My husband travels for work. More than any of us would like. The days seem so long when he’s gone. I miss him. I miss having someone to lay in bed with at night…whether a word is spoken or not. I miss the catch up family dinners together, even though him and I hardly ever get an adult word in during that meal. I miss that 6 o’clock rainbow that I have to look forward to when he’s in town….just knowing that in a few more hours he will be here not only to lend a hand, but to just switch up the day. The days get long…it’s the kids, and myself. Do I feel fortunate to be home with them all day? More than you know. Do I often lose sight of that fortune when my husband is traveling? More than I probably should.
When he’s gone, the kids feel it too. They may be young, but it’s as plain as day. Aside from my 3 year old constantly saying how much she misses Daddy, their behavior when he’s gone speaks volumes. They act out more. They are more restless. Less patient. My guess is that they miss that distraction and switch to the day that daddy brings home as much as I do. They can feel as suffocated by me as I can by them.
Now, do you want to know what gets me through? Empathy. It’s the glue that binds my marriage. We have committed to each other that if we don’t have anything else in this world, we will always have empathy for each other. So I sit back and think. And it sometimes brings me to tears. Having a traveling husband is a two way road. I know he dislikes it as much as I do. The hotel beds and showers. The constant hustle between plane, train and car, literally. The exhaustion. Theres no way I could do what he does.
Spousal traveling can be tough on both parties but like most challenges, there are upsides, too. With that being said, here are Five Pros Of Having A Traveling Spouse:
1. We miss each other
All of us. The kids miss Daddy. I miss my husband. My husband misses us right back. And it’s totally okay. Yes, it can be difficult when he is gone. We anticipate FaceTime calls. I hear I can’t wait to tell Daddy that when he gets home! an average of 72 times a day when he’s gone. But the homecomings are as if the horn has sounded and fireworks have begun. It’s a happiness I only see in my children’s eyes when Daddy walks in that door from a trip. They scream, they jump up and down. They run to him at the speed of lightning. And Daddy? He hugs them like he’s never hugged, sometimes tears in his eyes. And I get to sit back and watch…elated as all heck to have him back, myself.
2. It’s one less person to accommodate
This probably sounds insensitive, but it’s the truth. The laundry is less (until he returns and that suitcase full of filth has entered my laundry room). There’s less clutter around. We do fun dinners out because there is no waiting for Daddy to drive home during rush hour. Heck, sometimes we skip dinner and have snack/movie night after we spend dinnertime at the pool or park. Really, our schedule is just more free. Now, would we prefer our family dinners at 6 o’clock at home with him? Absolutely. But these loosey-goosey nights off schedule are kind of a fun switch.
3. His time with our kids is cherished
Now, not all the time, of course. But after he’s been away, the kids are elated to have him home when he’s here; like over the moon-elated. He soaks up the wrestling, playing and silly time and they love on him like no other. Not to say it isn’t this way when he’s home for a long period of time..but there is just something different about when he’s home in between travels. It’s elevated. Its simply cherished time, that’s the only way I can describe it.
4. He appreciates me
He’s thankful that I take care of our home and children when he is away. He reminds me of how he would not be able to focus on his work without me focusing on things at home and he truly makes me feel appreciated. It gives me a sense of confidence and reminds me that it is most definitely a two way street…there’s no way I could do what I do without all of his hard work just like there’s no way he could do all of his hard work without the things I do on my end. It’s a mutual respect that I am so grateful for.
5. He wants to be home with us
Does he golf with buddies? Yes, occasionally. Do I encourage him to grab a beer with friends on a Friday night? Most definitely. But in the grand scheme of things, his answer is Babe, I’ve been away all week. I just want to be home with you guys. Not only does he miss us, he misses his home and I totally get that. He wants to work in the yard. He wants to enjoy time on the deck. He wants family dinners. And my true feeling is that its because he doesn’t get that opportunity every single day. He can’t when he’s traveling, he doesn’t have a choice. So when the choice is his, it melts my heart into a million pieces that he prefers to be home with us. Knowing that he’s here because he wants to be, not because he feels he has to be, is simply enough in itself for me to handle his travels.