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DH works away 3 weeks of the month, I feel alone

(27 Posts)
Fairysnuf Fri 18-Mar-16 17:40:29

There used to be a thread on here where parents who had partners working away shared their woes. It was mostly army wives but I can't find it.

My husband works away 3 weeks and is only home for 1.
It's hardsad
I've just had a tough couple of days where the school our DS goes to has lost their probationer teacher (she was homesick, I think) and now they can't find a supply teacher to cover, so they are going to cover it with 5 different teachers.
DH has not been available to talk to so I've tried to contain my panic alone.
It didn't work. I foolishly put up a Facebook message group asking other mothers in the class if they were as worried as me and what we ought to do to help the HT sort it.
It went wrong, the other mothers, well a minority, didn't seem fussed and eventually told me to just go see the head teacher if I had a worry.
Fair enough, that is , of course the correct route but I had wondered if a meeting would be a better idea rather than a number of us individually asking her to repeat herself. But thought I'd get the lay of the land first.
I came away feeling very foolish and completely unsupported.
One mother even said that I ought to watch out that I wouldn't make the HT feel like it was a witch hunt shock
Omg that really rocked me, it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Anyway, upshot is, I feel alone and that I'm struggling to cope.
There have been lots of tears today over it and that's not really like me.
My mum died suddenly 2 years ago and in this I am really missing her and her advice.
I would have turned to her First before (given the DH is so hard to contact) but I felt I had no one to contact and reached out to the wrong people.
I'm looking for the right people and MN was so great when my LOs were little (DS7,DD9)
I hope I can find them here again.

HelloSunshine11 Fri 18-Mar-16 19:20:25

Just a quick post as I'm about to embark on bedtime but wanted to say you're not alone and I know exactly how you feel. My H is away every week mon-Fri and often works weekends at home. I'm starting to feel very lonely despite having a great friendship circle, and more and more distant in my relationship with him. I'm just going through the school admissions process for our son and have had to do all of it alone, from visiting the schools to deciding the order of preference and writing the form and supporting statements (son is deaf to add extra layer of complexity). In all honestly I think I'm starting to be done with it all.

So a fist bump of solidarity from me. Will be here later if you want to vent!

Fairysnuf Fri 18-Mar-16 20:25:33

God yeah, his last trip home was Awful!
From the point we didn't kiss on greeting one another to 3 days where fixing the car (buts its for your safety darling ) was a higher priority than spending time with me.
I eventually made plans with friends, though I normally leave the days free for indulgent time with him, if you catch my drift, that wasn't happening so I figured what the hey, might as well meet a friend instead.

My friendship circle has taken a real bashing since my mum died.
With my realising that I was in a toxic friendship (Geeezo, getting out of that narcissistic trap was tough!) and another one falling off the radar, I can only think because she didn't know how to handle it. My best buddy (how childish does that sound, lol) but she completely supported me with my mum dang and the damaging friendship bust up but she recently took full time work and I am left with just the one SAHM, who is so fickle I can't keep up with her changes of direction. Though she in fact accused me of the very same thing today.
She could have a point though, I think we are possibly as bad as each other but you know what I gets to be.
I've had a shitty couple of years!

Marilynsbigsister Sat 19-Mar-16 09:32:41

You really do sound quite lonely. Do you work or are you full time Sahm ?

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 09:53:21

Full time SAHM but normally I work on my ceramics and sell them at craft fayres.
Most Jan and Feb I hit a low point and don't make (after the Christmas period rush I just have no interest left). But this year, after have really bad flu and taking 3 weeks to get back to almost full strength (enough to start running again) I'm still not interested in making.

Marilynsbigsister Sat 19-Mar-16 10:09:05

As your dcs are now at school, would it not be a good idea to work outside the home if only for a few days a week/a few hours a day ? I realise you don't need the money (or presume you would already be doing it) but working outside home will introduce you to a world of independence that will also include meeting other people who can value you for YOU not just someone's wife and mother. You sound so isolated at the moment.

It may also improve your relationship in that you would be doing stuff as opposed to waiting around for your DH to come home.

However, I have to ask, if he is working away for 3 weeks out of 4.. I think that is going to be fairly difficult to maintain a happy relationship..trying to squeeze a marriage into one week of a month. - it really isn't a marriage, it's a part time relationship. Why don't you move to where he has to be, seeing as he has to be there so much ? and besides kids schools, seems you don't have much to keep you where you are.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 11:16:02

marilyn we have talked about my looking for a part time job, DH and I, but finding one that is Only during school hours is pretty tough where I am. Because I can't have one that goes out of school hours or the children don't get to their activities.
I have my dad and my sister local, well each about 5 miles away in opposite directions. But my dads schedule is madness itself having retired and my sister has two of her own and husband who wouldn't want my two invading his weekend. My sister and I aren't that close really and anyway, day time are busy for her with her own two, evenings are busy with mine.
Sorry, back to my point. Finding a job isn't easy, managing the job and the children would be hard. Doable, don't get me wrong.
But I went to art school and am finally in a position where I can focus on it.
I'm down just now but normally I am very busy making.
So to take on a part time job would mean choosing it over my potential to fulfill my dreams.

