Does Your Husband Travel?

One of the nights Alex was out of town, Roslyn was having an especially rough night going down. It's always a struggle for Mom and Roslyn around 5 or 6 in the evening. That's the time when Dada usually comes home. This night was tiring and long, so by bedtime, Roslyn was losing it. 

Once I got her ready for bed, and finished our nightly routine, I thought she was fairly sleepy. But no, she was still ready to put up a fight. After going into her room to lay her down for the fourth time, I closed the door behind me, just to hear her start getting up again. As I turned around to go back in the room, I couldn't open the door! I started moving the knob frantically, and realized after hitting the door with my pregnant self, that it wasn't budging. I ran to get a screw driver to undo the door knob, while Roslyn is screaming in the background. That didn't work. So, I started hitting the knob and door even harder. 

Nothing was working! I finally called Alex in panic, and asked him if I should call the fire department? We have a firefighter neighbor, so he contacted him first. I think I kind of went crazy, because when my husband called back there was no more crying. I had taken a hammer to the door, and caused some serious damage. I'm glad I did it, because it had already been a half hour of her screaming. It's a pretty hilarious story now, but in the moment, man I was freaking out! 

Right now, Alex is somewhere in the middle of Iowa, and so I decided to write this post while he is absent. I figured it would bring to life why I am writing this post in the first place.

Having a husband that is out of town for over 100 nights out of the year is a lot of things, but I would say the number one is tiring. Although, I do not have five kids and don’t have a full-time job at the moment, it is still tiring. I have a toddler and am in my third trimester of pregnancy. It is not an easy road. Many times, I get through it with ease, but when Roslyn is having a really hard day, or pregnant mama is not feeling well, it can get the best of me.

Yesterday was an especially long day, due to the fact that Roslyn was flipping out for most of the day. It started off great, until we dropped Dada off at the airport, and then she just would not take a nap afterward. From there, it was a fight for an hour and a half to try to put her down. Eventually, I stopped trying, and just made some lunch. She was furious at the food for some reason, and when I finally got her down for a nap she woke up an hour later screaming “NO, NO, NO!”. Then, the meltdowns just kept the same pace for the remainder of the day. She wouldn’t eat dinner in her seat, peed herself on the changing table right after I gave her a bath. Also, bedtime was a battle with me laying her down in the crib over twenty times, which by the way hardly ever happens. Overall, it was a rough day.

Today, was definitely better, but she still had a tough time, when normally she would be fine. I don’t know if she’s just having a bad day, or if she’s mad Dada’s gone. I can’t quite tell.

Traveling started a little over a year ago for my husband, and I wanted to share the top things I’ve learned, and hopefully it will be comforting for some other mom whose husband travels too.

1. Don’t get mad at him for being gone. It doesn’t help anything.

I used to do this unintentionally all the time. Whenever he would call or come home, and it makes the travel situation ten times worse. I honestly didn’t know how to tell him that I was sad without making him feel guilty for being gone. So, my go to was acting sassy. Not the best way to go about my feelings, but sometimes our emotions come out in the wrong way.

2. Use the time to get closer to God.

This is huge! Spending those lonely nights when your husband is gone with God makes an immense difference. I can’t tell you how many things God has shown me whenever I submit that time to him. Instead of watching movies, or checking social media, it is crucial to use that time for something way more fulfilling.

3. Embrace having a couple nights to yourself.

Almost every night that he is gone I study my Bible, pray, or do some type of reflecting. These are big nights to get creative for me as well. I have a creative itch that just doesn’t go away. After I’m alone with God, I normally do something creative. Whether it’s writing in my blog, painting, redoing furniture, sewing, drawing, designing invites, making a craft, or planning in my bullet journal. There are so many possibilities! I’m not sure if being creative is your niche, but whatever your talents are invest some time into them. 

4. Be excited when he gets home. 

This is similar to being mad that he’s traveling. It is way better to come home to someone that is excited to see you, and missed you, then someone who is crabby. Now, I have to say I am still working on this. It gets hard to remember every time, but it really is important. The basis of this is not thinking about yourself and putting your husband’s feelings first.

5. Try to reach out in cute ways through text or call. And hello, FACETIME! 

For Alex and I, this one comes in the form of funny pictures of Roslyn, nice morning texts, calls at night, and funny Memes. It depends on both your personalities, but mix it up. This is a good reminder for me too.

6. Don’t start fights while he is gone. 

Arguing over the phone always makes it worse. You can’t see the persons face, and he is busy with work stuff. It’s way better to discuss problems whenever he is home. This just happened the other day, and let’s admit it right now, the argument is usually dumb anyway.

7. Don’t give him tons of things to worry about (until maybe that night when you talk on the phone). 

Recently, I’ve worked through this suggestion. I used to burden him with how bad Roslyn was doing every step of the way, but I know it doesn’t help. He can’t do anything about it, and it makes him feel terrible that he’s not around to help. Sometimes you just need to vent, but I’ve learned to just vent to God and pray. You can talk to him all about it that night, and by that time it won’t be as emotionally charged.

8. Go see other people and plan to get out of the house. Use relatives and friends. 

Usually, one of the nights my husband is gone, I go over to my mom’s house to spend the night. She has a wonderful set up for us, and I get along with my family very well. If you don’t have family close, then schedule playdates with other friends, or go to local events. Try to meet your neighbors, or go for a walk. These are all feasible, and will break up your long days/nights.

9. The burn out times are, early in the AM, and after 5pm for us. 

These are the worst times for Roslyn and I. First, I am not a morning person, so mornings are rough in general. Past 5pm, is normally when Dada comes home, and whenever that time hits Roslyn is getting tired. I also have to make us dinner, and am running out of steam. I’m not sure what your worst time of the day is, but recognize those times and anticipate how to make them better.  

10. Be careful not to over extend yourself with helping others during these days. 

I’ve discovered how many times I over extend myself on these days/nights he is gone. Lately, I have only been planning about 1-2 activities a day. Otherwise, we will be too worn down at the end of the day. This concept is hard for me to follow, because I want to do everything, and don’t realize my own limits. Identifying those limits of helping others with whatever is going wrong that day, is vital.

I hope all these realizations help you when your husband is traveling! I know many of them are common sense but are so easily forgotten. Leave a comment if you have any other suggestions, or if you need prayer while your husband is gone. I know it can be super difficult.