In the past 5 weeks, my girls and I have seen my husband for like, um…a total of 5 minutes. My hardworking and awesome husband is currently traveling 100% of the time. It’s a time of transition for his career, and it is a high intensity work-life balance.
- His travel schedule is supposed to be “temporary” (even though we’ve been doing this since November) — This is okay with me because I know it will come to an end…sooner or later. But, the girls and I miss him. He might not believe me, but it’s the truth.
- The “living in limbo” feeling is beginning to get the better of me. — I’m a pretty patient person for the most part, but I can’t deal with the question “Where are you moving?” one more time. For cripes sake people…I DO NOT KNOW! So, please stop asking because all you are doing is adding to my anxiety and stress. I’m tired of speculating, and won’t believe it till my ass is actually sitting on an airplane with my 20 suitcases.
- My kiddos are starting to ask, “Where in the world is Daddy?” and “Is he ever coming home?” — My darling daughters are starting to ask these questions, and as cute as it sounds…it’s actually quite sad. I called my husband today, to find out he was in Prague when I thought he was in London. So, their guess is apparently as good as mine. I have a calendar with my husband’s schedule of travel, but it’s obviously not up to date…so I have no idea when his ass is going to roll through the front door.
On top of it all, It is the expat summer. And, like many expats we return “home” for the summer holidays. My girls and I always return to “Pure Michigan” for the summer…So, not seeing my other half for long periods of time isn’t a crazy concept.
This isn’t just a summer thing either. During our nearly 14 years of marriage, he’s travelled for the majority of it. And, I’m kinda sure he’s missed more anniversaries and birthdays than he’s actually been present for. I’m not complaining…I’ve gotten used to it. My kids have gotten used to it. And, we consider it a treat when he is able to celebrate something special with us. Writing that out loud sounds bad…I mean, really bad. Doesn’t it?
My family doesn’t normally get to share holidays with extended family very often. But, this past weekend my entire clan (including my hubs) was able to spend Father’s Day with my father and my brother. So, that was kind of special, and I’ll take those little wins in life when I can steal them from our greedy universe.
I guess it’s great we designate one day a year for Father’s (and Mother’s for that fact). But, I think there should be so much more. So many of our significant others spend too much time on the road. Sitting on airplanes, sleeping in uncomfortable hotel beds, and eating alone…Bringing home the bacon.
Yes, sometimes I’m jealous of my husband when he travels to exotic places and experiences new culture. BUT, for the most part, I feel for my husband. Who wants to do all of those things alone? Who wants to spend the weekend in a foreign place by themselves…All alone, all the time. My husband isn’t one with the wanderlust gene. So, being alone in a foreign place isn’t his idea of a great time. Yes, he survives. But, I’m pretty sure he’d be much more happy at home with his dogs and his girls.
So…The next time our traveling spouses comes home, maybe we should make it a bit more special. Make their favorite meal or a reservation to their favorite restaurant. I think so much of the time we worry about ourselves and our kids, but fail to realize what our spouses are going through…the jet-lag, the brain drain, and the easing back into everyday life with their families. I think we (the spouses) sometimes forget how hard it is for them to get back into the flow of family life (as it goes on without them), and how hard it can be to stop worrying only about themselves.
We should feel so lucky to know they are coming home to us at the end of their long journeys.