Recently, I ran into a good friend of mine whose husband travels a lot for work. She put on a brave face, but I could see through the smile and tell she was exhausted, worn out, and at the end of her rope. She had bloodshot eyes and looked uncharacteristically disheveled with messy hair and no makeup. I asked how she was doing and she just said that “it’s crazy right now” and went on to tell me all the things she had on her plate. At the end of the long list, she said that her husband was out of the country – again.
I think we all have friends who have to travel for work, or their husbands have to. Far too often, this can put an enormous strain on the parent who is still home. It can make them feel like a single parent who has full-time custody. They never get a break, have all the pressure of full-time parenting, and are missing out on the companionship of having their spouse around. Plus, if they have younger kids, they can’t leave the house alone to get a breath of fresh air. Often times, it leaves them feeling trapped and that’s not a fun place to live.
As moms, I think we just learn to adapt and figure out how to get things done. Many of my friends in this boat say it’s actually easier in some ways when their husband is gone. But from what I’ve seen and heard from my friends, it’s never easy.
Parenting is hard no matter what your situation is. If you or your spouse travel often for work, know you’re not alone. If you have a friend in this boat, reach out to them and see how they’re doing. It’s hard to build friendships when you’re on a plane all the time, and it’s hard to spend time with your friends when you’re with your kids all the time.
Who do you know who might appreciate a drop by for coffee? Or maybe a childcare swap where you take their kids and let them get a break and they do it for you another night? Do it today.