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If you dh is gone from home a few nights a week,


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how does it affect your life? What is your schedule like? Do you have routines for days he's home and different ones for the days he is, or is it the same? My dh is taking a job that is 100 miles away. It's interstate the whole way, but we may find a place he could stay a few nights each week instead of driving back and forth.


Thanks for any insight you can give!

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It is hard. My DH works about 200 miles away from home right now and he rents a room to stay in during the week. We have learned to cope but pray that soon we will be able to sell our house and move or for him to find a job closer to home. DH being gone so much has been a strain for all of us.


During the week I find it easiest to keep a routine and make it what works for me and the kids. Keeping busy helps me with the loneliness of missing DH. We do have a different routine when DH is home vs. gone. We are much more structured when DH is gone during the weeks. During the school year we have our school routine and after school activities. This summer has been harder since we are taking some time off for a break. I am thinking we will start our school earlier this year just to have more structure.


DH's job before this he was working so many hours we didn't see much of him, but he was almost always home for bedtime with the kids. Since they were babies he was always the one to put the kids to bed and do their night routine. So now I have my night routine with them and DH does his on the weekends.

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My DH is a workaholic. He is gone on business weeks at a time sometimes and doesn't really do downtime when he's at home except during weekends (i.e. he continues working, either at his company or in his home office when he is back). DS and I have a good routine so we just continue doing whatever we do. We homeschool fairly independently of DH then DH works with DS on projects or answers DS's more technical questions when he is home/weekends/has time. Please ask if you need specific answers.

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My DH used to work 10 hrs. away from home.  He would fly out every Sunday afternoon and not return home until Friday night.  I know for most people something like that is a great hardship, but for us, it was not a big deal.  We are both very independent people and do well alone.  We would talk to each other every night before bed to catch up on the day and that was enough until the weekend.  I never felt lonely.  In fact, I loved it.  As for routines, my only rule was to make sure all the housework was done and there was nothing unnecessarily scheduled on the days he was home.   

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My husband's job allows him to be in town most of the time but for most of the year he is at work the whole time, coming home just to sleep.  So, our situation is a little different but the kids and I have our own routine and he joins in when he can.  Truth be told, it takes some adjustment when he is home as he does not know our routine.  I think when hubby is gone on a routine schedule, like your three nights a week, a schedule is helpful with an occasional special fun night.  

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Dh works from home, or is traveling, so I have the two extremes.  Honestly, it isn't that big of a deal for us.  DH is a workaholic, so even when he worked in an office locally, he was often at the office over 12 hours or working at the house on his laptop once he was home. Some months he is gone a lot, others he is here 24/7.  I have never counted on Dh for anything other than picking kids up from daycare/school occasionally.  I work outside the home and need his help with this or I couldn't work.  When he is gone, I have back up plans for getting the kids around (often I leave work early and do it myself).


A few things that I know bother other people, but aren't problems for us:

I am very independent, and can do most household repairs on my own, so I don't worry about that. 

I don't need him here to sleep and since he was never a touchy-feely person I don't really notice his physical absence.

The kids are happy when he is here, but are used to him being gone, so either way is fine with them.

He goes to school events if he is here, but since he is a key person in his company, he can't take off work and fly home for sports games or minor events. Graduations or major events, he would be here for.

Our routine is the same with our without him here.  He doesn't affect the way the house runs.

I take my car for maintenance, he is in charge of his.  I don't expect him to keep up on household tasks.

He can be home in the morning, schedule a flight in the afternoon and be gone for days.  Or sometimes he is gone for less that a day. Or sometimes he comes home early from trips.  I don't try to keep up LOL  I just figure I will see him, when I see him!  LOL  I don't try to schedule our lives around him being here or gone.  We do our thing, and are happy to see him when he is here.


The only problem I have is trying to keep the house quiet when he is home. LOL So, I guess our only problems come from him being here, not being away. 






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My dh is gone for 15 days and then home for 6 days. We have been doing this type of schedule for about two years now. Honestly, it is now to the point that it is almost more work when dh is home than when he is gone. When dh is home, try as I might, our schedule goes out the window. I have two young kiddos and they just go crazy when daddy is home. Also, I seem to have expectations that don't end up playing out right. During the 15 days that dh is gone, I will tell myself..."when dh is home, 'this' will get better or 'that' will be easier." Sadly, when dh is home, he is exhausted (he works a ton of hours while he is gone) and 'this' and 'that' just don't happen. I have had to learn to lower my expectations.


Also, I work as well, so it is hard for me with two young kids and a dh who is always gone. Honestly, I feel like a single parent much of the time. I am very blessed to have my parents locally, as they really pick up the slack when I can't get it all done.


At first, I really missed dh when he was gone, but I am now used to doing most everything myself. I do feel more empowered now...there are so many things that I never even knew I could do! But it would be great if dh were home a little more often.


