Thursday, February 21, 2013

5 Things About My Husband Traveling All the Time

My husband (the adorable and long-suffering Cap'n Coupon) has had to travel a lot for his job recently. Since New Years, it feels like he's been gone as much as he's been home. It's been here a week, gone a week. Adjusting to this has been a challenge that I have not loved. The kids love it even less.

Ultimately, I realize that it's not a big deal. Here is a list of things I like to think about to remind myself to shut the hell up:



  • He's gone because he has a job and it's one that he really likes (super lucky and grateful for both of those things).
  • He's only gone a week (or so) at a time (more than 2 weeks and I might need medication. Or a nanny). 
  • This is every day for single moms (So hats off to you, ladies. I understand the perfectly natural urge to punch me in the face right now for complaining).
  • He's not deployed or in harm's way (awkwardly long hug of gratitude to all military families. Ditto on the face punching). 
  • Some things (dinner) are easier when he's not home (hello mac 'n' cheese movie night).
  • Leg shaving? (That's adorable. It's winter and he's gone).
  • Crappy TV? (Oh even yesser. Bravo and HGTV it is.)
  • Slacking off on chores and an overall lessening of standards? (YES. I give myself permission to focus on the kids when it's just me.)
That's pretty much the end of my list. I keep needing to look at it because today is kicking my britches. Right now I have 2 sick kids and I'm coming off a three day weekend. The weekends are the worst. They are sooooo long. And I got no work done for work so now there's that. Another area of my life where I'm behind and playing ineffective catch up.

The truth is, when he's here - it's great. When he's gone - it's meh. We miss him so much, but it's becoming manageable. 

The hard part for me is about to happen. It's the transitions. My kids don't do transitions well. I don't like them so much myself. The day before he leaves and the two days after he gets back are pretty rough. So his coming back tonight is awesome! But ironically it also adds more stress, even though we are all so happy and excited. Here are five reasons why.

Everything should be perfect when he walks in the door.
When he gets home, I want everything to be just right. I want him to walk in and see that everything was managed beautifully in his absence and give me a big high five for my awesomeness. However, I'm usually close to a nervous breakdown by the time he pulls in the driveway. Largely this is due to making myself crazy trying to live up to this ridiculous notion. And I let things go slack when he's gone. Then I go batsh*t trying to get it all back together in the four hours before he gets home. It's so stupid, because when he's here - things are always chaos. If he walked into my version of the ideal, I'm pretty sure he'd think he had the wrong house. 

The reunion with his kids should be a beautiful moment. 
Ideally, the kids would be happy, clean, calm and waiting by the door to great their dad. Maybe they'd each have a card or picture for him, too. Instead, he will be greeted by two of his three offspring trying to kiss him with viscous, green snail trails and hacking coughs. One of them will probably fall asleep two minutes before he arrives and if I can wake her up, there will be scream-crying. One of them will say hi and go back to playing DS. One will probably attack him with love before he sets foot in the house, but then may not leave his side again, even to let him pee. At least one kid will be passive-aggressively angry/cold/withdrawn from their dad because they have trouble dealing with his travel schedule. That part is the worst.

I want him to be thrilled to see me. 
I would love to wrap my arms around his neck and get a smooch so big that it embarrasses our kids. But... I usually have child-related crud smeared on me and I'm gross from all the last minute cleaning, the dog will wiggle in between us and the kids will probably be screaming. I also have this idea that I should be thinner/prettier/kinder/better than he remembered me before he left. However, I'm exactly the same person (except for possibly being more tired and less patient than usual).

I want the house to be clean. 
It's a disaster. If I started cleaning, de-cluttering and wiping right now it might be done by 9pm when he walks in the door. But that's never going to happen (sick kids, work deadlines, the need to feed hungry humans, etc). I also really wanted the laundry done so our bedroom would be a comfortable, relaxing space. Instead it's covered in piles of dirty towels and baskets of clean stuff I still need to fold.

I want to push the restart button. Badly.
I'm exhausted and desperate for a break. I need someone to manage things for me for one day so I can catch up on sleep, get my schmidt together and start over with a good attitude. My husband will arrive home  exhausted and desperate for a break. He will need someone to manage things for him for one day so he can catch up on sleep, get his schmidt together and start over with a good attitude. It's time for some Alanis Moist Towelette-style irony because neither of us are going to get what we want.

I think I'm just going to accept that the next few days will be an enormous cluster. When he gets home tonight, I'm going to make sure he has a hot meal and a cold beer waiting for him. I'm going to tell him how much I love him and how much we all missed him. I'm going to kiss him and hug him and then... I'm going to bed. 


(c)Herding Turtles 2009 - 2013

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