I wake up at 3:30 am on Monday mornings to the sound of my husband’s alarm. I hear him get out of bed and into the bathroom to shower. I fall asleep and once again wake up 45 minutes later. My husband kisses me goodbye and says I love you. With one eye open, I watch him leave our room with his suitcase; knowing I won’t see him until Thursday night. I roll over and stretch my arm out, only to find a cold empty space. I reach for my phone and my eyes adjust to the bright light. I skim through Facebook, check my email, and check weather for the day. I read a few things and wish I could go back to sleep.
We have been married for over 6 years and he has been traveling for work for well over 10 years. This is not an occasional travel. This is a mandatory every week travel, Monday through Thursday. Some weeks till Fridays. When my husband is gone, I am everything to our two daughters. If one has a pee accident at night, it’s me who has to get up and change sheets, comfort her, change clothes, and get her back into bed without waking the other up.
During the day, there’s laundry, dishes, cleaning, and cooking to do. And of course, homework and reading time, pack lunches for the following day, get uniforms out and ironed. We have hired people to complete these chores so that I can focus on the kids. But no one really does it like you do. Folding clothes a certain way. Washing dishes with extra soapy water to get grease out. Using a little extra fabric softener. You can hire people to take care of this stuff but you can’t hire someone to comfort you or cuddle with you. Nighttime is the hardest. Sitting at the dinner table with three empty chairs, the food isn’t so appetizing anymore. The hardest part is being both parents. Sometimes I have to be soft and other days more tough. Some days I have to pretend to be daddy. Some days I have to tell my daughters what daddy would say. Sometimes little girls just need their daddy!
Some days it’s moments like, “the only adult I spoke to was 3 days ago” that makes it tough. Then there’s boredom and sadness of long days and lonely nights. All academics, piano lessons, reading materials, disciplining, ouchie kissing, cooking and cleaning, and emergencies are handled by me alone.
Some days I feel envious of my husband eating steak dinners and getting a drink after dinner while I sit at home eating lentils and rice while watching Disney Junior.
Being left at home by a travelling spouse can be a major drag. In Part 2, I will tell you about perks and how I have been making our marriage work…
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.”-Unknown