Sunday, November 06, 2011

He Said, She Said

(Yeah, this was almost 17 years ago. We SO
don't look like this anymore.)
A couple weeks ago, Marc wrote a blog post about being a traveling spouse. It was a good blog post, and we both agreed that I should write my side of the story, too. I have a lot to say about being married to a traveller. But for this post I thought I would take a 'he said, she said' approach.

1. He said - "Take half days when you are home." She says - You need to know your (and your kid's) needs.  It is so much fun and so helpful to have Marc with the flexibility of half-days. It is one of the reasons that we have agreed on his traveling lifestyle - so that when we are together we have the flexibility for different choices. My biggest mistake has been taking those half-days as all out lazy family days. Once in a while that is GREAT and necessary. But done too often, it will create an overwhelming experience when he leaves and we get back to routine. Laundry and dishes and schoolwork don't stop needing to be tended to. So when your spouse says "I'm taking a half-day", you need to carefully calculate how this time can serve the family. Marc isn't asking for us all to take a holiday, he's offering to serve us in fun and work. So this afternoon, on such a half day, I am getting some much needed time to myself and Marc is helping our youngest find all that she needs to be something wonderful for Halloween (not only saving me time from having to do the running around AND doing something I hate doing - coming up with costumes).

2. He said - "Do your own laundry." Remember that everyone works hard when Dad (spouse) is on the road.  I think in many healthy relationships you meet two people that want to serve each other. When Marc gets home we all let out a collective sigh of relief and joy. My inclination is to 'out-serve' him. He's been on the road, in hotels, he deserves to be cared for and pampered, right? Yes. But I do to. And I need to be careful to be served (that's a whole other topic) as well as serving. She says - Yes, do your own laundry.

3. He said 'Wash the dishes when you are home'. She says - Wash the dishes when he isn't home. What I mean is keep caring for yourself and your home while he is gone. Seriously, I have some great justification for leaving dishes, laundry, towels... when he isn't here. I homeschool three kids, and to add 'double parent duty'... you would agree with me, right?  I do it for me. So, even though there are chores and tasks that I would pay serious money to not do, I will continue to do them most of the time, because the feeling of a settled and cared for home settle and make me feel cared for.


Spring said...

I am not married to a traveling spouse, but I loved reading your approach to this (both of yours!)

renee @ FIMBY said...

I enjoyed this also.