I do not pretend to understand what a woman goes through when their spouse is serving a tour for months at a time, or has a monthly or bimonthly commute, on the road as a truck driver, enrolled in full time school and has a full time job; or the strength of women who are single mothers. But I do understand the emotional stress they go through when their husband is gone.
My husband has a job where he travels several times a year to other countries. It is a great job and he really enjoys it, which means everyone is happy. 🙂 But when he is gone for a couple weeks at a time, I can feel the intensity and stress building up almost a month before he even leaves as I mentally, emotionally, and physically prepare myself, my home, and my children for his absence. It is exhausting!
I know that I am psyching myself out sometimes before he goes, but no matter what I do I get a pit in my stomach as his departure date gets closer. Am I alone in this?
There are some women I know whose husbands work in another state for weeks at a time before they get to come home for 7-10 days then turn around and have to leave again. I think this is a challenge a lot of families face each in their own way. And it seems to be more and more common.
When I try to explain what is so hard about it, it’s a series of things, and though it may sound like simple things; when you are living it, it is a different story. It really just comes down to exhaustion. I can’t do it all, all of the time; it’s too hard. It is not a 8-5 job; it’s around the clock.
I get up a minimum of once a night with one or more of my children. I am taking care of my children and all of their needs. I am taking care of the house, bills, errands, laundry (I hate that part), and meals. I am organizing play dates, school, sports, church, and more. At at the end of the day, you get a 3 minute call or a 10 minute Skype call before you finally get a shower and get back into a new pair of yoga pants and work to get stuff done before you pass out.
To those mother’s who go through this on a regular basis, week after week, month after month, I am sincerely impressed with your patience, strength, and love for your families.
People amaze me. Though we all have our faults, when it comes to trials and stepping up, often times we think we are weaker than we are. “I couldn’t do it” is a common phrase I hear, until they have to, and then it’s another story.
I look at these women and men who are used to be far from their spouses and families, and they inspire me to be better. Even with these challenges they face they get up and keep going without looking for an exit strategy, without complaint (okay maybe sometimes – but I don’t judge them), and they find a new source of purpose and strength they didn’t know they had. I love this talk from Thomas S. Monson on trials and how we can always ask for help. 🙂
But through it all, the trials and frustrations I face when I’m on my own, I still cannot imagine my life being like this regularly. While my husband is away I can vouch for the concept of “absence makes the heart grow stronger”. My husband’s infrequent trips seem like nothing in the scheme of things; they are more like bursts of vacations that periodically interrupt our schedule. No big deal. My sacrifices are minuscule.
The women who impress me are the rest of you facing the daily life on your own week after week. Thank you for being so strong and setting an example for me. Kudos to you! 🙂