Thursday, July 10, 2008

How to survive when your husband works late or is out of town

I think the title of this post pretty much sums it up. How do you survive when your husband works long hours and/or is out of town frequently?  I will admit, this post is written mostly by me and for me. But if you ladies will benefit and/or have any other helpful advice/wisdom, I will gladly receive it!

I stole this idea from a sweet blogging friend the amazing Kari Jo. I've been reading her blog for ages, and then I got to meet her in person, and it was like I was meeting a celebrity! I love reading about her life and musings as an urban mom to four children in NYC. She is pretty amazing. Her post on this subject is here, and yes, I did steal her fabulous crazed housewife picture. Isn't it great? Kari Jo was so much more gracious in "how to survive", focusing much of her thoughts on how she could bless her husband. That is a good thing. I should do that more. *smile* But here is my take on how to survive those trying years...I mean...days.

1. Go to bed early. Like be in bed by at least 9 pm.  You can work on your laptop, or read or chill or whatever, but the bottom line is : You need sleep to do this.
2. Ask for prayer. Lots of it. You need that too, and it's and easy (hopefully) for people to help you out that way. You pray for your husband. He is working hard, too.
3. Fix easy dinners. Easy dinners=easy prep=easy clean up. We do lots of Pizza take out when daddy is gone.
4. Be in the Word daily or more than that. Be connected to The Source. This is so overlooked, but so vital. Kari Jo mentioned it, and I was like, "Duh. Why didn't I think of that?"
5. Do something fun. Get out of the house. The day will go by faster, and you will be happier. Just make sure it's not every day or you will be a "mean mama". (At least I will be.)
6. Put the kids to bed early. I'm talking 7:30.  I withhold naps so I can get them to bed early. Then there is more time to decompress, relax, and get ready to go to bed early. (Contrary to popular belief (at least to me), just because my husband works late, doesn't mean I should!) Do you catch the theme? Get some sleep!!!

So, there is my list. Got any others to share? And please don't tell me your husband doesn't ever work late. I might actually  end up looking like that lady in the picture if you tell me that. *wry smile*

30 comments:

wholefoodsfamily.wordpress.com said...

Great ideas... thanks for sharing. I was thinking how useful these ideas would be for single moms, too... I can't even imagine how difficult it must get for them sometimes when I get so frazzled when my husband just has to leave town for a few days!

Goodlikeamedicine said...

Wow - I think you pretty much summed up everything that I would say, too! :) The only other thing I do is read Psalm 91 every night when he is gone. I know that may seem a little out there, but I get really scared sometimes and hear all the noises and have a hard time sleeping when he's gone... so I usually end up going to bed really late (when I'm so tired from "waiting up" that I crash), and that's no good!

PS - I love the crazy housewife - hahaha!

(pray for me - I am begging everyone I know to beg God to make Shepherd come soon! I am due 7/15 and READY!)

Brenda said...

For me, the only time we really see my husband is on the weekends. I mean, I see him at night for a bit, but the girls not so much. Therefore, weekends are important for our family so I try to make Friday "get ready for the weekend" day. We clean, get the shopping done, and just try to be ready for whatever the weekend holds instead of being ready to do a lot of chores on the weekend. That way we have more time for fun!
And I teach the girls to be appreciative that their dad works so hard that we can be home together. Anytime we buy something I have them tell him thank you even if he wasn't with us when we bought it--b/c it's his money that we spent! :)

DramaMama said...

Your list is perfect! The only other we would add is to try and call daddy if possible. My son and I love to hear his voice. If he is unavailable, we call grandma and grandpa, just to tell them about our day and give us some closure. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels wrung out when my hubby works late! Thanks for sharing!

Janel said...

I honestly never thought I would survive the 5 months we spent without Rich in Fargo while trying to sell the house. After awhile, going to sleep early didn't help, praying seemed like yelling into a cave, oh and then there was the endless train of real estate people... I don't think I'd make it as a military wife and I now have tremendous respect for single moms. Both of these women are to be commended and continuously held up in prayer!

I'm so thankful that Rich doesn't have to travel for work more than once every 18 months or so. But after Fargo, 3 days without him seems like nothing. : p It's all about perspective.

I'll be praying for you Andrea. : )

Trish D said...

This is a great list - my hubby goes on at least one trip off the continent each year for 3 weeks or so, and I really dread it. I've also learned to not plan any extra projects (the first couple times he was gone, I thought that I'd be able to do some deep organizing, but instead I was exhausted just from the daily stuff). I also schedule get togethers with friends, but not more than every other day.

Kelly's Rants and Raves said...

My dh has several week long trips a year. With 6 children it is a bit difficult. I don't expect anything huge to get done when he is gone. We keep the house relatively clean, mainly for my sanity. I think your list is great!

Monday through Sunday said...

Great ideas. People just do not get enough sleep..and I feel that way at times. Thanks!

amy said...

My husband travels two weeks a month. (The other two weeks he works regular hours--home around 5:30.) I wish I was as good about getting to bed, as that is my downfall. I keep staying awake late just so I can be alive without being needed.

Andrea said...

Oh Amy. i know, I know.

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Working late harder than being out of town (for me). If he's working late (like home after bedtime), I find that I have to shift gears too many times. When he's out of town, I do as you say--in bed early (me and/or the kids), simple (or fun!) dinners, an outing or two (during the day), and adult contact in the form of inviting someone over.

TheFiveDays said...

Great suggestions! My husband isn't out of town a lot, but he does work for a start-up company and that means coming home regularly around 7:30 and often times closer to 9:30.

