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If your dp travels a lot for business... - Page 2

post #21 of 29
my DH travels a lot, and for a good chunk of time per travel (7-10 days, almost always including a weekend, and even over kids' vacation schedules and holidays!) It's far (europe mostly_), and comes in spurts - he'll travel every month for a week or so, for about 2 seasons' worth, then it quiets down for a few months.

my biggest fears are not so much as how to manage the kids - that part comes easily. (4 kids ages 7, 7, 3, and 2). the hardest thing for me is that i get really jealous. i'm angry that i have to do everything and i get jealous that he's expensing nice meals off menus across eurpoe, eating at outdoor cafes, sitting at the lagoon with a gelato, doesn't have to cook or clean or deal with the 'chaos or noise', and yet, comes back 'tired' and needs to sleep (er - watch tv!).

so that's my problem.

in terms of dealing with the house and kids, the funny thing is, knowing 'it's all me' makes it even easier. there's no one that you're expecting to clean the sink, or wash the table, so it's actually easier. and meal time can be when you and the kids are hungry (like at 4pm instead of 6:30), and bed time can include even more snuggle time since you can go up as early as you want.

so what i try and do is stay motivated to do fun things even though he's not around. took the kids to cape cod during april vacation, and if he could come, great. if not, we're still going. (he didn't come). if we want to go to the city to do something fun, we will. if we want to stay up late, we will. i just can't sit around and wait for him to take time off or make up for lost time with travels, because it won't happen .granted, the economy makes it difficult for anyone to take too much time away from work, so i understand that side of things too.

just keep reminding yourself that no matter how you do, or how you're feeling, or what you do or don't do, it's all ok. you're entitled to feel the way feel, and to manage in a way that works for you.

as Aka mommy said, less mess, less laundry, less tantrums... somehow it all works out.
post #22 of 29
We live overseas (so no family or longterm friends nearby) and DH travels about 25% of the time.
I do:
have a sitter/housekeeper. Life/sanity saver especially when pregnant.

stay out later at the playground when weather permits. as long as dinner is either ready or is going to be something simple, we'll get home at 6pm, have dinner and then it's almost bedtime.

bake lots or plan a special activity like the zoo.

have a mom's night out or playdates so you get some adult interaction (I'm an extravert so this is really important)

stick to bedtime rigidly. I need that me-time in the evening.

give DH ideas of a small gift he might be able to get DS.

skype with Daddy when possible.

watch all the chick shows in bed early like Grey's Anatomy that DH hates!

We have learned one thing, the hard way. Don't make promises you can't keep.
Once DH called DS before bedtime as he was boarding a plane. He said, 'when you wake up I'll be home' as his flight was due to land at 4am.
When I woke up, I saw text messages on my phone from DH. Basically some idiot had made a hole in the side of the plane with the staircase, everyone had to disembark and wait 12 hrs for another flight.
DS was heartbroken and confused. We felt AWFUL!

DH absolutely hates being apart from DS (and me, but mainly DS!!) but needs must and we're fortunate in this economy that he has a good job.
I'm working on remembering the positives!
post #23 of 29
My dh is gone a lot, too. And I'm going to echo a lot of the pps.

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Declutter so you don't have much to clean, or much laundry to do. Walk around your house and find ways to make all of your chores effecient as possible. Prep freezer meals in advance, or use your crockpot so you aren't a slave to you kitchen.

Fairly solid routines, and busy days help a lot. Also letting go of the guilt of not living my ideal has helped me lots. I get it most days, but there are times where I don't for days on end. There's grace in child-rearing.

I allow plenty of time for gettings things done because I know that it takes me longer alone. So, like others, we eat around 5, and then move straight to the bedtime routine. Lights out by 8, at the very, very latest. When dh is home, bedtime can run to 10 or later.

Everyone is right...the kids fall into a nice little routine, and then when dh comes back, everything is MUCH harder. I miss him, but I sometimes I wish he and I could coordinate better.
post #24 of 29
My husband is typically gone M-Th and I have three children under five, 4, 2 and infant. I see a lot of dismissive posts here (especially in the Financial section) about hiring things out but for us, it really is a sanity saver. Anything you can afford comfortably in your budget to have someone else do can really make a huge difference. At this time I have a mother's helper come 2 hours a week so I can do a few errands like post office, hair cut, etc. without my older two along. We have the lawn mowed for us and pay a teenager in our neighborhood to walk our dog. I would pay to have my groceries delivered if it was available in my area.

