My husband is going on this 3rd year working away from home. I wish I could say it felt normal, or settled, or easier. But it doesn't. But we work very hard to maintain a new kind of normal for us in this season. Only God.
This is what a typical week looks like for us- he works a 70 week and I wrangle 2 kids, a house, all the errands, cooking, chores, school functions, sports, doctors appointments, sickness, and the list goes from there. 99% of the time without a BREAK. We live way out in the country- so going to the store is a drive. Now, I know there are hurting mama's out there whose husbands do the same, and there is loneliness and depression that can set in. Don't get me wrong- I am thankful upon thankful for my life. I understand my husbands job and this season of life is what is has to be right now- and I know Gods calling on my husband. I am writing this to offer real encouragement and a real look into a wife's life when her husband is away working. What we need and what we don't need.
-- we need help. Little to big things. My family and neighbors are a GOD SEND. They have helped me with meals and mowing my lawn because there is absolutely no way I could mow the acre and a half we live on while my husband is away. Other people have stopped by and cleaned my house, asked to watch the kids, brought food. It's so appreciated! Thank you Jesus. But there are also people I thought would help us in this season that never do, and that's ok. This season showed the test of the real people in my corner.
-- we need a break. When somebody just offers to watch my kids for 15 minutes while I run to the store- that's Heaven on earth- I'm telling you! And when my husband comes home- date night is vital and my sweet dad offers to watch them. Deep breath.
--- we need sleep. Sleep is a must. One person doing it all when he is away is most important. When the baby naps during the day- I rest too. I go to bed early.
--- we need time with Jesus. This is number one. This is the only way I can do what I do. Cling to him. Raise my marriage up to him to protect it during this season. Ask Him to strengthen me and my husband. Just and only JESUS. Praying to get me through the day. The hardest days.
-- we DON'T need criticism! I finally got to where I stood my ground. I'm tired of hearing 'oh you must of picked money over family.' Or 'I could never do that' or 'your kids will never remember their daddy'. My kids LOVE LOVE LOVE THEIR DADDY. They FaceTime him everyday. We didn't pick money over family. My husband is providing for his family. And frankly, it's non of anybody's business. You've got to get a tough skin when dealing with ignorance. I sure have. Bless their hearts
It's a whole different lifestyle when a woman's husband works away. Her marriage, her family, her faith is in need of lots of prayer. Pray for her. Help her. Extend grace. I know now what it feels like and what I will do when I meet another woman in my situation.