Today’s post is a reader request- my favorite! I am a pretty open book and love sharing how we do life and hearing how you do life in return. Today we’re talking husbands that work long hours/travel…
I would love a post on balancing being a part time working mom, part time SAHM with a husband who has long work hours and travels a ton. I feel burned out by being the sole parent most days. Would love your take on this, any advice as I know your husband has crazy work hours too.
I’ve decided to tackle this topic on a day I’m feeling bright and optimistic. Don’t let that fool you into thinking I haven’t had days where I want to scream IT’S NOT FAIR at the top of my lungs. As the girls have gotten older (now 2 1/2 and 5), those challenging moments have become fewer and further between, plus I can tell them to go play when I need some time to regroup, but still, I’ve been there.
I’ve had days I feel completely burned out and others where I crave validation. I want to tell David everything I’ve done and I want him to react with a genuine “oh my gosh, how do you do it all? You single handedly make this family function day to day, and so seamlessly, and we are forever indebted to you.” Then I want a full spa day to bask in my awesomeness.
Spoiler alert: that has never happened.
But I have learned how to better deal. I never have really considered myself a WAHM because this blog is something that is such a fun passion for me, but to keep it going, it does require my time. I estimate I spend about 15-20 hours a week on the blog. Perhaps that qualifies me as a part time WAHM and maybe it doesn’t but whatever my category, I do run this space and our household during the week since David works sometimes long and always unpredictable hours. (And I still feel I have it easy compared to some of my friends who have husbands that travel for weeks -or months- at a time)
Taking on the majority of home and child care during the week took some getting used to, but over the past 5 years I’ve learned a few tricks that have made my life easier.
- Don’t let resentment overtake you. I’ve learned not to keep score. I remind myself that what he’s out doing all day is for the family too. One of the things I love most about David is his strong work ethic and drive, so anytime I feel like my job is harder, I give myself a quick reality check that we’re both working our tails off for the good of our family. It helps me feel more like a team and builds camaraderie.
- Focus on the good stuff. My optimism is about 50% nature and 50% nurture. I intentionally focus on the good. I feel really grateful that my hobby turned into a part time job that allows me to contribute financially doing something I love. I feel fortunate that I get to be home with my kids. Focusing on the perks of my situation (pajama and movie afternoons!) helps me better handle the hiccups (napless afternoons, home repairs, technical difficulties online, doctor appointments, car repairs, you know, life).
- Enlist help. And drop the guilt associated with it. We have bi-weekly house cleaners that I love almost as much as my children. Sure I still wipe down, sweep (almost everyday because my kids eat like rabid wolves), and whatnot, but it saves me the time it takes to do a deep clean. Whether it’s cleaners, meal delivery/food prep short cuts, yard professionals, babysitter swapping with other moms, etc carefully selected outside help can make a world of difference.
- Take care of yourself. It took me a while to realize that David really didn’t care what I did all day, but he did care if I was happy. There have been phases when I’ve burnt myself out until I learned that not all solo time needs to be productive. I have a wonderful once a week sitter (that I adore). 90% of that time I spend working on things, but that other 10% allows me to fit in an occasional pedicure or take a long walk. Maybe it’s wine and a girly TV show once the kids are down, or a coffee date with a friend once you drop your child at preschool, but allowing yourself to have some true “me” time isn’t indulgent, it’s necessary.
- Create a schedule. I get up between 5:15/5:30 every morning. I don’t love setting an alarm, but it’s necessary for setting up my days the way I want them. I do my weekday “work” in the early morning which frees me up to be “just mom” during the day. I also schedule in downtime. I deliberately leave several afternoons open. For laundry, for play dates, for baking whatever comes up.
I’ve learned to do the work I can do with my kids, with them. For me that can be cooking, cleaning, or organizing. Other things like editing pictures and writing I have to do in my morning hours. I don’t do those “solo” tasks while my kids are up because I found myself becoming irritable and frustrated when they interrupted (which of course they are going to) and it went against everything I want to be as a mom. Delegating certain tasks at certain times has really helped my sanity.
- Have the kids pitch in. I realize a little more each day that my kids can actually do things. I told them the other day they needed to clean the floor around the table then my jaw dropped as I watched Hailey sweep everything into a pile and Kaitlyn dustbuster it up. I constantly am reminding myself that my girls (especially Hailey at 5 years old) can and should be taking on more home responsibilities.