Another big tip is that if you handle the budget make sure at the end of each month that you set aside a little bit of time to sit down with your husband at the end of the weekend before he leaves town and go over the next monthly budget with him. It takes about an hour for us, we discuss all upcoming expenses that are unusual (meals out, birthday presents, unexpected medical, etc.) and figure out if we have any "play" money after we've paid everything and put money into savings. This has created a much more peaceful marriage for us. We are on the same page and we are both aware of what the next financial month looks like before we get to it. We argue far less about money now. It just isn't possible to try and talk about it when he is away and he is stressed.
post #25 of 29
my dh works at sea and is gone for 5 weeks at a time, then home for 4 weeks. he's not close to home either, usually off the coast of india, indonesia, south korea, or japan. this has been our lifestyle for 3 years now and while i've adjusted to being alone most of the time it's getting harder for our kids now that they're older (4 and 6 yo). also, adjusting to him being gone, and coming home is hard. i don't have family nearby but i do have some very good neighbors that are like family. so if there are ever any emergencies i have friends i can rely on. i don't do much cooking when dh is gone, and i'm not so particular about keeping the house spotless. i have a teenage girl who i can call to babysit if i ever need a few hours break. i also have a gym with childcare so all the more reason to go work out. lol
post #26 of 29
DH travels anywhere from 1 day a week to 4. It sucks, and it's been that way for about 3 yrs. I used to travel professional pre-kids, so I set him up in good hotels, offer tips, etc.

For me, sometimes I schedule a sitter for the afternoon rush - 330-530 and I will go out to Starbucks, or work on a puzzle at the library, or get some work done (I teach nights, so my work is wherever I need it to be). I don't clean up while DH is gone - dishes & kitchen yes, but toys & beds, no. We have special times - mocktail hour with appetizers (fun!), game night, "building night" - all of our building sets from big legos to little legos, lincoln logs, blocks, K'nex, etc. spread out all over the great room, movie night (jammies, blankets, and popcorn). We'll go to the park or library, take the dog for a walk (their new favorite), or have breakfast for dinner (chocolate chip pancakes!). I make frozen pizza or leftovers or even tuna helper type things. And I cram the dishwasher with everything. We also will do more playdates then too especially one-on-one (i.e. one kid goes, the other stays with me)

1. Give everything a title - i.e. movie night, mocktail hour, etc. They get thrilled by the expectation.

2 If you can do video chat with DH, even late in bed, do it. Sometimes we record a quick video goodnight and email it to him if we can't connect. We do a lot of phone calls too.

3. Something special for yourself at night - call an old girlfriend, take a hot bath with a favorite "toy" and some romantic candles, watch a chick flick, go to bed with a favorite book, etc.

Generally days 1-2 go well. Day three I start yelling a little and feeling guilty. I break out the wine. Day four gets ugly - kids fighting, toys in timeout, nap is out the window. Day five we muddle through at best.

Try to make it different, to make it fun. And lower your expectations significantly! It gives me great respect for single & divorced moms everywhere!
post #27 of 29
My DH is in the oil & gas industry & lives in the middle of the ocean for 2-3 weeks out of every month. I have three little ones & have done just fine. We do have a decent support system (my parents live about 1/2 mile from me), but I don't have a babysitter ever & don't really leave my kids with my parents except in emergency situations. My mom does come with me when we go places like doctor's appointments & even fun things for the kids like bowling, & it's a big help. The only things that are really different when my DH is gone is that we eat out a lot more & all three of the kids sleep in the bed with me! I honestly haven't found it difficult at all, but he's been working offshore since we were 17, so I've never known anything different.
post #28 of 29
Originally Posted by cjam View Post
I find that the worst part of DH's trips is the few days before the trip. I stress about the same things you are, but once he's gone, we fall into a routine and do quite well. It's never as difficult as you imagine it will be.
We call it the Sunday night blues, even if it is a tuesday!

Originally Posted by marrymeflyfree View Post
My hubby is an airline pilot
Same here, but not international. Typically on reserve or airport ready in another city. For us the lack of knowing the schedule month to month ( or even day to day) is what causes the trouble here. 4-6 days on and 2-3 days off is average.

I've found that with increasing kids and dp's worsening schedule that my standards change. Cereal and fruit is now a fine dinner. A shampoo every 3 or 4 days is fine for everyone. 45 minutes of tv for the 2 years old while I eat some ice cream and read to re-group. But somethings don't get lost- homework must get done, dinner must be eaten together (even if it is cereal!), etc.

Also hard is when dp is home and expects things to run more smoothly "because there are two parents home." But one parent has been away and doesn't have a clue how the house runs!!
post #29 of 29
I'm in this club, too. Dh is often away--usually for 6 weeks at a time but at times for as long as 6 or 7 months.

I make sure to enjoy my life while he is away. For me, that means really laughing and playing and going on fu adventures with my kids. I just try to keep things simple (echo, echo...I think there is a theme emerging here) and really feel all the love that is in this house.

I try to remember that they are missing their dad so they need extra love. givig it helps me too.

The hardest days for me are the two or three before he goes and the two or three when he returns. After the returns I always want everything to be perfect ad great, but the reality is everyone--the kids, me, dh--all need a little transition time to get our groove back.

Hope that helps a little.

Also, I have a little help sometimes but still I never sleep more than 5-6 hours a night. I need that nighttime time to myself and the kids are early risers. It's not perfect, but it is still pretty good.
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