Anyone whose DPs work out of town? Tips? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 6 Old 06-06-2010, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies,

My DH recently found out his employer is sending him to work out of town for the foreseeable future. He'll be working about 2 hours from where we live, gone Monday to Friday and home on weekends.

He worked a similar kind of schedule when we were young and had no kids. It wasn't as big an adjustment back then obviously--more like my chance to have a girls' night out every week. Since we've had the kids, he's had two stints out of town, both temporary, but I know so well how hard it was on me to handle everything on my own during the week...bedtime was especially trying when I was exhausted...and after I got the kids to bathed and to bed, I got to do all the dinner dishes, tidy the kitchen, and get my DD's lunch ready for school the next day. I was pretty lonely in the evenings after bedtime...the house was so quiet. I don't have any family nearby, although one of my friends in the neighborhood said she'd drop by once in a while.

Does anyone have any tips? I've been thinking I'll do some baking and have some dinners in the freezer so I can just pop them in the oven on the nights when I'm super tired of chasing the kids during the day (that would save an hour of extra work some evenings). And no doubt the dishwasher will see more activity than it does now. I already go to playgroups with my DS twice a week, so hopefully I'll still remember how to converse with adults...

Anyone else have a DP/DH working away? How do you manage?

Mother to DD#1  s/b @40w 2003 for unknown reasons; DD#2   9.5 years old; DS  6 years old 
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#2 of 6 Old 06-07-2010, 04:36 PM
 
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I know exactly how you feel. My husband works out of town at times. Making a large dish like Texas hash and making it last a few days has been a life saver. Swifter wet mops have helped with spot cleaning.

It gets lonely here too as I also have no family close by but I've found that calling them helps.

As far as energy is concerned, I make sure to go to bed early, take my vitamins in the morning and drink green matcha tea. It has made a huge difference for me.

I'm thinking about getting an iPod dock so I can play podcasts from NPR during bath time. Little things like that can help you stay connected to the adult world and not feel so drained.

I'm still thinking of more things and will keep up with this thread so I can add more things to my own list.

~francie~
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#3 of 6 Old 06-07-2010, 04:54 PM
 
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My dh works out of town. He is gone from Sunday around 5pm to Thurday around 9:30pm. This started in March and it has certainly taken time to adjust to this new routine.

We keep a pretty consistent routine every week and this keeps me organized and it also seems to be good for my daughters in knowing what to expect every day. I try to do cleaning throughout the day as it comes up so that I'm not cleaning all evening when the girls are in bed. I really need some down time just for myself in the evenings.

I usually cook twice during the week when he is gone and we eat leftovers the other days.

I also drink lots of coffee and tea . I really cannot get through the day without it. I am considering asking a friend to babysit one morning a week so that I can run errands without the girls. Going to the bank, grocery store, et is hard when I have to take my girls in and out of their car seats a million times.

Good luck.
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#4 of 6 Old 06-07-2010, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies...

DH just left this morning for the first week. He'll be back on Friday night. My oldest is taking it well so far (she's 5.5). Our son probably won't know any different until he's walking around the house this evening calling for his dad.

I'm going to make two dinner meals to freeze for this week for my "I'm not cooking" evenings. And try to keep on top of the housework so it doesn't get out of hand. DH was trying to cheer me up last night saying, "I see huge pots of soup and chili in your future."

It's a tough new adjustment. The increase in salary from the out-of-town work is much needed but with the kids only seeing their dad on weekends now...sigh...I also have no idea yet if it's permanent or a 6 month thing or what...

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#5 of 6 Old 06-07-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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Japonica, it is hard to think about the kids not seeing their dad more. One thing that seems to work for our family is that my dh does most everthing for our daughters while he is home. For instance, if I go to change dd2's diaper, she will tell me "No Mama! Dada do it". My girls miss their dad and want him to do everything when he is home- bedtime routine, put them in and out of their carseats, et cetera. And he misses them so he is happy to do it all when he is home. And I'm exhausted by Friday so I am happy to have a break!

My youngest is 18months and I really think she is starting to understand what the new routine is. When she sees him getting ready to leave she is clingy with him but she does okay once he is gone. When she asks for him, I just tell her that he is at work and she gets over it. My oldest is 4 1/2 and she is handling it well too. She is such a Daddy's girl too so it is hard but kids are resiliant. On Mondays, she is pretty easily upset by minor things. She has also started sleeping with me when dh is gone. I know that this is hard for her and she just needs extra snuggles and patience right now so I'm trying to do that for her. Before this job, my husband was unemployed for a year and a half and so he saws the girls every day, all day. This is a big change for us.

I just try to remind myself that there are military families who don't see their spouse/dad for months and months at a time and their kids turn out fine! It could be harder and so I'm greatful for the fact that he has a job and that we can see him every weekend.

Good luck settling into your new routine.
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#6 of 6 Old 06-08-2010, 01:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Shelley...and you're right. I came from a city with a military base located nearby and there would always be a story on the news when the families were reunited after those long deployments.

He already mentioned that weekends are going to be my "freetime," so I guess I can make plans for what to do when I get some time to myself. Hmm...meet friends for coffee? Movie? Shopping (not grocery--LOL)?

And yeah, I have a feeling my 5 year old will end up in our bed...she crawled in at least once or twice the last time he was out of town...lonely and missing her dad, I imagine. Our 2 year old still sleeps with us, so not sure how much sleep I'll get with two kids kicking me, but the more the merrier...

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