So, its that time of year again….. its getting cooler, pumpkins are beginning to appear on porches as we prepare for Halloween season here (that’s what I call it because I swear it lasts a whole month), and as per usual, DH is getting ready to switch projects at his job. For our family, this means 2 things: 1) Since we know about it ahead of time, there should be very little financial bump in the road in between projects and 2) He will be working in a different time zone, and thus, coming home earlier on Thursday evenings. Yay!! In the meantime, I’ve been getting more settled into our schoolyear routine. As my monsners are also a year older, my children have aged out of one of the “mom groups” that I go to. By chance, I was invited to go to another mom group, “women in balance”. Some of the moms there have part-time jobs like I do, or they may work full time at home. Most of them have school-aged children or older. So, long story short – I started going to the new group to get my “adult interaction quota” for the day. (If I don’t reach out, I may not actually see adults, only small mons-ners, so I reach out for my sanity, otherwise I end up with anxiety problems.) So – this new group, we did all of the “get to know you-type” of activities and everyone is was intrigued by our family’s work arrangement with DH traveling so much. As many of you know, he travels Monday – Thursday every week, sometimes more. I think this is often something that people hear about or read about, but don’t actually meet people who do it. Well, we do. Many women in the group had questions about how we manage to get things done as a family and I did get many sympathy pats etc. I always think that is weird. Its a choice. This job situation works best for our family. I think there is even a term for SAHMs in my situation now called married-single-moms. Now, I am not, not, comparing my situation to that of a single parent which is why it has the word married on the front of it there. This is a fairly recent term for a married mom whose spouse either works very long hours or who is often traveling. I believe there are even support groups now for these women! (and possibly men in the reverse role?) It is definitely a unique situation.
I have 2 friends who are on opposite sides of the coin of this issue. One of my friends feels so much sympathy towards my situation and she is a “do’er” so she casually mentions open job positions for which DH might be a good fit. Its very low-key and she really has the absolute best intentions, she just can’t imagine being in my situation, so to her, its a problem. What she doesn’t know is that DH could not go into the same office day after day, week after week. He would suffocate. He loves the travel, the different hotels and cities. He loves changing up his job every few months or so with a new project, new co-workers, new managers. My second friend is a mom of 4 grown children and she was a married-single-mom for most of her adult life because her husband traveled overseas for business on a very regular basis and was gone for sometimes weeks at a time. She is of the attitude that DH is providing for his family, and if this is the best way to do it, then it should be accepted. She is also very supportive of it being a difficult situation. And then, I guess there is me. I want DH to be happy. His job makes him happy and he supports our family which makes me happy. This traveling job kind of came up out of the blue for DH and it started up gradually and has now increased to where the travel is regular and often. I have adapted. When he first started traveling, there was a definite learning curve. I was isolated. All the women that I knew worked full-time jobs like I had until I began to stay home. I had to learn where my weak points were in handling the house, the children, money. I had to learn how to create back-ups for emergencies since we have no family close by. I had to learn to build in breaks for myself from the children during the week. I had to network, to reach out to my community and make connections so that I would at least see adults once in a while. It took time. The first thing that happened was that I almost accidentally reconnected with a high school friend on Facebook and she invited me to join her scrapbooking online group. I had only a mild interest in scrapbooking, but I was desperate for friends. This was perfect for me because I had an infant and toddler at home with me and 1 child in school. I could pick up and put down the group whenever was convenient for me with the message board. Also, I learned a ton about scrapbooking. Within a month I was going away for the weekend with a new group of friends to a Crop (scrapbooking event). I gained confidence in making friends. (I was truly recovering from my previous workplace – but that is a different post. I was damaged emotionally – this helped.) Eventually I branched out even farther and now I feel like I have good connections in my community. I feel very at home here and comfortable, even when its just me and the monsners. For us, this situation works best. You have to do what works for you and your family, even if it seems “problematic” for other people.
I miss DH when he travels. But, I also get to miss him! We’re so excited to see one another every single Thursday! That’s not so bad after 19 years of marriage.