- Stay in touch with the husband throughout the day/week. David and I have a constant WhatsApp stream. We send each other funny things, updates on our days, topics to discuss later, pictures of the kids, etc. It really helps me to feel connected to him throughout the day and helps me feel like we’re on a team, tackling this crazy day separately, but together.
- Greet him with a smile. Have I thrust the baby at him before as he walked in the door? I’m sure I have- those baby witching hours are no joke, but I really try to not just throw the whining kids at him as soon as he gets home. I’m not saying I’m dolled up and in heels, but a quick smile and hug hello hopefully lets him know I am happy to see him and am grateful for what he does during the day for our family.
- Take shortcuts. Or long cuts? When I’m solo, especially if it’s for a couple days, I give baths at 3:00 pm before the girls are too tired to fight it. I make dinner/bath/bed a relaxed, 3 hour process. It keeps stress lower for all of us.
- Tell him how you feel. I know I should not need validation from my husband, but knowing that has not stopped me from wanting to feel appreciated. When David tells me he is grateful for what I do, I don’t blow it off like it’s nothing. I tell him how much it means to me to hear that. It’s work I am beyond happy to do, but it is work.
If I’m not feeling appreciated or wanting to discuss a change, I bring it up after the girls are down and we’re both in a relaxed mode. Timing, I’ve learned, makes huge difference.
And to the 8% of men that read here, a few quick ideas to consider:
Kiss her goodbye in the morning, tell her she’s beautiful with that crazy top knot, send her flowers for no reason (especially if you travel), leave a note under her pillow, and most importantly, tell her how much you notice and appreciate all that she does. Acknowledgement goes a long way (for both parties).
No matter what your situation is (WAHM, Working Mom, SAHM, or any combo of the above), you are working hard. We’re all full time moms and ish isn’t always a cakewalk.
Do you have a great tip for how to handle it when your husband works long hours or travels?
Military wives (thank you and your family so much for your sacrifices), I have so much respect for what you do. I’ll bet you have some really wonderful tips, so please share them!
I usually love your articles but the matter of fact hire outside help? Most sahm make that decision to do so knowing that they are no longer going to be able to get their hair done as often to even think hiring outside professionals seems like such a far off option from most of us. Totally get this is your opinion but maybe including options like ways to organize cleaning schedules for your readers that don’t have bi weekly cleaners.
Brittany Dixon says
Hi Maria, I totally get where you are coming from. In my situation, being a part time WAHM, the money I make covers the cost of our cleaners that come every other week and it is significantly helpful for my sanity. I see incredible cleaning schedules on pinterest, but for me to offer advice on that would be pretty insulting since I don’t have a perfected system that I use myself. David and I are very deliberate about where we spend our money and where we save. I can only share what works for me. I don’t expect these to fit everyone’s different situations. It’s all about finding the balance that works best for each family.
Ashley Smith says
Omg enough. We postpartum women at any stage postpartum btw 😘 deserve a place to speak without “not saying enough to appease other random chicks opinions” we are a team. No more nitpicking what you haven’t gone through. Are you her? Are you in her life? Would you want someone to do what you did here? No. Love you and respect you. Let’s stick together mommy.
I think you missed Brittany’s point. Enlisting outside help doesn’t mean paying for a cleaning person. That is one option. Outside help can be getting a friend to watch your kids so you can do errands, having grandparents visit so you can do a date day/night with your spouse, etc. This is a great suggestion! As a mom, I personally feel guilty asking for help and this is a great reminder that I’m not superwoman nor do I need to try and be.
This was such a great post! I’m a mom to a 2 year old and 4 month old. I’ve been finding myself “keeping score” of who does more (I tend to think me:) and get so resentful. I’m nursing, which I love, but I also get very little sleep. My husband wants to relax together after dinner and I pass out on the couch. He can’t understand why I’m so tired and it makes me so upset. I also go to the gym very early before he leaves for work and he gets frustrated when I leave him with both kids (but I’m with them all day!). Having two has been an adjustment and your suggestions are so helpful! Thank you!
Clare Spencer says
Advice please what do you do if you are an older mum work on an evening husband works in the day ??? No help from family or friends and husband works 6 days a week including bank holidays???