I hear what your saying about a part time relationship but it's just the way it has to be.
It's this or unemployment. Or a 6 and 2 rotation. We've done that, it's worse!
Joining him is not an option because he moves around.
This week France, next week Finland or Turkey each one for who knows how long.
But it's work and in his industry he's bloody lucky to have it.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 11:21:08

Keeping me here is my children's opportunities to do all they love.
My dad is their violin teacher, my daughter plays Clarsach and finding a teacher for that was tough
She's in a drama club, he has just found a karate club he loves.
I love Scotland.
If we were to move south they would learn classical, not scots music.
Up here they have the chance to join in a monthly Feis, which is a morning of scots music with like minded children.
The area has so much to offer!
It took the thought of moving to make me realise that.
We went to visit a town further south and we'd basically have given up Everything to move or paid twice as much for a similar activity plus an hours drive to get to it! and we'd only have gained getting DH home an hour earlier.
It just wasn't worth it.

Belikethat Sat 19-Mar-16 11:21:15

Why didn't you kiss when you hadn't seen each other for three weeks? That sounds sad. Is the relationship the issue or the fact he is working away? What does he think?

ClashCityRocker Sat 19-Mar-16 11:33:04

What do you think would help?

It sounds like you don't get much opportunity to contact your husband during his time away, so aren't able to use him as a means of support, albeit distant.

I work away sometimes although not as regularly as your dh and I did find it hard to stay connected to family life - no DCs but various goings on with wider family, ill health etc and I know during one particularly turbulent period (Dmil was very poorly) dh did struggle without that support.

Re part time job - I think it might do you some good, even just a few hours a week for one day a week - or some volunteering work, maybe. I get what you're saying about wanting to follow your dream but, well, by your own admission, you're not doing it at the minute are you? And that still leaves four school days to do what you want.

Brenna24 Sat 19-Mar-16 11:33:18

Lots of sympathy from me. I don't think the distance does relationships any good. I guess fixing a car is important, but so is spending time together. Could you sit down and have a good talk with DH and agree on trying a bit harder to do things to help your relationship. Ensuring you kiss when he gets back/ taking an afternoon out of whatever needs done to go on a date, etc.

With regards to the school, if there is not a teacher available, there is not one. There is little the head teacher can do about it. It is hard to recruit to rural areas, which is mad in my opinion (I am kicking myself that I didn't do something like teaching as my ojb ties me to cities and I hate it, I wish I had the chance to move somewhere as perfect as your area sounds).

Do you have somewhere at home (garage or equivalent) you could use to teach the ceramics? That could be done in school hours if you class is mainly retired people and maybe after the kids are in bed for people who work? That would mean you get some income and see people without having to worry about finding a job and fitting in around school.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 17:25:13

Do you know there were two reasons belikethat
I had talked to him a few days before saying that I felt disconnected from him and that it was worrying me, so his stoopid man reaction to that was to give me my space, and therefore not kiss me.
I, in turn, get dead nervous when he comes home. Like a flippin teenager I'm all shy around him until the homecoming reunion but has calmed down.
So when he didn't move to kiss me, I was too silly to move to kiss him.

Then, as I was getting my grown up head back on, he comes out with ,'I'm not going to pressure you for anything, just gonna leave it to you when your ready.'
Gah, my teenage shy head swiftly returned
Closely followed by my paranoia, 'he doesn't want me''

In fairness, this last trip ended well, lots of talking shouting and things were back on an even keel.
But this is more about how I am feeling Now. Right now in the last few days I've hit a wall of loneliness because I felt I had no one to turn to to express my worries and expressed them in the wrong place, landing me on my backside.

Honest the ceramics are making a come back, but I can't be all 'arty' if my head is up my @rse. . y (sorry, that kinda rhymed so I went with it)
Brenna we are working towards getting my garage/workshop sorted for just that kind of thing but it takes money, which takes DH being away more and so the cycle goes.
And I know. . .that totally follows, so go get a job and add to it.
But who'd give me one day a week? Doing what?
Defeatest, I know blush

Brenna24 Sat 19-Mar-16 17:42:02

If you are near Dundee the ceramics classes would be amazing grin.
Try the local paper, we get a lot of people advertising for carers. They want someone to drive them to appointments or shopping or maybe keep them company and do some housework. Or how about self employed as a cleaner?

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 18:13:31

Sorry, I am Waaaay north of Dundee. Can't get any further north I fact without hopping over to Orkney!

