I need help coping with my husband's job.

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

Ok- I will try not to be too whiny. My husband works for a church. By work I mean 40 hrs in three days, two of which he did not come home until after 9pm. I hate it. I am very proud of the job he is doing, but I hate that I am supposed to be happy with never seeing my husband.
Let me give you some background. My husband and I have only been married 17 months. I had two daughters from a previous marriage and we got pregnant on our honeymoon, so we also have an 8 month old son. About 6 months after we got married, my husband was fired after a VERY emotional and stressful few months. Six months after that, I quit my teaching job and we moved 1000 miles away from our home and my family, so my husband could start a new job.
The people at this church/job are very kind and loving people. My husband is doing a great job, but I feel like I never see him. I KNOW I am soooo lucky to be home with the baby and to see my husband do a great job. I know there are women whose husbands are military and gone for years at a time (my sister in law included). I am in awe of military spouses. And I also know that there are many women who want to stay home and cannot for a variety of reasons.
I need help. I am not doing a very good job of handling my husbands job. He tends to think that if I am unhappy with the work schedule, that means I am unhappy with him. This is not true. I currently do not have the mental toolbox to make this work for me. Instead of being proud of my opportunities, I wind up wandering around the house wondering when he is going to come home, which is not good for anyone. I manage to make it about three weeks with loving support and then I just cannot handle it anymore.
Does anyone have any suggestions to help me deal with this better? I hope I only whined a little. :-) Thank you.

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[deleted account]

My husband is a teacher at a very intense inner city parochial school. He also puts in 60+ hours/week and is required to be "on-call" 24/7 via cell (where students/parents can call his cell if needed - luckily, this doesn't happen a ton). We have been married 14 years and I've worked full time most of those years. I stayed home with our two oldest until they were 3 and 1 before returning to work. We recently had our 3rd baby and I stayed home (job allowed me to work part time from home) for 6 months. I just went back this week. Our two oldest are school-aged and involved in sports. My husband also coaches basketball at his school. His time at home is VERY limited. I honestly feel like a single parent most days, as I'm the one responsible for all drop offs, pick ups, practices/games, making dinner/helping with homework, etc. It's exhausting. I'm not sure when it changed for me, because the first few years I was extremely bitter. Recently, (I think with the birth of our #3) I've been getting bitter again. However, for me, working really helps. I feel the guilt every working mom feels (and I know this is more of a SAHM site, but I've been on both sides). When you find yourself "wandering around the house wondering...." I was right there with you. Maybe look into joining a club (just for moms/women - no kids) - like a book club or a volleyball league - something YOU do for yourself. I really do enjoy working, although I know that's not for everyone, but maybe even getting a part time (night) job at a local coffee shop or restaurant or something might help. I think a couple things happen, whether we like to admit them or not. 1) We get jealous/bitter of our husbands for being gone all day; 2) We feel guilty for not contributing financially; 3) We LOVE our children, but need a break, but then feel guilty for wanting that break (this one kills me - every. time.). Being unhappy with the work schedule does not mean you're unhappy with him, but it's a slippery slope. It DOES leave a person bitter and angry, which leads to resentment; which is just not a good way to feel. Be honest about your feelings, but not in an accusatory way. I've learned over the years to be very up front about what I need from him at home, in way of helping with general household chores and with the kids. (ie, please take the garage out tomorrow before you leave; please feed the baby a bottle so I can do A, B or C; please help so and so with this homework assignment because I just really need a break., etc. I'm so rambling, but I'm in your same boat (just married quite a bit longer) Bottom line - you need, NEED to take care of yourself and know that your feelings are justified and respected. Communication communication communication. Men are basically not the greatest (usually) at that and need to be shown respect, but also nicely reminded to help out; pull their weight and basically, be home more. Ugh. (sorry - I think I turned this into my own rant).

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[deleted account]

HI Heather, thanks for responding. :-) He generally 4 week days and Sunday, usaully 60+ hours a week. Unless someone needs a meeting on those other days, but generally he is pretty good about keeping Friday and Saturday free. I like your comments that your husband and son have small rituals everyday that keep them connected. That is a good idea. We have tried to talk about it, but he always takes it way too personally and I just wind up crying. lol I also like the idea of having someone watch the kids for an hour or two. We usually do not have a special event just for us, because we are trying to have family time or errands etc... This sounds funny, but I am happy to hear that you make it the four days and that sometimes it is tough. :-) Just hearing that someone else is surviving the hectic work schedule of their spouse helps. Thanks! I will try to put some of your ideas into practice.
Lisa

Heather - posted on 11/12/2009

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Does he just work those three days? If he does then try to make the most of the other four days that he is home. If not then I guess I would talk to him about you just wanting to be with him more and maybe he could start looking for another option for employment. I would think some of the problem comes with just being with the kids all that time and not really getting a break from them like you would if your husband was home and could take them for a bit. So maybe just try to get someone to help for an hour or so, so you can have some time for yourself. If thats not the case then I would say you guys just really need to sit down and discuss it together, without taking offense to what the othre one has to say. You could also try to make time for just the two of you when he is not working. Give you something to look forward too.

Also one thing that helps me is my huband calls or texts me when he is going to be a little late.

My husband works four very long days. from 9am till 9pm sometimes later. But it is four days a week and then we have a three day weekend together. I find myself liking the schedule even though it is tough those four days on me and our 3yo son. But we have three whole days together as a family and that leaves more room for mini vacas. and by the end of the weekend we sometimes need a break from each other anyways. Since my son does not go to school we are also able to have a flexible bed time. He doesnt go to bed till his daddy comes home, (he wont go to sleep), and Daddy is the only one allowed to brush his teeth. So they have a few min. together before bed and then we spend some time together. We all sleep in till 8am.

Sorry this probably isnt really too much help. I dont really know enough about your situation to say much more. But good luck and keep your chin up.

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