Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply
You're right - it is important to think about how the children will feel as they get older too. I remember talking to one of my husband's colleagues wives a few years ago (waaay before we were think about starting a family) and she said when her other half comes home it is always like 'fun time dad is here' - late nights, trips out, lots of presents.. but when he goes back to work she has a hard time settling them back into a normal routine. But I guess it will have to be that way.. he will miss out on so much too that we would want to make the most of him being home! And really that's sort of how life is now.. we make such an effort to have real quality time when he comes home that it always hits me hard for a few days when he leaves and I have to go back to the normal mundane life!
It does make me think though.. we have made the choice to live apart a lot of the time, but it won't be our children's choice. It's something we will have to remember.
It's nice to hear about other people's experiences.. so many people I speak to just assume he will give his job up and stay at home when we have a baby, but in reality it's his career and we are not planning that. But I think we will have to keep an open mind if it really is too hard for either of us.
PasataBow - I'm glad to hear you don't feel lonely any more I worry that having a baby might make me feel a bit isolated.. but quite a few of my friends have had little ones in the last few years so I'm hoping it will make me closer to them again.. atm they never invite me to the park etc (I can see why though lol).
Lally - did your did your DH make it in time for the birth?! Another one on my list of worries!! I hope you all feel happier when he is home for good
It's hard but I never feel lonely like I used to before the DCs.
The hardest bit for me at the moment is the two year old misses him so much she often wakes in the night crying for him. Coupled with a baby who wakes to feed I can't think beyond the tiredness at the moment!
Growing up, my dad was in the army. God it was hard, but I managed to just wait for him to come home. My husband now works about five months away in his office in New York or his office in Melbourne. I've taken the kids abroad to see him before. He missed the first time my DD1 spoke and when my DS2 took his first steps. He's missed lots but I'm glad my kids love him and think about him a lot.
My DS is 4.5 months and my husband is away a lot with work. It isn't as bad as I thought it'd be! I was dreading it before DS came along.
I find the first night he goes away the hardest, then I remember I have to be super organised and then I'm ok! Then all my organisation and routine goes out when he's back, and that takes a day or two to get used to! The first night he ever went away, at 4.30am I was still in the previous days clothes, had my make up, and hadn't eaten tea! I then learnt how to do this on my own quite quickly, and it did get much better!!
I also have to make a mental effort to let him get on with spending time with DS, looking after him etc when he's back, and not interfering or saying 'do it like this' etc. Some things I might but it's important to let him find his way too and encourage him to do so.
We find reconnecting ourselves hard, as we don't have much time just us, there is always DS there! Hopefully when he is a bit older, sleeping properly in the evening etc then that might be easier.
I also have to force myself to not be resentful sometimes. Everyone else seems to have husbands that come home each evening and most of them have family nearby, I have neither... And yet we wanted to have a family, and then I do much of it on my own, and he gets to still have his normal life most of the time. That sounds like I am resentful and most of the time I'm not, but occssionally if it's been a hard day or night, then I find that creeping in, and I have I give myself a stern talking to!! And DH finds it really hard to be away, I'm not sure he's going to want to keep doing this long term as he feels he is missing so much. This last time I started I find it much easier and he found it really really hard to be away.
I'd suggest making sure you have something to do each day, coffee with someone, walk into town, anything to make sure you get out of the house. I find I can find it tough if I don't do this.
Driving myself to hospital in labour wasn't fun, but it was ok being at home alone with baby for me. I had my babies (we now have 4) to concentrate on and keep me busy and got to see every milestone, for him it was heart wrenching and when he was home he would do nothing but spend time with the kids which could get fraught when I was doing everything myself but he was missing his bond and I had to accept that he needed to do that.
As the kids get older its harder, toddlers scream for daddy at bedtime when he goes away again because they are used to having him here, he misses things like DD1s pony club awards or DS1s sports games and DD1 (preteen) recently had an argument with DH where she told him "you cant tell me what to do when you're never fucking here anyway" (she takes it hardest when he goes away and this resentment can build in her).
Your relationship will also change with him because you are now sharing his attention with his work, his free time and his child. DH and I have resorted to this new craze of 'sexting' a few times (before it was cool and in with the ids really) just anything to keep our intimate relationship alive.
My DH is coming home tomorrow night and will be here for 10 days. He is going away again until mid October then coming back for good. Its been too much recently and after 11 years he has got a transfer closer to home so a daily commute is feasible and the risk to him is much much less. Hopefully this will help you see both sides but understand I may be a bit bias because I am exhausted with it after doing it for so long.
We're going to start TTC next year and one of the many, many things I am wondering about it how it will feel with my DH working away a lot.
At the moment he works about 6 weeks away then home for 2 weeks (although it can vary quite a bit). I can get very lonely at times even though I have a job I enjoy, a few good friends, family near by and some hobbies I still come home to an empty house and empty bed most nights. I often have to attend things on my own, leave on my own etc.. but that's the sort of gap only a partner can really fill.
There are plenty of benefits to him working away - he's progressing really well in a career he loves and there are so many opportunities in the coming years for him.. but at present it looks like he'll be working away the same, if not more, once we have children (especially if I choose to work less which I probably will).
So I guess what I'm looking for is some experiences of other mums in this situation - what are your positives and negatives of living this sort of set up? Do you have any advice or nuggets of wisdom?!
The mental image that's getting me through the panic is one day having a little family that will keep the love and laughter going in the house even when DH leaves for work.. currently I spend a bit too much time talking to the dogs!!