Those dreaded words, “Honey, I will be out of town next week
Yep, you know what
I mean if your husband’s job takes him away frequently.
It’s during his absence that major appliances
malfunction, car idiot lights illuminate, wireless networks stop networking and
the “simple” remote control no longer controls. The master has left the
building. How can one maintain a connected, joyful, and supportive attitude in
the midst of an absent husband while being a pseudo-single wife?
Let’s face it; business travel is hard on everyone. Jon is
currently working for a company located in Portland, OR while our home is in
Austin, TX. On average he travels 5-10 days a month. Earlier in our marriage I
resented his travel. However, with better communication, honesty, as well as being
proactive, we’ve grown in various areas that help make our time apart more
bearable, even fruitful.
-Spend time in the Word daily. Filling my mind with truth is the attitude adjustment I usually need.
-Remember God is the only one who can meet your needs. “And it is He
who will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory, because of
what Christ Jesus has done for us”
-Begin and end your day with prayer. Pray for much needed energy plus love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23 Pray for your husbands as business
travel usually is lonely and exhausting.
-Cultivate a heart of gratitude. Be
careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life. Proverbs 4:23 (NCV) Thus, be grateful for
your husband, his job and all that it provides.
-Establish a daily time to connect with hubby while he’s away.
-Get extra rest. I sometimes go to bed when Cayley does.
-Work on special projects of personal interest (scrapbooks, painting, blogging, reading, gardening, etc).
-Start a moms group to encourage others.
-Build a support system of friends who are willing to help you out with babysitting ,co-op or play groups.
-Phone a friend. I find a meaningful conversation both stimulating and helpful to carry on solo.
-Keep things simple in regards to housekeeping, cooking and obligations.
-Find ways to keep your sanity like exercise, hiring a sitter, planning social interaction and having a daily quiet time.
-Plan a night out with friends or something special several days after a home routine is established. This gives you something to look forward to.
TOGETHER WHEN APART
-Create a travel calendar especially when dad must be gone for an extended time. Include outings and a welcome home celebration.
-Plan fun outings while dad is away. Do a local search for “monthly family outings/events” in your area. Choose a few to do like a library reading for kids or free museum days. This gives kids something to look forward to and keeps you all occupied.
-Have dad map out where he will be so the family can follow his travels (aka: a geography lesson!)
-Have kiddos hide notes or pictures in his suitcase.
-Dad can leave behind a special token with kids. Jon has a 1922 silver dollar that he gives to the girls to take care of when he is gone.
-Establish a daily time for dad to connect with the kids. Jon usually will call in the morning and at bedtime. Today, with the wonders of technology you can Face Time, Skype, text, or send silly movies and pictures to each other. Jon and Cayley have various and ongoing games they play together like Scrabble and Draw Something.
-Have kids share their high and low points of the day with dad.
CLOSER WHEN TOGETHER
-Welcome him home. Warmly greet your husband with a hug and kiss and teach your kids to do the same.
-Create a cheerful atmosphere when he returns home. Her
husband has full confidence in her and
lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm all the days of her
life. Proverbs 31:11-12
-Ask about his trip and meetings, Jon likes it when I show an interest in what he does.
-Be sure to have a date night soon after he returns.
-Have a “staff meeting.” This is a tool that encompasses a weekly meeting to make sure we are on the same page in regards to parenting goals and expectations, catching him up by sharing upcoming events and other obligations.
-Don’t forget that men spell love and appreciation S.E.X.
Now that we are re-experiencing parenting with our youngest
daughter, it has become apparent that some things never change. Cayley cries
like her sisters did ten years ago each time Jon heads out on a trip and asks,
“Do you really have to go daddy?” Secretly, Jon longs to hear these words as it
reaffirms the special bond he has with Cayley and his desire to get back home
as quickly as possible. My heart still aches with each departure but thankfully
we’ve learned to stay better connected, joyful, and supportive of each