I've got three kids ages 4 and under and although I'd like to get them to bed early, they are pretty resistant! But I do try to get the baths going early, do an easy dinner, etc. Starting earlier than I think I need to has proven a big help.

Erna said...

I would add giving the kids a bath in the afternoon instead of the evening to the list, if a mother is home in the day with them. I find that at the end of the night, I'm not always full of energy to wait out their baths and other antics. I have three little ones and I try to bathe the girls while my son is napping and then I bathe him after. If I don't have time for that, I'll bathe him at night, which is much less hectic than bathing all three.

My hubby is a shift worker so there are 2-3 days in a row where my little ones don't see him.

I agree wholeheartedly that time in the Word and prayer is key. I'm a better mom when I have that time. (Speaking of which, I should take advantage of that time now and get to bed early. . . totally agree on that one!)

Vicci said...

My husband works out of town 4 days a week. He leaves on Sunday and drives home late Thursday night. I have a newborn and a 4 year old. Some days I think I am supermom, and I just amazingly get stuff done, the kids are well behaved and I didn't even get spit up on my supermom cape. Others I feel like I am Peggy Bundy.

Our situation is better that it was before. When my oldest was born he was out of town for 15 days and only home for 4. He never got to see his girl grow up.

I believe in the strict bed time as well. All those under 4.5 feet must be in bed by 8pm. That way by 8:30 I can enjoy a glass of wine, and crash my 9p.(to be up my 11p to feed the bitty one.
Gotta love being a single-married mom!

Kathi @ A Mother's Prayers said...

As I face another week of 'single parenting' I re-read your good advice.

Thank you.

Kathi

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much I came on the Internet I think looking for moms that army " thankful" that their husbands are gone . I have 3 kids and this is very new to us . However God is blessing us with this new job and a stable income. My husband is gone for 14 days then home for 7 . I find it hard when he leaves because growing together in God as a couple is so much harder apart as well as growing our marriage which is already difficult I don't care who you are it's true. However when he comes home that's another feet to over come. Routine goes out the window and the kids are arangatangs for about 5 of the 7 days .. If anyone has any help in this for me that would be amazing . God bless and happy new year

Anonymous said...

I'm a part time nurse working 12 hour shifts. For 5 days a week, I'm an at home mom to a 3 year old and expecting a new one soon. Husband works from 07:30 am and most of the time comes home by 9:00 pm or later. I am glad to have the opportunity to be there for my children, but I often wonder if it will really be good for them to see their dad in small amounts. Plus I'm exhausted with just one right now and concerned that it will be overwhelming with two. Anyone have advise on this?

Anonymous said...

I met my husband in 2006....I have 3 children from a previous marriage
and he has 2. We recently married and he a few days later left for Texas. He has always been at home with us at night and on weekends. This has taken a huge toll on our relationship (IN EVERY ASPECT) and on our 5 children. I tried to tell him how this is affecting us (me & kids and him) but he doesnt see like me. Come Decmeber 31st 2001 we will have only seen him 2x since October and only for a few days. I love him but my previous marriage of 8 yrs has left a bitter taste in my mouth with a husband who started staying away from home to work. Im raising 5 kids, working a full time job, kids schooling, activities and house chores, bills and all has been left on me. Any advice on how I should cope with this to save myself from feeling resentment and hurt towards him?

Anonymous said...

My husband always work late, is because he is stress at work and he want to finish his work. Even though if it's his day off he still work private job work. We have two children and I always cook our food, and it's upsetting that his not around with us sitting in the table.
Sometimes I've ask myself, why is work is so precious to him? He prefer to work than in the house that's what I feel, but if he explain it's for our own good to pay the bills. Sometimes I would say to myself that If I was to be a single mum, I think I can manage because I'm use to be alone. Please advise me this feeling because I'm beginning to wonder and feeling sorry to myself. Appreciate your advise.

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married for 12 years. He spent 18 months in Iraq with the Military, one year in Iraq as a contractor, one year in Afghanistan as a contractor. And any job he has while state side keeps him out of town or home late at night. Now he is taking a job that will keep him out of town for 10 days home for 4 days. We have a son together, he is 11, and he has two girls from a previous marriage that we are very close to (13 & 15). I work full time and am not looking forward to being a single married mom again :( Its encouraging to know I am not the only one out there. He leaves for his first 10 day rotation in a few days and we are going through the normal bickering getting things ready to loving because we are gonna miss each other. I have no one around me that has similar situations so I am filling a little lost. In the past I just kept myself busy and the kids were younger so I had to keep my mind off of him being gone. I also finished my college while he was away (online of course). But now this time will be different the kids are older and don't "need" me as much... he will be working long hours while he is away so there wont be much phone time.... ugh just feeling really down. Nice to read everyone's post and see that I am not the only one that goes through this :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ladies, I just went through comments and wanted to put my perspective in. Yes, pray and journal, then journal to your husband(a letter of love). No nagging, it is unhealthy. Keep positive energy flowing=great examples like:continued family time even if Dad or Hubby is away,making healthy simple meals together, start an idealistic project to completion,schedule a marriage weekend get away, delegate and always remember be an example (chances are one of your children will also go through what you are going through when they grow up). Avoid negative energy=great examples like:eating late, poor eating, over scheduling self/kids, or not getting enough rest. I am the Sweetlove of my husband, the Queen of our castle and feel very blessed to be a daughter of Christ. Taking the family to do something nice for others also puts my frustration in perspective, plus the kids will benefit from helping too.You got one shot every day, you are strong and courageous, keep the faith and be proud of who and what you have accomplished today!
Sincerly, Fresh Perspective

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