Ashley Smith says
Bro you get what she’s saying here. Stop. If you need something to occupy your time other than nitpicking a woman who’s doing a blog expressing herself freely for the public which is more than any of us are doing, btw, myself included, then find a hobby sis! Don’t be a part of the problem. Us postpartum women at any stage postpartum, deserve a platform to say how we feel. Keep talking sis. I need to hear the honesty not his girl commenting.
I believe your recommendations of what husbands should do was “stolen” from what your dad has done for 38 years—and it works!
I am now a SAHM of 4 year old and 9 month old boys. It’s exhausting but I tell myself that I’m so glad I’m not teaching right now because that is a job where I constantly brought stuff home and you’re always worried about plans and students, etc. it’s nice to have this break with my boys. My husband is gone every other week and it can be exhausting and lonely, since we moved cross country. Joining a MOPs group has been wonderful and being able to see my second child’s milestones, which I missed sometimes with my first since I was working, has made it worth it. The tough part is when my husband comes back and tries to do something differently. I have to let go and let him do it! We do early baths too, around 4. Crazy but gives me time to prep dinner and clean up and not run around like crazy!
Brittany Dixon says
I LOVE your suggestion for joining a MOPS group. I’ve heard amazing things about that organization and though I haven’t done that one specifically, I definitely should have mentioned the power of having “tribe.” I have a lot of friends in similar (or tougher) situations and leaning on each other on the tough days, even if it’s just a text to vent, makes a huge difference.
PS- One of my good friends has a husband that will be gone for a month at a time sometimes and she says how tough it can be when he returns and do things differently too! I’m impressed with your ability to let him go with it- I would hope I could do the same, but man, I think it would be tough! Kudos to you mama 🙂
This is so wonderful! This summer, we welcomed our second (we also have a 4-year-old), and I went from a full-time working mom to SAHM. We also moved and my husband started his third year of medical school. I really struggled with losing my identity (or finding it in the wrong place in the first place.) We have settled in though, and your tips are great! We totally do the 3 p.m. bath.
This is a lot of what we do too! I have been reading for a few years but what does your husband do?
My husband took a job in another state but I am waiting until the end of the school year to move so our older kids can finish here. Also selling our house.
His new job will be less hours though so we are all looking forward to that!
I’ve always wondered what David does for work too, and I’ve been a reader for years as well. My husband works long hours in London and leaves before the kids are up and gets home after the kids are asleep so this article rang true for me. Although I don’t think I have tips to offer I think Need to implement Brittany’s. I will agree about the cleaner though. I had a second child six months ago and thankfully decided to get a cleaner, best thing I ever did.
Brittany Dixon says
I get a tear in my eye when I think of my clean team- I love them! Truly life changing for me. Oh, and David- he does medical sales so he is in surgeries and different hospitals all day and is subject to all the operating schedules. It keeps things pretty unpredictable!
Good luck selling your house AJ! And good luck with the move!
I give him so much respect! I work in ortho OR, and we end up calling in those guys at all hours of the day and night!
Brittany Dixon says
I’ll pass that along – I know that will make him smile 🙂 Much respect to what you do too!!
Random but…if he is in sales, what would he need to be called at random hours for? Im not familiar with medical life!
Brittany Dixon says
Anytime there is a surgery, he is called in, so he handles call in case there is a trauma, and surgery schedules often get switched up for different reasons. Since he manages it for several different docs/hospitals, things can get a little chaotic sometimes.
I applaud all of you working or not working mums. I’ve done it and am a grandma but I often wonder how managed it as a single parent of 2 girls.
But it doesn’t last forever and is so worth it to see your children all grown up saying and doing the things you taught them to do. The hardest and most rewarding job in the world.
I sent your article to my daughter who is struggling with this at the minute some helpful tips in your article and letting her know she isn’t alone.
I help out as much as I can and make sure I babysit so they can have date night or just do nothing.
She also has the added stress of 2 teenage step children who stay every other night with a drama queen for a mom who changes the schedule last minute and expects my daughters partner to pick up the slack. The step children also expect their dad to pick up the slack and my daughter feels like she is way down in his line of priorities. Any tips for dealing with step teenager princesses would be welcomed.
Love the idea about the early baths…..I feel like it gets so hectic after dinner, when I am really trying to wind everything down for the night. My son is still young and has been a fairly messy eater, but I think I could probably attempt dinner after a bath now.
