Moms who have a spouse who travels often for work can contest that pulling double-parenting duty can be a challenge. These moms, who are seasoned travel widows, are sharing how they get through the busy weeks when their parenting partners are out of town.
Photo credit: Fuse/ Getty Images

Surviving the hard weeks

Those of us who don't have spouses who travel often for work simply have no idea what it's like to hold down the fort (sometimes literally) when Daddy is gone, sometimes for days or even weeks on end.

Most of the moms agreed that nighttime is the hardest. "I would love to have more meals together," shares Michelle. Another mom, Dana, who has two young sons with a husband who travels for work nearly 50 percent of the time agrees: "The worst part is not being able to divide and conquer the evening and nighttime routine. It's so much easier to split dinner, kitchen clean up, baths, play and book time with him."

Sometimes my boys just need to talk to their dad about things.

"The hardest part is being both parents," Julie, a mom of two boys tells us. "Sometimes my boys just need to talk to their dad about things."

And, sometimes, a wife just needs her husband. Nicole shares this about their recent move, which was challenging, as her husband was traveling at the time: "I had to coordinate all of the details related to the move myself — hiring the movers, packing the house, coordinating renting our old house out..."

But, it's not all bad...

As hard as it is to have a spouse who travels regularly for work, these moms share that there are also some perks.

Michelle shares this about being a travel widow: "I get a wonderful balance. At night, when he's traveling, the time is my own to work on my business and the nights that he is home, we get to chat in front of the fire and I don't feel as if I have to work on other things. I can truly enjoy the time he is home."

We make a more concerted effort for family time when my husband is home.

Julie agrees with Michelle: "We make a more concerted effort for family time when my husband is home."

Looking on the bright side, Nicole tells us that she doesn't mind the "week long love fests" with her daughter when her husband is out of town. "I know that there is going to be a time when she is no longer interested in mommy time, but when my husband is away, she and I get to spoil each other with unlimited time and attention."

Sometimes, the best part about having a husband who travels for work is bigger than getting to hog the remote control while he's away. Megan shares, "This allows him to work at his dream job without having to move to NYC. By staying in Minneapolis, versus relocating, our kids get to go to a great school, we have an affordable house in a safe city, I can continue my private practice without having to get re-licensed and my family is nearby."

Tips from moms who have a traveling spouse

  • From Michelle: "Establish a rule at home that the traveling spouse does not check their phone/computer when he or she is at home so that they can focus completely on the children."
  • From Dana: "Have a routine and a plan... and stick to it!"
  • From Leigh Ann: "Give yourself grace and lots of it! It's hard to be a mom, especially when your husband travels. Make sure you're taking care of yourself, even if that means you need to hire some outside help.
  • From Sheree: "Plan, plan, plan! I do a lot of meal prepping when my husband is away, so that I don't have to cook much [when he is home].
  • From Luz: "Have something to look forward to while he is out of town, such as a spa day with friends."
  • From Julie: "Utilize FaceTime, Skype and videos to communicate with the traveling parent. Seeing faces shortens the distance between you."
  • From Lisa: "Watch all of the TV shows you love. Cook your favorite foods. Take naps. Trade babysitting with other moms. Take care of you."
  • From Megan: "Get comfortable asking for help, rather than trying to manage it all yourself."
  • From Nicole: "If possible, try to have family or close friends nearby who you can leave your little one with or solicit for help."
  • From Margot: "Have a standing babysitter night every week. If I had nothing particular planned (girl's night out, book club, etc.), I'd go to the gym or even the library."

Share with us!^ Do you have a spouse who travels for work... or do you travel for work yourself? What are your tips for surviving the busier travel weeks?

More on marriage

Why my kids support marriage equality
Why marriage isn't necessary for me
Can your marriage survive adoption?

Topics: