus the only women he meets in the Congo are prostitutes (and he avoids them like the plague). I would travel with him if he wasn't in deepest darkest Africa surrounded by war and disease. Thankfully we have grown stronger through this separation. It forced us to make a concerted effort in our relationship, although it was far from easy. He does feel like a terrible father, especially when my son cries himself to sleep because daddy is gone, but you will manage. You will adapt to taking care of your daughter alone. I do advise you to find a playgroup or a group of moms who can give you help and chocolate when you need it. Good luck and may God bless you

Emma - posted on 12/18/2009

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Hi Alex :). I can definitely relate - I'm 29, have 3 kiddos, they're 4, 6, and 8, and my husband is a company representative for a 7-state territory (and even when he's in-state, that could still be 4+hours away, we live in Texas!) I can appreciate all of your concerns. First, I want to say that life will be MUCH closer to normal soon - your little girl is still so young, and in just a few months, you won't feel like you've lost touch with the rest of the world :). It's amazing how quickly we and our babies adapt. Yes, a few months sounds like a long time, but it goes by - don't forget that you won't get this time back. Looking back, you'll always wish you'd taken more pictures or kept a better diary (I don't do diaries, but some moms do, or write things they want to remember on calendars), so make sure you're doing what YOU want to keep those memories AND keep your man in the loop! You'd be surprised at how a guy can react to those little things. They know they're missing out. When I had my first, my husband was immediately gone for 6 weeks straight (yes, sucked!), but creating rituals, going for walks, dancing, singing, focusing on regaining my physical shape, etc. kept me busy - and left less room to be worried about what he was doing! He could tell me until he was blue in the face that he'd never stray, but it's never completely erased the worry. I think at this point, I take it as a good thing. I love and want to protect what I have with my guy. A major bit of advice I've learned by now, though, is that you need to take time to take care of you whenever you can - both physically and emotionally. If there's something that's your special talent, don't let it go. If you LOVE to be pampered, make it happen in your own bath, Target, etc. has great options. As your baby grows older, the concerns, questions, needs change and grow, but you're The Mom, you CAN be the mom you want to be, and that's something I have to remind myself of at times. You obviously love your husband, and like was said by someone else, the grass is NOT always greener - don't forget that he chose you, too!

Elizabeth - posted on 12/17/2009

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I am wondern why you aren't traveling with him. My husband works in the industrial construction industry and for the first 7 years of our marriage and the birth of 3 of our children we all traveled together. It was not until my oldest started school that I wanted to settle down. Even then, she is now in 2nd grade and we have finally settle permanently. My husband still travels but is home every weekend and occasionally during the week. We bought a fifth wheel and have lived in 5 states and three times as many cities but it has been worth it to be together and for the kids. I hope this helps, Good Luck!

Sheila - posted on 12/06/2009

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I, too am married to a man in the oil business and have been for many years. We have a daughter that will be nine on the 19th and once again he will miss her birthday as well as her ice skating recital. I am fortunate that he works for a week and then home for a week. It takes a "BIG" commitment for this kind of relationship. It is more difficult when they are gone for longer periods of time which happens with us sometimes. This industry has a very high divorce rate as well as infidelity. You may need to seek counseling for all of you to adjust or change your current situation. If you truly love each other, don't let a good thing go. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

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