I also completely agree about having kids pick up. Gavin’s teachers tell me that he is a great helper at school and is always cleaning…..I was like “Oh really??? Isn’t that interesting!” Amazing how kids can manipulate us at such an early age LOL.
Have a great day!
It makes me feel much better that I’m not the only one who initiates bath at about 3pm when I can’t fathom the idea of doing it later when we’re both even more worn out! I work full-time, but I do feel this way sometimes when my husband is traveling for work. I’m lucky to have a super flexible workplace that allows me to work all the extra stuff into my schedule easier (dr. appts, school stuff, etc) but sometimes I get stressed that I ALWAYS have to do these things. 🙂 Just one of those things about being in a partnership!
Wow! I needed to read this today. Thank you for sharing sweet friend…
My girls are almost 3 and 5 and I am 33 weeks pregnant and my husband travels often – life can be so tough when he is away, physically and emotionally but your truths warm my heart. We are making the most of it x
Where have you found reliable sitters? We just moved and I don’t even know where to look. I don’t trust just anyone
Brittany Dixon says
Oh gosh, it has been a long process and we’ve been through a couple that didn’t work out. I found a high school sitter I love through word of mouth of other moms in my area. My college age once a week sitter (who is fabulous!) I found through sittercity. I was really unsure about the process and had to weed through a lot of applications, but once I met her for an interview (at a neutral location), I knew she would be a great fit. Now the girls jump up and down when she comes over and absolutely love her. I won’t lie, it’s not fun to search for sitters, but once you find a good one, it’s so worth it.
Kelli H (Made in Sonoma) says
This was such a thoughtful post. I loved all your tips. Yours and David’s marriage sounds like it’s very solid and you guys must have really great communication. I’ve found over the years that communication is key! As well as timing, like you mentioned. Definitely don’t keep things bottled inside until the cork pops off! My hats off to you. Many times I think about how much you get done in a day and I’m amazed! Keep up the great work, Brittany! You’re a mom inspiration.
Brittany Dixon says
I am certainly a communication junkie! I probably talk things out TOO much, but like you said, it’s so key! Thanks for your comment and super kind words Kelli- I always love hearing from you 🙂
One of my favorite youtubers talks a lot about this! I’m definitely not a parent or even married but this is always interesting to me.
One of her videos
I loved this!!! Such a positive lady- I needed a dose of her attitude, thanks for sharing 🙂
My husband travels about a night a week and sometimes up to a week at a time. I’ve struggled some with self pity that I’m home “doing all the work” while he gets to sleep in a hotel, but the fact is, he works just as hard and doesn’t get to be with his family. I have to remind myself that although the days are long, I’m home raising our children. What a true blessing! And let’s face it, it could be a lot worse, he could be spending his time in a lot of other ways than providing for us. I’m so grateful that he has a strong work ethic and loves us like he does.
As far as help goes, my parents help a ton and take my 3.5 year old for fun grandparent nights and let me relax a little with our 6 month old. Funny how your prospective changes with a second, the baby is considered the easy one over the toddler. Haha.
I joined a moms group in our county and have found some of my closest friends that help keep our days full and fun. I thank those ladies for my sanity!! 🙂
Great tips! Thank you!!!
What’s the WhatsApp?!?
Brittany Dixon says
It’s a messaging app! For me, it’s easier to keep conversations flowing with it rather than texts. I have a family chat with my mom, dad, SIL and bro, and a chat with David. It works pretty well!
Great post! What I struggle with the most is the “grass is always greener” phenomenon… When I tell people my situation, they always say, wow that’s great, perfect. I work from home full time. My work contract requires me to have child care during my work hours and I was lucky to find a great nanny. It’s more expensive than day care, but I work a good full-time job and still have the benefit of getting to see my son, hear him laugh and play, have lunch with him, etc during the day. Plus working from home and not having to commute I can usually get a few chores done which frees up our weekends. But when I look at friends of mine who are SAHMs, I realize I don’t get to do any of the fun things of being a SAHM! I know its a challenging job, but I see pictures of the fun things…playgroups, outings, crafts, baking, etc with their kids and I definitely feel a little jealous!
