Wednesday, August 9, 2017

How I Manage Being a Work Widow



Work Widow is a term I stumbled upon a while ago and it basically means a wife that stays home while her husband is often away for work. I stay home with our two little girls who are 3 and 2 years old while my husband travels for work. My husband works in gokarting and they race all over traveling the country and even the world.  He does a lot of travel all over the state of Florida where we live and where racing is very popular. He can be gone anywhere from a day or two, to weeks at a time.  Sometimes he drives only a few hours away sometimes he drives for days and other times he takes a plane flight. He is such a hard worker and I admire him for the passion he has for racing.

This is not an easy life, being away from your spouse for long periods of time, but a lot of people do it and it works very well for our family. I am by no means able to relate to military families, single parents, or widowed parents and this is not a comparison. This is just my life and how we are living and I want to be able to share my experiences with my audience. Here are some of the things I have learned and that have helped me as a stay at home mother and wife while my husband is away for work.

Stay Positive.  I try to always have a positive outlook on every situation when it comes to him working and traveling. If I keep a good positive tone on the situation my kids feed off of that and they too will be positive about it. If I were to be negative or argue about him traveling or having to work or be gone for an amount of time it wouldn't really help anyone, we would all be miserable! Staying positive is so important for all of us and I have never given him any grief about having to work, I know he is home as much as he can be and that is all that matters.

Be Supportive. My goal is to always support my husband in his career. He loves doing what he does and he works very hard at it. He grew up racing and being apart of something he is proud of and enjoys doing is very important to him. From the moment we got married I have been able to support and trust in all his decisions. From moving (across the country), to new job opportunities, to adjusting to travel I have stood behind him 100%. It is so important for you to have faith in your spouse and be supporting in their career decisions so they feel like they are able to make the best decisions for the family and feel like you have their back in those decisions. Being united together is really helpful in being understanding of the situation and makes our marriage very strong.

Make the most of our time together. When my husband is home he usually gets a few days off or more so we like to do fun things as a family. We will plan fun trips to the beach or zoo or find something local that is going on to go enjoy. I also like to take some time for myself so I do a trip to Target and Starbucks ALONE and it helps keeps me sane! We also like to just relax at home and spend the day watching movies, playing games with the kids, and doing puzzles. They love to play with daddy  and when he is home he is 100%  about them and making them happy.

Being able to video call with the kids. This one is a great perk of modern day technology! The kids love that they can call daddy on video calling and get to see him while he is away. I think it helps for both parties to be able to see each other a little bit when he is gone for a long time. The kids absolutely love it and I know he enjoys it too. It makes him feel not so far away to us.

Finding fun things to do (even when he is away.) I really try to do fun things for the kids, since they are both still home everyday (Zoey starts preschool in August woohoo!) We play with play-doh, color, go for runs, play in the backyard with the pool or trampoline, make slime, go to the park or splash pad, whatever! I just try to make the days fun for them. I really love to read with them as well. As they are getting older it is easier for me to take them places by myself. I have taken them to the bookstore, splash pad, and the park so they can have some fun. It really helps my husband to know that the kids are having a good time and we are making the most of our days while he is away.

Focus on the house when he is working. I try to get a lot of household chores and errands done when he is away, that way when he is home we can just hang out as a family and not worry about that stuff. I will get groceries and do all the house cleaning and stuff when he is gone, then when he is home I am not worried or stressed about needing to clean or anything. This works really well for me and I think it helps to make his days off more relaxing. Unless there is something big around the house I cannot do that he will have to do then he helps with that.

Be Proud and Be Thankful. I am very proud of my husband and appreciate how hard he works to be able to provide for our family. I know we are very lucky and very blessed to be in a situation where he gets to do what he loves and I get to stay home with the kids. I am so very thankful for this life we live.



8 comments:

  1. I'm right there with ya! My husband isn't gone for quite that long at a time, but his shifts can be extended (and usually are) at any time, so you can't always count on when he'll be home. In fact, I've learned to just assume he will be late because that's easier than being disappointed when you think reinforcements are on they're way.

    The only thing I'd add to your list is to make sure you have a babysitter/support system for when he's gone. It's so easy to burn out when you're doing all the things by yourself, especially for a prolonged period!

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    1. Yes it would be nice to have a sitter but I am just not able to leave them with anyone yet. One day! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. This is such a good post! I really love and admire your positive perspective, Jackie. I have to admit that I get rattled when my husband leaves even for one night, so this was great for me to read.

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    1. Thank you so much!! I really appreciate the positive feedback!

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  3. I've been thinking about this a lot lately because my husband has to work such long hours right now. We are parents of 5 under 10 . Staying positive and thankful have made a huge difference. I know this is just for s time and God has prepped me for it.

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  4. I'm a work widow too. I think this happens a lot these days because a lot of the high paying jobs require travel or long hours. I love your tips and I'm just so thankful that someone is actually addressing the issue.

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  5. Great tips. It's got to be so hard on you and the kids!

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  6. Highly descriptive article, I enjoyed that bit. Will there be a part 2? paypal login my account

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