Last thing...we did this because dh was miserable in his previous career and really loves what he is doing now. I have decided that even with all of the pains of dh being gone, it is so much nicer now that he enjoys his career. That alone is worth it. (and the extra money he is making isn't bad either!!!)

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how does it affect your life?

We've been doing this for most of our married lives, so we're totally used to it. That doesn't mean we LOVE it all the time - be at least it's "normal" for us.



What is your schedule like? Do you have routines for days he's home and different ones for the days he is, or is it the same? 

I learned early on in our homeschooling days that FOR US (YMMV), we have a normal routine. If Dad is home - great - we may have more time with him later in the day. Taking days off when Dad was home was a nightmare in establishing routines with little ones. I am a firm believer that homeshcooling is a job that needs to be done nearly every day with lots of consistency. Dad knows this - so the mornings he's home he can sleep in, work out, run his errands, etc.

Some things I would recommend....

1. Make sure you have Quiet Time every day. Take a nap. Take a walk. Go for coffee. Your kids are older so it won't be like having littles - but it's still mentally tiring. Take time for you.


2. CLEARLY communicate your needs. "I need a break." is a not so uncommon refrain from me. For us - I'll tell my DH, "At some point in the 3 days that you are home I need a break. I want to golf. Alone. For 3 hours. When can we schedule that?" If it doesn't work out - then I will hire a sitter (my kids are still a little young for more than 2 hours of me being gone). If I don't communicate I start to get all bitter - and that's not good for anyone.


3. Make time for you and DH. Schedule it if you have to. We will go out for lunch when DH is home - without the kids. We keep certain tv shows to watch together. I will warn you that sometimes my love language needs and his are different after trips. I want to be alone and drop my parenting pack. He doesn't. Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. Sorry to be really repetitive - it's just a big deal.


4. Take DH into account. It's easy to get overly independent. Check in. Talk schedules. Don't over commit for times when he's home.


5. A good app to manage schedules is really helpful.


6. Text, send pics, etc. Keep him involved, even if it's little and your kids are older.


7. Recognize his preferences when he gets home. My DH HATES to eat out. He does it ALL the time when he's gone. When he's home we eat at home, and we eat out a few times when he's gone (which is great because I totally need a break then!!). Laundry actually needs to be caught up when he gets home so we can wash his and get it ready for the next trip. Hassle - yes - but important to him. I love perfume and fabric softener - he doesn't - so I do those things when he's gone.


8. Your friends won't understand and listening to them whine about their DH being a little late from work to go coach a kid's team will IRRITATE you. You'll have to let it go. Their world is different than yours. It's OK. Just be ready for it. This has been very hard for me during different seasons.


9. Cereal is a balanced meal. LOL!!!


There are a couple of good books to read on traveling spouses. I remember  reading Keeping Your Family Close When Frequent Travel Pulls You Apart when we first started this ride. Hope it helps! Our life is amazing. My DH is amazing. I wouldn't trade our life for anything. It's weird and wacky - but it's us. I hope you guys have as much fun as we do!!

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Thank you all so much for your responses! It is definitely a lot to think about, but you all have given me so much to consider before a problem even arises. Thankfully, this is only for the school year. That school system follows a traditional "old school" calendar, so he'll have an almost 3 month summer.


I am more independent than dh, so I'm concerned about him being alone more than I am about myself. The kids are older, so that will help in many ways. Ds is probably going to have the hardest time because they play together quite a bit. Dh can't really fix things to start with, so I'll figure things out or call on neighbors.


He is going to make the commute at first and see if he can make some connections there to find a situation where he could stay some during the week. He also doesn't know the school's routines as far as which day of the week the teacher's meetings will be after school, his full duties, etc.


If we find a place we have to furnish, we are set. My parents still own my grandmother's house. They have 2 houses full of furniture they can share with us.

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You know, I know it sounds crazy probably, but what helped me most was to really familiarize myself with my home so I could attend to repairs myself etc. We moved from a managed apartment facility to a home with all sorts of bells and whistles I wasn't used to as I am an immigrant. It will be different for others who have been familiar with American homes all their lives, I guess. :)


Also, DH and DS video Skype as often as they can. It's nice to see them updating each other about their respective projects. And DS learns a lot of geography/ world and US history through DH's travels.


I agree about it sometimes being easier with DH away. We are all intense people lol. Things are more relaxed when DH is away but it is also lonely when he is away so it balances out.


I haven't read all responses so apologies if someone has already mentioned this: I keep a list of emergency phone numbers and instructions like first aid/ emergency preparedness etc attached to the fridge door just in case something happens to me when DH is away (he travels overseas often too for weeks at end) so DS will know what to do. Just a thought!

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