When Daddy Travels: A Survival Guide

planeMy husband has been traveling for work since before I was pregnant with our first daughter. He’s traveled during pregnancies, during the newborn stage and continues to travel during our now busy life with 2 little ladies. During it all, his travel schedule has hovered around the 50-80% range. That’s quite a bit of time away from home, and if I’m honest, at times it can seem downright overwhelming.

Since he’s been traveling for so long, we have sort of eased into the lifestyle once we started adding to our family. We’ve all adapted in our own way, but today I’m sharing a few of the things I’ve found essential to making our family and household run when Daddy doesn’t come home at night.

Be Honest

Be honest with your kids about where Daddy is. Don’t lie, don’t make up stories, don’t avoid the truth. When asked where Daddy is, I simply say, “He’s working out-of-town to support our family and he’ll be home {insert day here}.” I sometimes answer this question multiple times and there are sometimes tears, but ultimately it’s better to all be working from the same page.

Set Up For Success

My goal is always to wake up before my early risers to get a head start on my day. I’m not nearly as committed on the days my husband is in town. When he’s gone though, it’s a must-do. I must have that time to get organized before the day begins. If I don’t, my day spins out of control quickly and no one is coming home at night to give me a break.

Consistency Is Key, But Make It Special

On travel weeks, I obviously do some things differently since I’m a one-woman show, but I really try to keep our schedule and routine consistent. It makes the transitions to and from travel weeks so much easier. However, in order to off-set the challenges that come along with Daddy being gone, I try to make things special. One of my favorites is making some popcorn and climbing in bed with my oldest to watch a movie of her choosing.

Give Yourself A Break

When my husband travels, I rarely cook. I keep tons of easy, quick foods on hand. Think sandwiches, soups, leftovers, whole wheat pasta, hot dogs, salads, and the occasional Chick Fil-A drive thru. The kids don’t care and I have a MUCH easier time keeping up with the dishes.

Learn To Love The Phone

If you read my date night post here, you’ll remember we’re already in the habit of getting creative when it comes to our relationship. Much like you wouldn’t leave your children or pets to fend for themselves while you were away, you can’t expect your relationship to take a backseat just because 1/2 of it is gone for a few days. I HATE talking on the phone. HATE it. But with a traveling spouse, I’ve learned to love the phone. It’s important to maintain some sense of relationship, even if you are thousands of miles and a few time zones apart. We also text during the day and occasionally Skype when I can remember my login.

The lifestyle of a traveling husband definitely comes with challenges, but also has perks as well. Our family has been able to travel and see places we may not have otherwise have had the opportunity to visit. It has worked for us so far, and I feel we’ve adapted nicely! I would love to hear about you and your traveling spouse!

 

Does your spouse travel? Do you have any tips to survive the traveling spouse?

Brandi
Brandi is the proud Mrs. to her high school sweetheart, mother to 2 amazing little girls, Addisen and Charlotte, and a photography enthusiast. She’s a Fort Worth native who is intentional about her marriage and raising little ladies in today’s society. From a stay-at-home mom who avidly avoids housework to a lover of designer duds who shops the clearance racks, she’s a walking contradiction. Join her candid discussion on all things wife and mom at www.goscasta.com and follow her lovable wit on Twitter.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is a great guide! My husband and I both travel and often have late nights at work. We work it out so one of us is always there with them and so that we have time for us. I love that you say to be honest with your kids because that has been key.

  2. Great points, especially about consistency. When my husband travels, we have found that pre-planning is the key for our success. Nailing down transportation issues, meal decisions, and homework routines help me keep my sanity as I play “single mom” when my three clearly outnumber me.

  3. As a single mom I don’t have this issue but I also travel for my work so having to prep the kids for a change in routine is a challenge as we adjust to “you are staying at aunty’s house this week” or “grandma is staying over this week.” At other times kids stay at dad’s house for normal visit so then it’s not much of a disruption at all.

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