“Life is too ironic. It takes sadness to know what happiness is, noise to appreciate silence, and absence to value presence.” Having a spouse who travels for work can be stressful on a marriage. I would never wish for my husband to travel all the time. And I hope it is a short lived season. But it has given me a new perspective when he does. Thankfully the kids are understanding when dad is gone for work and we settle into a rhythm fairly quickly. The biggest challenge is not having sitters or help with the kids. I am hopeful to find some soon. Below are 5 things I have learned with my husband traveling.
1. It makes me so thankful I am not a single parent. I have gained so much admiration for people who parent alone, all the time. My mom raised me and my sister by herself and I am beginning to understand how tough that was. (Thanks mom!) I am also so thankful to have the opportunity to be a stay at home mom. Trying to balance everything with kids and work is a challenge. A shout out to all you working moms who do it all!
2. It makes us enjoy our family time even more. When he is home, we try to make our time together purposeful. We plan fun, family activities and try to have family dinners each night he is home. The kids enjoy board games and we have incorporated them into our evenings. Some of our favorites are Uno, Zingo and Go Fish.
3. It gives me an opportunity to miss him. If you never have substantial time apart from someone, you can begin to take things for granted. Work, kids, stress, tiredness and many other things can accentuate the negative qualities in us all and cause us to forget the positive qualities.
4. After the kids are down, it’s ME time! Once the kids are asleep, the hard part is over. I have the rest of the evening to tidy the house, read or watch my shows. Just kidding, I never use that time to clean. But I do enjoy having the evenings to myself and diving into a good book. Might as well make the best of a situation, right?
5. Dinner is a cinch. I don’t have to spend much time or thought on planning a big meal since the kids are just as content with pizza or Mac n cheese.
An added bonus to Matt traveling are the hotel and airline points we have accumulated. (The 4 weeks we lived in a hotel also helped with that.) More than once those points have come in very handy.
With Matt traveling so much it is easy to become resentful. I am the one keeping the house together, I am the one taking care of the kids 24/7, I am the one who never gets a break. Living with resentment gets old quickly, and I try to make a conscience effort not to let it creep into my thoughts. When I think of us as a team, it helps put things into perspective. I can’t do my part if he doesn’t do his part. And I can’t do anything to change his travel schedule, so I might as well try to have a positive attitude about it. Although the traveling lifestyle can be trying and difficult, it is also a great opportunity to trust God. My prayer is that I would be receptive of what He has to teach me during this season.