(Outfit Details: Jumper- Target Australia, Pants- Seed Heritage, Shoes- Toms NB similar colour linked)
My husband works away a lot. Like A LOT. He always has, even when we were first dating, but back then it was glamorous. I could (and did) very easily travel with him and if I didn’t go, I had plenty of single girlfriends to catch up with, go out with oh and a paying job to occupy my time.
These days it’s much harder to pack up and go. As a one-income family, the cost of the airfare is often a deterrent but mostly it’s the sheer effort of travelling with a small child and the disruption of routine. Yes, it’s a very unglamorous reality now. Those of you who have travelled with an infant before will know the inordinate amount of packing, planning, stress and sleep regression that comes with the whole experience.
Travel is something that both my husband and I really love so we have still managed to make a few trips work but more often then not, unless the destination is really worth it, Hazelle and I stay home. His schedule is particularly crazy at the moment and lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a ‘Part Time Single Parent.’ (Disclaimer- I am not at all comparing my situation to actual single mums and dads out there nor am I saying that I’m not grateful that my husband works very hard to support his family)
I think part of the problem is that my husband is SO hands on when he is home that I really, really notice his absence when he’s gone. It’s nice to rely on that extra pair of hands to do the dinner, bath, bed routine. Its nice to have someone to groan with when the baby cries out at 3am, its nice to share the end of day clean up duties instead of having it all on your shoulders. I’ve actually found that, the longer he is gone for the easier it is (with the exception of the weekends) because you get into a routine and find the avenues to make it work for you, but lately he is typically gone for 4 days, then home for 3, gone again for another 4 and so on. It’s relentless and tiring and hence my feeling like I’m parenting on my own, part of the time.
Honestly though, I know that it’s equally hard for him to be away from us, just in different ways. I’m sure he feels like a part time parent some of the time too. So what do we do? What’s my advice? I’m not sure I have anything ground breaking to share. My biggest lesson and challenge has been learning to let go when he is at home. For both of our sakes it’s important that I relax the ‘reigns’ and let him do some parenting, this allows him to feel involved and it allows me to switch off (easier said than done with my schedule driven brain). And finally, utilise your support networks. I’ve already mentioned how great my parents are, they know how tired I am by the end of the day and will make the effort to come over with dinner at least once during the week to help with the night time routine, but I’ve also got some really great girlfriends who will come over after dinner just to hang out with me if I feel lonely. Having this support and company makes the week go a little bit faster until daddy’s home again. When all else fails, chocolate, reality TV and wine (after baby #2 comes) always help!!
Any other mama’s out there in a similar boat? I’d love to hear how you all cope xxx