Brittany Dixon says
I think all situations have their own challenges and even though your situation does sound super sweet from the outside, I imagine you feel like you are getting a taste of both worlds, but not fully immersed in either. Honestly I think the split focus/roles can be more challenging sometimes so I give your kudos for rocking it so well. <3
Great post! As a teacher I feel I get to experience both working full time and SAHM over the summer. For me it is a perfect balance, and I am extremely grateful I don’t have to commit to either situation full time. Staying home full time is HARD. Working full time is HARD! Both have advantages/ disadvantages. For me it is easier to keep up with the cleaning and cooking when I’m home over the summer, hands down. Personally, paying for house cleaning isn’t for me, but I know a lot of families that use this service and value it.
So, kind of afraid to ask… but am I the only one who doesn’t do bath time with my kids every night?? And it’s not like my kids don’t play outside and get dirty, but hands and feet in the sink and a baby wipe for the behind usually takes care of it 🙂 Truth time- I only bath my kids once a week, usually Sunday evening. And actually, this is the recommendation of our pediatrician, as the air is very drying in Colorado.
Brittany Dixon says
Haha, you are certainly not the only one that doesn’t do a daily bath for your kids! I sometimes skip a day in the winter because of dry skin, but generally I like having them bathe and get into clean clothes/jammies to nix the germs (I’m not germaphobe, but do try to be really mindful about what gets brought into the house).
I have a friend though who does twice weekly baths for her kids (Sunday and Wednesday), so if once a week works for you- awesome!
Laura, this is me too!
I grew up in Colorado so I 100% know what you mean.
My sons skin gets so dry and breaks out with eczema if we bathe too often! Once a week, sometimes twice if he gets really dirty from something is more then enough for us. I’m a huge believer in building up natural immunity from dirt! We regularly wash our hands and faces and toes to stay clean, but I couldn’t imagine trying to do bathtime every day! Lol!
Love this article❤️ Great advice. My number one goal with our life is to get to a place where we can afford a cleaner once a month! It would change everything. Love that idea.
Amanda McNutt says
Oh boy, this could not have come at a better time as I have been feeling really frustrated with my husbands lack of availability due to work and other projects! He is an ENT doc, I’m wondering if your husband is a physician as well or maybe in medical sales? Anyway, I work in health care as well – I manage clinical quality for a large medical practice and I work from home with help. I do not feel guilty at all about having my sitter stay a little extra so I can exercise, I have housekeepers who I love and I use a meal prep service about 2 times a month. I am lucky that my husband encourages me to have all the support I need. Sometimes I just miss having HIM around though! And the validation as well. Anyway, you’re post was a good reminder and helped me reframe today, so thank you!!!!
Brittany Dixon says
I think you hit the nail on the head- having a husband that encourages me to get the support I need is something I am so grateful for! And yes, you’re right- medical sales 🙂
Amanda McNutt says
It’s so key. Dave always says, I’m not working this hard so you can be miserable at home. We need balance. I would say the meal help was the hardest pill to swallow as I love to cook. But when I became pregnant in September I was just too tired some nights to cook after I put our daughter down at 6:30. I noticed a few others posted about this – handling evenings with a newborn and a 21 month old this summer have me a little terrified. Maybe a future post idea???
Wow- love this poost and want to thank you because I am the person who asked the question in the first place. Love this line: “There have been phases when I’ve burnt myself out until I learned that not all solo time needs to be productive.” I run around like a mad woman during nap time trying to do my treatment notes for work, laundry, meal prep and by the time my daughter wakes up from nap I am burnt out. Will definitely be more mindful about taking breaks so that I can be the most mom possible when she is awake. Thank you for all the great advice and suggestions!
This is so helpful and officially saved for me to reference for the (near, yikes!) future. You guys have seemed to achieved a great balance of everything, but I know that takes a lot of work from the both of you.
While I’m not in this situation yet, I know one thing that will be very important to me down the road is to make sure that my marriage stays solid when our kiddo comes into play. So while the act of smiling and greeting your spouse when they come home seems silly, but truly is important, as is the open communication throughout the day. I want to be an example of a healthy strong marriage for my children. I didn’t get that growing up and feel blessed to be able to set that example for my future kids and know that it’ll be a huge benefit for them.
