Struggling to acpt challenges of being a FTM whose H trvls for wrk

Lisab - posted on 01/28/2018 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone! I just found this group when I was trying to find an online group for moms who work and also have spouse's who travel. I have a 3 year old daughter and my husband travels every other week M-Thurs. Usually this is every other week, but due to scheduling conflicts this can sometimes be two weeks in a row. Usually I handle this pretty well and my mind is occupied because I am at work and my daughter is at preschool 9AM-5:15ish. But today is Sunday and my husband had to leave for work and wont be back until Thursday, so I have just been struggling a little bit more than usual. Also, I recently came to the realization when my duahgter was home sick recently causing me to have to miss a week of work (because husband was traveling) that it would be impossible to have a second child. This was a tough reality for me as I always wanted it to be my decision and not a made for me decision. Just not sure how I would handle it and giving up my career is not an option (I am an attorney and own my own practice). Anyways, just wanted to introduce myself and see how others handles similar struggles.

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Beth - posted on 04/22/2018

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Lisa: This sounds a lot like me. My husband is a partner in a company that sells mechanical devices; some of which he invented. He's normally out visiting customers and helping them use the devices 4 or 5 work days a week (but always home on weekends). I also have a profession, I'm an accountant and run my own company (more truthfully, I AM my own company). While I work mostly from home, I do have to make regular visits to clients, and see new ones. That can take me away from home over night.

I won't go through all the problems this caused me, and my marriage. But I have found a partial solution: I hired a nanny. They're expensive and can be hard to find, but I decided that mine was a necessary investment in my sanity, my work life satisfaction, and relieved some (not all ), of the stress on my marriage. It's still lonely, and stuff husbands probably ought to deal with still pop up when there is no husband available. But now, I hire someone to fix the problem if I can't fix it myself. And if I need time out, I take it. I was worried about the effect on my boys, but they seem to be thriving. They love their Nanny and she dotes on them.

Not a perfect solution ... or even anywhere near a complete solution, but sometimes you can buy your way out of a problem.

Hope things are going better.

Beth

Mama - posted on 02/07/2018

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Dear mama, I totally feel for you, as my husband struggled with this a few years ago. He worked long hours in a Fortune 100 company and later a Silicon Valley start-up. I also have been a working mom all along. In addition, we went through failing parent's health and eventual death. As a result, we needed fertility treatment help in order to have our first child. After much discussing & praying, we don't want to live like this for the rest of our lives, running non-stop in a mouse wheel. We don't want our child to not have a parent. We don't want to miss our her childhood and not able to influence / teach / mold her alongside. You know Lisa, #1 deathbed regrets is "I didn't spend enough time with my family / spouse/ children". Nobody says "I wish I have worked more". We are simply an employee# in a company (which is easily replaceable within 2 weeks). But we are the only irreplaceable parent in our child's life. The life of an individual is far too priceless versus just your employer's earnings. We want to hear our child appreciating how much we love her at the end rather than company bonus. Besides, we want our spouse to experience life & grow old together (instead of walking life lonely). Having a strong marriage is the best way to give your child a happy healthy childhood.

So, we decided to change our jobs & scale down intentionally. My husband took a job with 50% pay cut with a location that is very close to home. I also took a job that is much less stressful and with more flexible work hours. Our bodies are healthier and our EQ is better. My husband had anxiety and insomnia before due to work stress. We can now have the buffer & bandwidth to communicate more and handle emergencies. And we were able to have our 2nd child naturally.

Now that our older one is 1st grade, we really enjoy being able to participate in her school functions (e.g. one of her favorites daddy-lunch date or mommy field-trip chaperone). We are able to pick her up from school directly (instead of relying on extended care) to hear first hand what is happening in her life and in school. Of course, our work schedule now allows us to handle any medical issues or doctor's appointments.

Dear Lisa, thank you for letting me share my story here and I sincerely hope that you will seriously consider changing your current family schedule. Both you & your husband will need time to talk through & adjust to a new (slower) pace but I tell you it is well worth it. It is great that you are addressing this now when your daughter is still young and your biological clock is still open for 2nd one. Having a stable family with both parents is the best gift we can give to our children. I'm sure you know well that girls that have strong loving bond with daddy fare much better. I don't want your daughter to think that not having daddy around is normal and doesn't miss him.

Big hugs to you Lisa.

Kelly - posted on 01/30/2018

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I’m with you, my husband travels so much for work we both agreed there is just no way I can handle having a 2nd as a “single married mom.” Agreed that usually I’m too busy to get bogged down or sad thinking about husband being gone but, honestly, we let it go on like this, not acknowledging there might be a problem for so long, we’ve lost our connection as a couple and we’re falling apart now. I am a paralegal so I’m familiar with the industry & had to leave my position at a plaintiff’s - trial-oriented firm to one focused on a less demanding field to accommodate for all the times I have to stay home when our daughter is sick or the fact that I can’t stay late at work anymore because I’m solely responsible for picking her up BY 5:30 from daycare. We’re working really hard on trying to reconnect when he’s home, but that’s so few and far in between it’s hard. I was just recently complaining that I hate that I’m starting to feel like the cliche “lonely housewife.” The best thing I’ve learned to start doing for myself is taking time to do something fun, whether that’s with my husband or with friends - either way it’s super important that you get a break and some “me” time too.

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