Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Repost: What to do when your husband works late or is out of town

This is one of my most searched for topics on my blog, oddly enough. Wives want to know how to survive when their husband is out of town or works late. I am reposting this for myself to not only remind myself, but also to get any more ideas on how to "survive". I know I would benefit, as well as those readers searching for answers...

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*


Michelle said...

I don't usually comment (being rather shy in person as well as in blogworld), but I can so identify! My kids are still quite young (5,2, and expecting again in August), but I do have a few things we only do when Dad has to work until past their bedtime (at least once a week).

I find that for them, it's the little things that they look forward to. My husband and I have a big soaker tub in our ensuite, and when Daddy's working late, they get to have a long play bath in the big tub. We make a special (and easy) dessert of their choice. We eat things my husband doesn't care much for, or we go out and pick up just fries (their favourite) from the drive-through to add to our meal.

I'm not saying it makes up for Daddy's absence, but it does lead to them thinking "Well, at least we get to do..." and look forward to that. My dad was in the military when I was little, and my Mom was good at putting a positive spin on things. I try and do the same to the best of my ability.

Sarah Joy Albrecht said...

Andrea, this is a great list :)

-Depending on how long my husband is gone, sometimes the kids and I will tackle a bigger project (planting a garden, organizing a room, learning a new skill) so we can "show daddy when he comes home!" :)

-I always try to pack a note for my husband somewhere in his suitcase :)

-Keep a list of positive things to talk about in your back pocket for when your husband calls home :)

-I have the hardest time sleeping when my husband is gone. Listening to Bach as I fall asleep seems to work lately - I don't hear all the little noises the house makes as it settles.

-We take a lot of pictures while daddy is away to share with him, and we use our webcam via Skype so that the kids can see their dad. They always ask him to show them his hotel room. "And where's the coffee pot? And where's the bathroom?" :)

-Plan your decompression time so you don't use the down time to do even more housework. Throw in a load of laundry if you must, but use the time at night to watch the chick-flicks you've been putting on a back burner or get some books out at the library just for you.

Sleep is a theme for the list you posted - this is always the hardest for me! Getting to bed at a set time is really key. Otherwise, I will stay up all night missing my husband, avoiding going to bed, and then I'm a wreck the next day. By about day three, unless I've been good, I'm useless... until my girlfriends rescue me on my crash day :)

laurel said...

Ah, Andrea, this is so timely for me. I am going to be putting several of these ideas into use tonight. I am really bad about staying up until the wee hours of the morning when Matt is gone b/c I HATE listening to the sounds of the house while I am home alone, so I stay up until I am so tired that I just crash. It isn't smart, b/c then I am extra grouchy. I am going to try and be more mindful of that tonight. Thank you.

Christine said...

I remember when you posted this. Right now this doesn't apply since Jason's on sabbatical (he's working on his doctorate full time at the moment) so his schedule is more flexible. But during his busy times when he's working days, nights, weekends, etc. another thing I do is to give myself grace and allow the kids to miss an activity or two so that we're not running crazily a number of times per week to dance or karate or something. We might get a movie we all can watch and we allow a bit more media time (more for me to have the break, I admit it!) than normal. The sleep one is the ABSOLUTE key, though!

AmysZoo said...

Such good wisdom here, Andrea. My husband is away with the US Navy in Afghanistan. He has been away since September and will return in July. He was home for two glorious weeks in March. So, I am dealing with the Daddy-away thing! And your advice about sleep is right on. I have NOT been heeding it, and have been praying the price. Thanks for the encouragement, Andrea. I really enjoy reading your blog, especially the way point us to Jesus. Blessings to you and your growing family! Amy

dorothy said...

Thanks for re-posting these ideas. Good wisdom. And now that it's 10:30, I think I'll go to bed:)

Amy T. said...

I utilize my support system! Keith's parents live in the same town, and I'll pack up the kids and go there for the day or the evening. It's like a second home to us.

I also might ask a friend to stop by during the day so I have some adult conversation at some point.

If he is gone overnight or longer, we might pack up and go visit my parents or go to the lake with my in-laws.

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