Great post! So here’s a question for you (or another reader!) — I have a two year old daughter and a 12 week old daughter… HOW did you do bedtime alone when Kaitlyn was this age?! I feel like the witching hour(s) kicks in and it takes me a solid hour to get the baby down. I’m not sure what I’ll do with my toddler during this time when my husband travels next week! This probably sounds trivial, but I’m already having anxiety about it and it’s a week away! Ha:) if we had family nearby, I’d beg them to come take pity on me 🙂
Hi Laura! I had this problem a lot when my baby was younger (we had a 3-year-old when he was born. He’s 8 months now.) I did it two ways:
1. Wear the baby while you put the little to sleep
2. Get the oldest ready and then put on a movie while you put down the baby. I’m not sure if that would work with a 2-year-old, but it worked for me a few times (I had a hard-to-get-to-sleep baby, too.)
But the best thing I did was make sure baths and dinner were done as early as possible so that I wasn’t doing all of that in the thick of things. I would have my oldest bathed and eating by 5 pm so that I wasn’t trying to give her a bath while the baby was screaming. We took lots of afternoon baths and I often made her dinner over naptime and just warmed it up.
Hope that helps!
Brittany Dixon says
Awesome tips Lindsey!
I would say a lot of the same. Also, I often nursed Kaitlyn while reading to Hailey (when Kaitlyn was still young enough to not be distracted). I completely agree with getting things done as early in the day as possible definitely helps. And honestly, when they are so young, every day looks different because the only real goal is survival, so do whatever you find works for you 😉 You can do it!
I have a 5 year old and a 6 month old. I read to my 5 year old in her bed with the baby then lights out for the older and go to baby’s room, and bottle feed to sleep. I bath at 5pm, cook and eat dinner, then bed at 7pm. I can envisage this would be difficult though if your baby takes a long time to go to sleep and cries. I find the baby needs to have a 3pm nap otherwise she is cranky in the early evening and wants me to hold her when in need to be bathing my oldest or cooking. I hope this may help.
Your marriage posts are some of my favorites! My husband travels a lot so the end of your post made me a little teary eyed haha but in a good way 😉 you are definitely an inspiration to me for when I have kids some day! Also my husband has suggested we look into a cleaning service but I’m crazy and don’t think I would trust someone to do it the way I need it done hahaha.
Brittany Dixon says
I have a friend who fired her cleaning service because she has such a specific way of cleaning and it drove her crazy- haha! So you ertainly aren’t alone 😉 Thank you for your kind words! <3
This post is perfect today. My husband has been gone for two days and won’t return until next week. Luckily I guilted my mom into coming in from out of state, so after two solo nights I will have reinforcements after today. I have a 2.5 year old and a 3 month old and feel overwhelmed on a good day. My husband is very supportive of me having help, but I have a hard time figuring out what I need/want on a regular basis. I end up feeling resentfull when he’s traveling or having a late night. I love your tips and need to really just try and change my mindset.
Katie @ Live Half Full says
I really struggle with the validation thing! I’m a full time working Mom and while my husband does a lot to help out with childcare, he works a lot of late nights and it’s a lot to manage. I would love more specific advice on how you handle those feelings when they come up!
John J. says
Nailed it! Your second book forthcoming?!
My husband works crazy hours during budget season so a few things we try to do is facetime if he is going to miss bedtime, and I also try and talk about him when he isn’t there and working all weekend. For instance, I will ask my daughter if she wants to draw a picture for daddy, or say things like, “you like hummus? That is daddy’s favorite!” Just to include him when he isn’t able to be there. Lastly, I try and make it a point to get them one-on-one when he is around. My daughter for sure favors me and I know it hurts him. I think the one-on-one is crucial to their relationship. Right now they do swim class together 🙂
I do all these things! I do have some issues with resentment, just because I’m tired at the end of the day and I know he is, but sometimes wish he would swoop in and do all the things so I can sit down and do nothing lol Oh well. He’s been gone for over five weeks now and you know when he gets back, he’s doing some Dad work so Mommy can relax before popping this baby out 😉
My husband is a police officer in Huntersville so I definitely understand the crazy schedule life! There are some weeks where I feel like I’m doing it all on my own. One of my fave things to do is create an easier meal plan for the babes and I while he is away or working. It makes my night a bit easier!
