Monday, December 03, 2012

not fond of absence

Friends, I could use some help.  I know of two friends (both ladies), who have to deal with their husbands being away for work for days at a time, sometimes only being together on the weekends.  This is difficult, especially for one of them.  I was going to joke with her about how many times she has talked about being away from her husband.  Fortunately, I realized how insensitive that would be, so I checked my tongue.  How can they cope with their situation?  Here are some ideas that I think might help, but please give me your counsel before I begin suggesting these things.

Communicate when you can, even if it's only a brief text or email.  That meant a lot to me when I had to travel for work.  I know some guys live like worldly bachelors without accountability, but it helps a red-blooded man to stay on the straight and narrow with these messages to bolster his fidelity.

Exercise.  Sheesh, especially if you feel blue!  Release those endorphins!  You'll feel a lot better if you do.

Take advantage of that time to build special memories with your children, siblings or parents.  Do something special with them.  Give them a little extra attention.

Plan or do something special for your spouse.  When he gets back, he's not going to have to worry about doing this chore, or we might eat at a favorite restaurant to celebrate his return.  That will give you both something special to look forward to.  I think it's best that if you want to plan something, don't keep it a surprise.  You don't want to end up with conflicting schedules, right?

Well, that's all I've got.  What do you think?  What have you done and/or how would you cope?


Christine said...

Those are all great suggestions, and I think you should share them. It is indeed hard to "hit the hay" each night when hubby is away. Fernando used to travel almost two weeks every month when we had little ones, and although it was hard, I think it was even harder for our sons when Daddy was gone.

Here are some of the things we did:

Get into a routine, as quickly as possible, especially if there are children at home. The routine that you normally have may change a bit, and if you didn't have one before, it's critical, in my opinion. Children need stability. Regular wake times, nap times, bed times, meal times, etc.

With your routine, the critical part is evening, when dad is usually home. Regular dinner time, clean-up (children can participate!), and an after-dinner activity (or homework time if they attend school). Bath time, and then reading the Word and prayer time before bed.

For mom in the evening, once the kids are in bed, do something special. I worked crossword puzzles, or finally sat with a cup of tea and read that book I had been wanting to read. Stuff like that.

Craver, you're right about communicating. Fernando (my hubby) always called me once each night to talk. But that was a long time ago. Nowadays there's Skype, Facetime, Facebook, texting, and on and on.

We have friends who, when dad was gone, they'd stick the laptop where he normally sat for dinner, and they Skyped for the dinner hour! He ate his meal in his hotel room, and shared in the family conversation around the dinner table. I think that's a GREAT idea.

Another thing we did was to have dad record his voice--just talking or singing to the kids, or reading a favorite book so the kids could follow along with his voice (you know--books on tape!). Or books on CD, I guess, now. :)

Relationships--now is not the time to "hibernate," though I did that frequently while Fernando was gone. Get together with friends who have kids your kids' ages. Or find a sitter and go out for coffee with a friend. Have relatives or friends over, if you don't feel like leaving home.

Okay, I could write a book, but the above were the thoughts that immediately came to mind.

And Craver, please know you can give out my phone number to any of these ladies! I have been exactly where they are!


lime said...

all good suggestions. in addition to treating the kids and the spouse though i like to treat myself a little since i am the one holding the fort down solo.

Happyone said...

Sounds like great suggestions to me!! : )

imac said...

Just to be there, when they arrive home, with their fav chair and slippers, a meal being cooked and a botlte of wine, then just to sit and talk, and hold hands, and say those 3 words - I Love You.

Carletta said...

I can really relate to this one.
Hubby traveled a lot with his work.
I think your suggestions have a lot of merit.
He would call me every night. Of course this was before cell phones but now with texting it's easy just to write a short note sometime during the day too.
If my kids and I were alone on the weekend we did spend lots of time together. Some of my fondest memories are sitting in our little sitting room with the two of them watching Disney movies.
I always made sure I mowed the lawn so when Hubby got back he could spend time with us instead.
We always went out to eat - after all he was eating out every night. :)
My Hubby traveled for weeks the first summer we were married. From someone who knows - it's hard but you talk and you trust and I can say almost 38 years later, it works out.