This post is a little different from my decor posts or recipes, but I wanted to share with you guys a very real reality for me and a lot of women I know. My hubby is an extremely busy traveling professional, which means he spends most of his time working and traveling. He leaves before the sun rises, before we start our day and returns when the sun goes down and we’re settling in for the night. He has been in his career for nine years so this song and dance is not new for us. However, as our family continues to grow and adulting gets harder, his absence definitely puts a strain on our home life.
I’ll admit… I have seasons in my life where I feel like I’ve got everything under control and while his absence is tough, I have it all together. Sometimes I go through seasons where it feels like I’m all alone. And even though I could not imagine what it would be like to be a single parent, sometimes the hustle and bustle of life and the lack of his presence can make me feel that way. But, regardless of what season I’m in, being married to a spouse who’s constantly on the road and away from home is tough on the whole family. With some wise words from some wise women coupled with things I’ve learned along the way, I’ve put together a few things I wanted to share that may help if you have a traveling spouse.
Pray…. and when you think you’re done praying, pray some more. Having a traveling spouse can feel very isolating and downright depressing at times. There are weekends that I would love to hang out with my hubby or spend the evening cuddled in front of the tv. But the reality is, moments like these come few and far in between. When we took our vows, I took them very seriously. I said, “I do” to the long hours, the weekend and sometimes weekday travel. For me, I have been on this ride for quite some time. I’ve watched him study and prepare for this career so I knew what was headed our way. It doesn’t make it any easier but saying those vows meant that I would stick by his side no matter how tough things got. So when those nights get lonely and you’re exhausted from the kids, work or whatever else is on your plate– pray girlfriend. The Lord says, ” So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10.
Find Your Tribe
For me, I don’t talk to my tribe every day. We don’t hang out on the weekends. We’re not even best friends. But my tribe is a group of women that are living the very same reality. The spouses of my hubby’s co-workers and I share a very unique lifestyle. We all know the struggle each of us are dealing with because we all live it. And even though we’re not “best friends”, I know I can call on any one of them in my time of need and they would just get it. So, find your tribe girl! Don’t be afraid to let people in because you never know how they may help when you least expect it. Consider this, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Give Yourself Some Praise
I LOVE seeing my hubby succeed. Not only does his wins give me encouragement to push toward doing what I love, I also couldn’t ask for a better example for our little ones. For every promotion, accolade and award, I feel IMMENSE joy. Even though the awards and promotions mean he’s probably had to put in extra time somewhere or work a little harder, that means you’ve had to pick up the slack at home. You’ve probably had to work all day only to come home and take care of the kids, the home and everything in between… with no break! For that, you deserve praise momma. You guys are a team. So, while he’s out working hard to provide for you and your family, you’re working hard to keep things afloat at home. Please don’t ever downplay all that you do!
Consider His Sacrifice
I’ll admit something to you — it took a very wise woman to point this out to me. I’ve always felt like I was the only one sacrificing. Sacrificing my freedom to hang out like I’d like to. Sacrificing my dream career because there’s just no time right now for starting over and rebuilding. Sacrificing my sanity because I’ve had to work a long exhausting day away from home only to return to more work inside the home. But the truth is… just as you’ve sacrificed so much, so has he. While you get to spend precious time with the little ones that you’ll never be able to replace or get back, he’s missed out on milestones, games, recitals and just time with his family. I’m sure he’d much rather cuddle with you in from of the tv than to spend his time at work. But, he’s committed to providing for his family the best way he knows how. For my hubby, he does his job extremely well. He’s gifted in what he does so the time commitment just comes with the territory.
It Takes a Village
You know that saying, “it takes a village to raise a child”, well it goes without saying that it also takes a village to support a marriage. In the first few years we were away from our family and friends it felt like the move was harder on them then it was on us. Receiving comments such as, “I’m praying that you guys would move back home” or “you guys never come to visit” really left me feeling guilty. Had I abandoned my family and friends?
We are only able to make our visits back home about once a year. And traveling for holidays is out of the question. I made a promise to myself at the beginning of our marriage that no matter how “empty” our house may feel on holidays, I will never let my hubby celebrate alone. And our families now realize his schedule is not very flexible so they’ve begun traveling here more often and those comments don’t come as frequent. My mom made the ultimate sacrifice by packing up and leaving the only city she has ever known to be closer to us and to be able to be a part of her grandchild’s life. I understand that is not an option for every grandparent or family member but having a part of my village near me certainly helps. So, I say all of this to say, make sure your village is supportive and understanding of your unique situation. Negative comments will only drive a wedge between you and your husband and give strength to any negative feelings you may be feeling yourself.
I know marriage is not easy and adding in the stress of children, home and a traveling spouse triples the frustration. Sometimes you might feel like you’re left to do the hard and dirty work all alone. But understand that you both are making huge sacrifices for your family and your marriage. I hope the few things I have learned over the years can help you if you if this a new chapter for you and your spouse.
Until next time,