I’m Married to a Traveling Salesman
My husband started a new job about a year ago where he does a decent amount of traveling. It’s great job at a growing company, which is relief after being downsized twice in the previous 3 years. He isn’t in sales, but I do jokingly refer to him as the traveling salesman. On average he travels about 2 weeks per month. He tells me that it’ll slow down this year, so time will tell. So far, that has not been the case.
Let me give you a general idea about how the week might go when he is out of town:
Sunday night: My husband handles most of the nightly routine, as he is leaving in the morning and not returning until weeks end. I do not take this for granted – cause I know there will not be much down time for me in the days to come!
Monday: So long my dear…buh-bye, I think to myself in my best David Spade impression. See you soon! Nice – mama gets to manage the house on her terms!
Kids off to school – work – kids come home – homework – dinner – showers – bed for all.
I’m rocking this solo parenting gig.
Tuesday: Kids off to school. Busy day of work ahead, including a bunch of conference calls.
At 3pm I head to pick up my son at the bus stop to take him over to a doctor’s appointment that starts at 3:15. Luckily it’s right in town. Then I rush back to pick my daughter up at bus stop at 3:30 – and then back to pick up my son from his doctor’s appointment.
A little downtime after our 3pm to 4pm rush hour, so I squeeze in some more work – then it’s off to Girl Scouts with my daughter. Dinner – homework – showers – bed for kids – a little more work for me – bed for me. Too tired to speak to my husband. Text a bit….chat tomorrow, hopefully.
Wednesday: Hump Day – half way there. Sort of. I do enjoy the cute texts from my husband. Once or twice he’ll even call me sexy. (Sadly I don’t get much of that in person anymore, so I’ll take what I get.) Is it possible that we get along better when he is away? Eek.
After the school day, I drive my son to and from Hebrew School, with daughter in tow. Dinner – homework – a little drama – a little more homework – bed. It’s “no shower Wednesday” thankfully. My daughter can probably get away with this for a few more years. This probably needs to end for my tween son very soon – but tonight is not that night.
Alright, this kinda blows. I’m a little bit of a hot mess right now. I really would like my husband to come home. We’re better as a team.
Head to bed and realize that I’m freezing! But I don’t want to get out of bed. I know – text husband in California! “Can you please turn up the heat for me?” You see, he has an app on his phone where he can control the heat and air conditioning in the house. Husband turns up heat from 3,000 miles away and I’m off to snoozing.
Thursday: Refrigerator looking empty. Should I go food shopping? Nah, we’ll scrape by a few more days. We’ll order in dinner. Cool, no after school activities for either child. But the amount of homework my son has certainly makes up for that. Wow.
By the evening my only thought is that I need another adult here. Now. It doesn’t even need to be my husband. Anyone?
Friday: TGIF! For so many reasons! All is right with the world because my husband is coming home tonight! Well, the next morning actually because he is taking the red-eye home from California.
Saturday morning: It’s the crack of dawn and my husband comes sneaking in while the rest of us are still sleeping. I’m sorta wake up and give him a smile. Yay! The 4 of us together again! We’re going to have such a nice family weekend!
When we all emerge out of bed – it happens. He starts to clean the house. Which I should be overjoyed with, right? But, it actually makes me batty! All I can think is “What the ?? Is he kidding me?” I know him well enough to know that he is not doing this to be a loving husband – he’s doing it cause he thinks the place has gone to hell. Sure the house isn’t exactly a pretty picture, but what does he think I’ve been doing all week?
And then he sorta pulls the “honey-do” list on me. On me? Did you get oil for the car? Did you go to the post office? Seriously?
Nooo….I didn’t. But I kept your kids alive and even sorta fed them. How many days until he leaves again?
Such a wave of emotions. Notice how my moods change as the week progresses. The reality is that I hardly get anything done while he is away, except for the necessities. Maybe it’s because I don’t multitask very well. My son made a joke about multitasking when he was very young – he said “I don’t know what that is, but it doesn’t sound important.” Smart kid.
My neighbors and family are available to help if we need anything, which is so appreciated. It’s not like I don’t have help if I really need it. And I wouldn’t say that I’m lonely. Cause luckily I tend of have a bedmate – sometimes two – whether I like it or not.
Let me say this too – I may make reference being a “single mom” when my husband is traveling. But I wouldn’t dare to actually compare myself to a single parent. Cause single parents amaze me every day. A few of my favorite people in the world are single moms – and they are the strongest, most awesome people that I know. I would pale in comparison for sure.
Anyway, I think for me the thing is that I’m so used to doing everything as a couple. And with the kids, we always aim for a balance in responsibilities. We can drive each other batty, but overall we make a pretty good team. So I guess when my other half (notice that I didn’t say “better half”) is away, a part of myself is away too. Put the air violins away. I’m not asking for any sympathy and I know better than to think that I’m in a bad situation, but it’s the truth.
The reality is that I’m thankful he’s employed – because it was not pretty when he wasn’t working. The traveling spouse thing is just another one of life’s changes and challenges and I’ll get used to it.
Or then again, maybe I won’t.
(Incredible Artwork provided by Torrie Lockwood, one of our writer’s very talented sisters. Visit her facebook page for artwork https://www.facebook.com/torrie.rohling?fref=ts )