What a fantastic post! Although I am not a mom yet, I am a military spouse of a pilot so I deal with him being absent quite often or working crazy hours. I found many of your tips to ring true even without kids because I have to relocate with his job. As a result, I leave my job and end up doing a majority of the work setting up the new house, learning the new area, and try to find new employment. The need for validation struggle is real! This is definitely an article I’m going to save to reflect back on when we are blessed with children or during a rough deployment.
Lauren B says
Awesome post! Even though my husband works normal, flexible hours and doesn’t travel much, these points still apply! Especially the “greet him with a smile” one! Gulp.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for being so open and sharing what works for you!
Amanda Carter says
This was exactly what I needed today. I moved states for husbands job and went from working 40 hours a week outside the home to a pregnant stay at home mom of our 3 year old. Your article really helped me see how much more important it is to be happy for him versus a long list of duties I accomplished for the day. Wow you really got this article on point for me. Thank you.
Hi Brittany- I came across your post as I googled “workaholic husband”. I am newly married and work full time and have no children but I can’t help but feel constantly disappointed with my husbands work schedule. It honestly makes me worried for our future when we do want to have children. He prioritizes work above me and we are in such a rut where he feels nagged and I feel lonely, angry, frustrated, and sometimes not respected. Any tips for how to get out of this rut and start fresh? Really appreciate it.
Brittany Dixon says
Hey Kris- every situation is different, but I’ve found communication always help bridge the gap. I’d start with finding a time to talk when you are both relaxed and open to conversation. Beforehand, think through your concerns and feelings so you can communicate them clearly and not in an accusing way. It’s possible your husband’s intentions are very pure and he is wanting to work hard to help build a great life with you (I find it’s common in driven men), but he may not realize that what we want most is time together. Talk through what life looks like for you both now- what is working for you both? What isn’t? What will the next stage of life look like? What will have to change and what do you both want to try and have remain the same? Talking through all these questions can help you both see things from each others’ points of view. I also have friends that have found it helpful to have a therapist facilitate these kinds of conversations, so that is always a great idea too. Best of luck to you!
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Courtney M says
This was truly insightful and incredibly helpful as my husband and I work through whether or not to have a second child while he’s working full time and going to grad school.
My husband is currently working 4 days a week out of town and about to switch jobs which he will be working outta of town 6 days a week and only home one day. We have 4 kids (1.5, 2.5, 9 and 10). I am having a really hard time with this and really lonely. This is only until we can move but not sure how long that maybe. I don’t know how I will be able to handle it, I am hoping I can.
Brittany Dixon says
You can do it! Give yourself a lot of grace and take shortcuts when you can. You got this <3
Tashauna Bailey says
Thank you for your post. I am a SAHM of 4 kids ages 9 years old to 9 months. I struggle with balancing the home life stuff and I appreciate your advice. I think too often we can get caught up in “the who does what” pattern, it’s not something that I want to do, but when I feel like all that I do goes unnoticed that’s when I feel I slip into that mind set, which is not where I want to be. Finding me time is practically impossible due to my husband working long hours and traveling 4 hours a day for his work commute. But I have learned that in order to get the me time or things done without having to hire a babysitter, you have to get uncomfortable with your time frames. If I get up super early in the morning I can workout or get some house work done or go grocery shopping (which is nice because there is hardly anyone at the store early in the morning).
I’m writing this mainly because lately my husband tells me that he doesn’t feel appreciated, he feels like a financial tool, and that I don’t understand his gruesome schedule. I feel that I show him that he is appreciated everyday with the little things that I do, like make his coffee and breakfast, pack his lunch or have some lunch delivered, write him little love notes, listen to him vent after a long hard week or day at work, tell him I’m thankful for all that he does( but probably don’t tell him that often enough to be honest) etc… My husband is a very devoted business owner and has a very strong work ethic, he puts a lot into his business he is very passionate about it and most everything he does. Sometimes I feel that he spends too much time working on his business and I wish we had more quality time/family time.
I want for my husband to feel loved and appreciated for all that he does. And so do I. What are your thoughts on making your husband feel appreciated? What things work for you and your husband? How can we be a better team which in turn will benefit our entire family? Are there certain things that I could be doing better after a long work day or weekends? Just trying to get other people’s input on how they handle being a SAHM with a husband who works a ton! Looking for ideas, schedules with kids, house cleaning schedules (I’m always behind on laundry), teamwork ideas so that neither parent gets burned out or feels burned out, healthy lifestyle changes/schedules. Anything would be appreciated.