By Thursday...

The other day I was talking to a friend who was frustrated that her Mr. was out of town for a few days. She started to explain some of her concerns and then she stopped quickly and backtracked, "I'm sorry--look who I'm talking to! Your husband is gone ALL the time! I can't imagine...and I can't complain to YOU of all people!"

I have had similar conversations several times over the last couple of years since Mr. H took on a more frequent travel position with his company. Each time, a friend or acquaintance adjusts her tone when she remembers what my schedule is like. And each time, I stop her before she can go too far. 

I thank her for her validation (yes, it is hard!) but I assure her that it doesn't matter how frequent my Mr. is gone--her feelings of hardship flying solo should not be discounted! It is not easy. I feel like we (as women/sisters) can build each other up by sharing sympathies of the hard things together!

People ask me all the time "how do you do it?"

I usually laugh and say 
"well, wait until Thursday and I'll be twitching". 

Mr. H's current position requires him to travel for all of his assigned areas. There is no local office to which he reports for work. On home weeks, he works in our home office.*  He is a senior safety consultant and he flies as far west as Spokane, WA (they just took Seattle off of his docket), as far east as Milwaukee, WI, and as far south as St. Louis, MO. He covers portions of 15 states and has the largest geographical travel area within his team of consultants.

In addition to the current travel schedule (which typically includes 2 weeks--Mon thru Thurs-- away every month), we've lived in three different states for his job (over the past 3 1/2 years). It sounds crazy to analyze it this way but really--it's a job. And with this economy,'s a job!

And it's a great job. Mr. H loves the adventure of travel, especially flying (did you know that he once had a private pilot license?). He loves seeing new cities, meeting new people, and the perk of not having the same desk to go to every single day (which he says he would not like). His boss is far away in Florida and the meetings are over the phone. He doesn't see the same people every day and he is the one who makes his schedule. It is very freeing for him.

His schedule is also freeing for me. You see...even though there are days that are hard (just like anyone else--some that are very bad no good horrible days), long, and exhausting...there is also something fun about being the queen of the castle when I'm on my own. I have things cleaned/organized/put away my way (don't get me wrong, Mr. H is excellent at all of the above, but we still have our different styles, right?), my three monkeys & I do our thing, and I do things differently...have friends over in the evenings, watch shows the Mr. would roll his eyes at, cruise pinterest, etc...where otherwise we would (yay! wonderfully!) be spending the time together.

I don't know how long we'll have this kind of schedule...for now, it works, and we work it out. I do know that I value a Mr. that really enjoys his work. Also, when he is home--he is HOME. This was not the case when he had a more localized position with various clients. He would work all day and then come home and still have hours of paperwork to do. He did a lot of weekend work those days--I hated it! These days, fabulously...he is almost always home on Fridays and always home on the weekends.

I do know that his home days are cherished. The kids rally around him and he rallies them! When Miss N was a newborn and was colicky (shudder), it was wonderful that Mr. H would go and be gone and come home totally rested and ready to attack the weekend so I could rest (otherwise, we'd both just be tired & grumpy!). It really was a blessing for us. We love to find on a map where Daddy is and every time the kids see an airplane they wave--imagining Daddy is on that very plane.

We have to work a little harder to have a routine around a schedule like this. We have to work a little harder to stay connected on parenting. We have to work a little harder to schedule our important To Do's (I make sure to have his schedule up-to-date so I only schedule visiting teaching, dr appointments, meetings, etc. when he's home). We have to work a little harder to love each other when we don't see eye to eye (that first day home often has a mini-"discussion" as we try to work back into working together). We have to work a little harder to stay in sync as a couple. 

We do have to work a little harder, but there are great 
freeing elements & much for which we are grateful. 
I think the balance is a challenge for anyone, 
and I validate that with yes it is dang hard! 

Like I said...
by might just see me twitching.

Every day in November!  NaBloPoMo: National Blog Posting Month. Write a post on your blog every day in November. Since last year didn't kill me, I've decided to do it again this year. Do you want to join me? My brother will be writing daily overHERE and my sis-in-law's posts will be found HERE. 

*I'll save that for another post--the truth about working from home :)


Kendra said...

Pretty sure I am one of the many you've had that conversation with! :) I'm so glad you've made it work for you guys. And I totally agree to everything you said about having to work a little harder in some areas (from my own experiences). You guys are a great team and are lucky to have one another. Also...I want to hear more about this "working from home" business. ;)

Linda said...

when Dad got this job there was a sign on the bulletin board that said "Roll with it!" That has been a good way to look at things.

I like how flexible you have become. We used to say " She don't do change." Now that has flip flopped..." She so good at change!"