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Is anyone else a PTSP? (part-time-single-parent)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My husband's job requires travel. Dd, ds and I have school, sports, work, etc. here, so we're not in a position to tag along. It's been like that for a long time, and it's not going to change any time soon. At first, I felt depressed and deserted even though I knew he was working to support us.

As time went on, and the kids got older, we would adjust our routines to the "without daddy mode," then Dad would come back and try to do things "the old way." We'd all have to re-adjust before we could move ahead.

Is anyone else a PTSP? I'd like to hear some of your methods of dealing with the comings and goings and making things smoother when things break, leak, go bump in the night, etc. It's still hard after all these years.
post #2 of 10

Let me think a bit right now I am

brain dead
but I am this
post #3 of 10
I am this also. This month we have had 6 days with dear old dad. I know this job makes it possible for me to sah, but it is tough.

What exactly are you struggling with? Transitions? The ones when he comes home or the ones when he leaves?
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
Cerri, I know what you mean. Yesterday I took the car in to get much-needed new tires, walked around town for two hours, came home and did laundry and dishes, helped kids with homework, discovered that I had the snack duty for basketball and forgot, helped with more homework, did more dishes and laundry, etc. etc. You get the picture. This morning, I had a big headache, and just flopped on the couch with the cat for an hour or so. Then I headed out to my garden and nipped and poked. I feel SO much better now. I'm ready to roll again!

Laralou, I'm struggling with several issues, actually. Yes, the transitions are somewhat bumpy. Then, there's the sheer exhaustion of trying to be both mom and dad, the loneliness, and finally the guilt that comes from adjusting to his being gone, and finding that I enjoy the silence, take-out dinners, less laundry, no fights between dh and dd (16.)

Also, when he's gone, I tend to open up more to those around me. There's a certain lucid state that is only present when I'm truly alone. For example, when he's here, he tends to be the main one who takes ds to basketball and baseball practice while I attend to dd's needs and other hot spots. (I'm not very sports-minded.) When he's gone, though, I take ds, and find that (being in my more-open-to-those-around-me phase,) I actually enjoy the events and the people, even though most people tend to focus on asking me where my husband is and when he'll be back instead of showing any interest in boring old me! I wish they'd realize that I do have thoughts and feelings and even a few lofty ideals.

Does any of this sound familiar? What are your feelings?

The return transition is also bumpy since I usually feel compelled to present an exhausted dh with a list of things that broke or leaked while he was gone at the same time that he's buried in paperwork, phone calls and emergencies at the office. He just wants to hide, so he gets crabby and everyone gets mad and leaves him alone, wishing he would go away again. Soon he does, and the cycle repeats itself.
post #5 of 10
I have problems with transition too. I will flat out admit it's a power issue. I run the house and "do" the kids a certain way..every day..day in day out. When dh is here he does things "wrong".---puts dishes where they don't belong, puts away toys in the "wrong" spot, doesn't hook the dogs up for potty, gets our school day routine out of sync etc. etc. It drives me crazy for one I can't find certain things after he's gone and two I try to equate it to if someone showed up at his office/his "turf" where he does things a certain way because it works for him and began doing things their way instead of his way.

I know it's his house of course, but I get used to doing things a certain way because it works and I'm the one who has to live with it mostly. So coming in after being gone a week and changing things tests me.

I admit it..I'm a bi#@h

Don't even get me started on Daddy as a hero stuff! "Yay! Daddy's home! Mr. Big Giant Plaything! and Mom is reduced to "bad cop".
post #6 of 10

before ds was old enough I did a lot of

the repairing when it had to be done
Now Ds helps a lot
I highly recommend the book "how to fix damn near everything" A friend just told me it has been updated
and make Home Depot your friend

After 11 years we STILL have the problem of dh coming in and trying to 'be' here/do things etc
I sometimes yell at him when it gets bad ( bad of me I know) that he can't just come in here and expect to make things go his way ...
Just sunday we had a problem with the vacuuming
he missed some spots and when I went back over them he was put out

ooh Nankay I can relate to that! Yay the big conquering hero as opposed to mom who makes us clean the house and do our homeschool lessons ...
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yes, the power struggle is always there. I do certain things "my way" because after years of trial and error I have determined what works best. That's the way I do it. Why re-invent the wheel?

I've only recently begun to let go of certain tasks (when he's around, that is..) such as folding the towels. It's pretty hard to do that wrong, so that's now one of his jobs. They're not exactly how I would do them, but they're clean (I know, I washed them!) and they get put away.

I wonder what would happen if I ever went away. What if I just hopped on a plane and said, "See you in two weeks!" Not that I'm thinking of trying it, but I like to wonder.
post #8 of 10
I can relate-dh typically travels 2 weeks out of the month. We've been doing this for about a year--so far I don't mind that much. The long trips are tough--right now he'll be gone for over a week and a half, over the weekend. My threshhold is about 4 days--then I turn into grumpy mommy.

And yes, having to deal with the inevitable things around the house that don't work is a big chore--I just want him to handle it!

Also can relate to the positive things that come out of the separation--I enjoy a lot of solitude, and I enjoy the exclusivity of interaction w/dd!
post #9 of 10

kamalani I got to deal with tonight!

we have had dh home thank to the Ice
(most of us have been iced in)
He is sicker than a dog -oh so much sicker than I was Saturday with same stuff which he had the nerve to tell me "you got sick on purpose"
I made the mistake of asking him to do something with dd (Not very GD and he called me on it LOL) but then instead of being helpful he lectured ME for YELLING after he had done the SAME thing last night for the same reason!!! OK Yes I shouldn't have yelled but to call me for it when he did it just INFURIATES me
I then realized he would be no help whatsoever and I said "I don't know why I even ask you anymore!)he said he didn;t either) I will deal with it myself and when he started to reply I said DON"T even -you are not here and don't deal with all this or what goes on so I will just do it myself and don't you dare whine about being left out of the loop

Sorry to vent on your thread but wanted you to know that you are not the only one .....*Sigh*

told him before if he is going to act like a paycheck then I will treat him as one..
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
It's OK, Cerri, go right ahead and vent.

One thing you said keeps going around in my mind... it's the part about being left out of the loop. I think that's why dd and dh don't get along too well these days. She got tired of all of the transitions, and figured (subconsciously) that it's easier on the emotions to just ice him out of the loop completely, whether he's at home or away. He's hurt and angry, so it's therefore easier for her to justify the distance that she has creaated between them. Just a thought.
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