Thursday, December 2, 2010

on having a husband who travels...

i have some friends whose husbands have to work long hours, or have jobs where they are emotionally spent. Some husbands own their own businesses - or become ghosts at harvest time.
Some husbands have to take extra classes to keep up - or to become competitive... and some husbands are out of work... or gone missing... absent because of divorce - or death...

But this post -

this post is for the girls like me - the women who hold down the fort at least half time while their husbands travel.
i know that what i do isn't out of the ordinary - as a matter of fact, i know lot of women who see their husbands a lot less than i see mine.
And, just as our husbands spend 50% of their days living out of suitcases...
we spend 50% of our lives creating a new normal for the little ones in our care.
We shovel when it snows - our scrawny arms are suddenly the biggest muscles available- & though we're short, we're the tallest ones around. We're the only one with a drivers licence during those long days and nights when daddy's away.
We try not to phone during business hours, or during late supper meetings, even if we could find a quiet moment or location in our bustling homes.
We scour the garage looking for his tools to fix projects that have fallen into our laps, in the absence of more capable hands.
We repeatedly answer each little ones query about the day and time of daddy's hopeful return.
We become - for those days -
both momma - and daddy -
in the dizzying feat of plates spinning that arises when-

We have a husband who travels.

We're frustrated that the waitresses at all the business restaurants wear such skimpy clothing. We wonder if our meager spaghetti and meatballs will be good enough after the steak and lobster he bought for his customers. We wish he could see that we got dressed - and put on make up... tried a new up-do and have matching socks. We watch our words carefully so that the predominant theme is gratitude - not complaint when he's home - *and* when he's away too - because we know... we *know* - we have so much to be grateful for, and we want our little ones to see that. We know our husbands love us - and are travelling and working - on our behalf. Their travel is an inescapable part of a job they love - or that they tolerate... so that they can provide for us.
We trust those men - who take our hearts around the country, but who carefully bring them back home again as soon as they're able.

Hey, little mamas - i know there must be some of you reading my blog - & if you are -
i'm doin' it too.

and i'm cheering for all the other little mamas -
whose arms aren't strong enough -
whose legs aren't long enough -
whose patience isn't thick enough -
whose lap isn't big enough -
but who continually give all -
and trust that the Father - who never leaves on business trips - will make up for all she lacks, and will give exceedingly and abundantly more on those days-

when her husband travels.


Alisdair said...

Two comments - I think you mean the word "QUERY" not "QUARRY"...

I can relate... bad week... fog one night and John couldn't get home and then had to keep trucking for the next day's work.

Isobel wanted to go next door to find John (two houses so maybe he's there she thinks) -- I explain he is not there, he is at work. She puts her hand on hip and asks why he hasn't come homw yet. I explain again. Finally, Alisdair says that he is gone, "earning money for our family." She is still sad but manages to fill her time until the glorious reunion late that evening when the truck rolls in and the cuddling ensues. And that's only when he's been gone for a couple days.... I can't imagine what she'd do over a long stint like you put in with Neil's absences.

Anyway, I hear ya!

Saskatchewan Cousin

Mandy said...

Thanks Paige!

paige said...

duh, denise - my brain does that when i'm tired :) Thanks for the edit...

Stephanie said...

Thanks for this. I can so relate.

Jen said...

Wow, this one is GOOD! Put it on your 'favorites' list!
Funny thing is I was JUST going to e-mail you and ask you about having a husband/daddy who is gone lots...
I'll go do that right now.

paige said...

j - i have wanted to post on this for awhile. So so so many people have asked me about this. i have been sort of afraid to - 'cause i thought maybe it would sound like a 'woe is me' martyr post - & that's not at all what it's about.
We all have different 'hard things' that add to the colour of our lives - & sometimes it's nice to know that somewhere out there, there's someone else who's experiencing some of the same things.
i had more thoughts too, but they refused to come gently, so i'll leave them for another day :)

Lori-Dawn said...

I love how gentle you are Paige...seems to smooth out my rough edges at


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