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I'm newly married with a 6 yo from my previous marraige. My new husband was recently laid off and is finding it very impossible to find a job in our area. (If you're curious, he's in IT and we live in CO). Based on the need to (possibly) move out of state and because of some very serious concerns I have about my dd's dad, we decided to do a custody evaluation.

Well, it looks like the "advocate" assigned to do our study will recommend that my dd not leave the state. This puts us in a wierd situation. Also, I work (have my own business), but in no way can I support our family, even on our shoestring budget. We live in a 2 bedroom condo, both own old cars, don't have cable, go to public school etc...

So....my dh is still looking for a job, but looking outside of the state and the US too! My question is, how does that work to have a long distance during the week home on the weekends relationship? What are the pros? What are the cons? How long can we keep it up, realistically? Can anyone give me some advice and input?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Well, my situation is a bit different, but I also do the part-time single parent/separated from DH routine, so I thought I'd jump in here. My DH is in the military and, with his current job, is gone from home for five days out of every eight. Leaving me to be full-time mama to two kids, work my business (I own my own business, too, though it does not fully support us, either), take care of EVERYTHING at home, and still try to maintain warm fuzzy feelings with DH. It's not easy, so let me just say that up front. But it can be done, so let me say that, too.

We have been doing this for two years now. It sucks, I hate it, and I can't wait for DH to retire (three years). That said, we make it work. We try to spend a lot of time together when he is home. He takes the kids two mornings out of the three he's home so that I can have some uninterrupted work time. We talk on the phone every day that he's gone. We send emails back and forth all the time. We really TALK about things, which keeps us involved in each other's daily life. We communicate what we need, what we're feeling about the situation, what we feel in general, so that we can keep our relationship strong.

The cons are that you don't get a lot of physical time with your DH -- which is super important to me, as physical touch is my love language. You don't get the cuddle in bed time, the friendly kiss as he walks by while you're doing the dishes time, etc. You also end up doing pretty much EVERYTHING that needs to be done around the house ... from shopping, to repairs, to cleaning, to having the car worked on, to mowing the lawn, to paying the bills. Get the idea? It's you, and only you, because when the other person is home, they don't have the time to deal with those things, and you want to free them up to spend the most amount of time with you as possible, anyway.

It's hard being a single parent, even if only part-time. I don't get much of a break -- I'm pretty much everything to everybody. Do you have family or close friends in the area to help you? I don't, so that makes it even more difficult for me. Also, I end up being the "bad" parent to DH's "good" parent a lot because when Daddy is home, it's party time! Mama is the one ALWAYS there, ALWAYS making DC follow the rules, ALWAYS making DC eat their vegetables, etc. Daddy is just a big jungle gym. Yes, we agree on our parenting approach (and when we don't we discuss it, and DH defers to me a lot as I am the one most actively parenting), but still, just the fact that DH is away so much makes it like a big treat for the kids when he is home.

The pros ... well, you get the bed all to yourself! :LOL Or, you do if you're not co-sleeping, anyway. (I forget what it's like to sleep without someone's foot in my face and another in between my ribs.) You get to control the remote. You don't have to share the computer, if you ever actually get time to use it, that is. There's always enough hot water.


Seriously, the pros are that separation *can* actually strengthen your relationship. It forces you to communicate better, more efficiently, more effectively. It makes you super aware of all of the things you love about your partner, all of the things you really miss when he's gone. (Course, it also makes you super aware of all the things you don't miss ... like snoring, or having to share your thoughts and ideas with someone else before actually acting, etc., kwim?)

Anyway, I hope things work out for you and your family. Separation ain't easy, but it is workable. PM me if you'd like to talk about it further, or have specific questions.
to you mama, and good luck!
 
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