I actually do do cleaning, I always forget I do that!
One day every fortnight.
But it is just for old tenants of my parents who had to move on and asked me to come with and clean their next place.
And my dads current tenants.
But to expand that the next way is to join a local company but they want me to be self employed and deal with all the tax etc.
As it stands because it's kinda like friends and then my dad, it's cash in hand.
But it's actually a very isolating job as jobs go. Though I enjoy it well enough.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 18:15:07

There are carer jobs just now but they put 'personal care' on the spec and I'm just not up for that.
All power to those that do, wow, but I just couldn't.

hilbil21 Sat 19-Mar-16 18:27:15

My OH works 3 on 3 off, offshore. My mum died at the end of November last year. It's hard xx

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 18:41:35

3 off would be so lovely!
Sorry about your mum sad

hilbil21 Sat 19-Mar-16 18:49:16

Yeah I know we are lucky he gets the same time here as he's away (and that he has a job!) but the three weeks he's not here can be loooooong with a ds who is 1 on Tuesday xx

pocketsaviour Sat 19-Mar-16 18:56:28

OP you say you feel alone, but you're writing an awful lot of excuses reasons why you can't do anything that would get you out of the house and meeting people.

Jobs that fit with school hours are hard to come by. We all get that.
Your dad is very busy... as he's retired?
Your sister is very busy... as she's a mum, like yourself?
You could do cleaning, in fact you already do, but the thought of spending an hour once a year filling out a tax return is just horrific.

On one of your H's previous furloughs, you isolated yourself from him because he wasn't chasing after you, instead was giving you space, which he told you about. Rather than seek closeness with him, you pushed him away.

I think that you have a narrative going on in your head of "Nobody wants me, nobody cares about me" and instead of taking control of your life, you're sitting there being passive instead.

Do you think that since you lost your mum, you may have developed depression? Just because you're not having suicidal thoughts and are still getting dressed every day, doesn't mean you aren't suffering. And your - TBH - disproportionate anxiety over your DC having several supply teachers is just adding to that picture.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 21:08:13

I quite possibly am heading in that direction but trying my damndest to not fall into it completely.
After I had my son I got PND which went unnoticed and I fell headlong into full blown, complete with thoughts, not of suicide, but that my little family would be better off without me.
Fast forward 4 years from the point I reached out for help and I received CBT I do get very low points.
During those 4 years I reached out and put myself out there. Joining a craft group locally and making some friends. So I thought. The group stopped meeting until a year ago where I was decidedly Not invited. Clearly I didn't make a great impression.
Though a new lass to the area went along, she was also ousted in exactly the same manner I was so I'm not so sure they were nice people anyway.

After my mum I reached out for help again and was told that it was just grief and that I needed to read some stuff about how to deal with that. I couldn't, reading even a magazine article was, at that point, beyond me.
So I've muddled on having good days and bad.
Holing up in the house until I have a word with myself and get back out again. Seeking company.

I'm now a year and a half since my mum died and I've lost so much, not just my mum.
My dad is still here but he's not himself anymore, though he tries hard to be. I put on hold/buried/hid from my own grief to help him through. He took up with another woman 6 weeks after my mum passed away. So my focus became 'being ok with that'.
It was a lie. One year on and I burst at the seams.
During that time I also had to get out of a really damaging friendship and no longer trust my judgment on people's characters/motivation for being my 'friend'.

So, yeah, I'm making excuses to not put myself out there.

I don't think I can take another set back.

I find it really upsetting that you say it was because he 'wasn't chasing after me'.
That's not really what it was.
I was feeling low, am feeling low. I told him that.
He stepped himself away from me, rather than offering the support/comfort/reassurances I so clearly needed/need.

That all reads like such a poor bloody me, it's ridiculous.

Fairysnuf Sat 19-Mar-16 21:20:57

I'm not sure what I've written that could have you say that my anxiety is 'disproportionate' ?
I think the idea that a 7 year old should attend school having 5 different teachers in one week is something that it's ok to be anxious about.

The council in our area are awful.
I've now heard a couple of stories about similar things happening in other schools that, once the council were forced to actually do their jobs, they solved with some simple reallocation of supply staff.
There is no reason why they couldn't do the same in my sons school.
But they won't do it if we all roll over and say, 'och, that's ok. You've done you're best I'm sure'
The HT has, the council have done nothing, yet.

I'm may be being passive about making new friends (see my history of putting myself out there (I am the First to welcome any new comers to the area. The locals won't go near them) and getting badly burnt) and about getting a job (a thousand excuses because I have no idea what I want!) but those are my choices or lack there of. I'll be damned if I'll be passive about my children's lives.

redskirt3 Sun 20-Mar-16 04:44:29

My DP works away 5 nights, home for 2 nights, so a different schedule, and probably easier to deal with because it's more frequent contact and it's the same nights home each week so we can have a routine. The hardest part is saying goodbye on a Sunday when it feels like he's only just got home. I keep busy with work 3 days and helping at school once a week. I have friends and neighbours I can rely on for support - have lived in the same town 5 years, it takes time to build these support systems. We talk on the phone each night which really helps.

kittybiscuits Sun 20-Mar-16 08:44:11

*I find it really upsetting that you say it was because he 'wasn't chasing after me'.
That's not really what it was.
I was feeling low, am feeling low. I told him that.
He stepped himself away from me, rather than offering the support/comfort/reassurances I so clearly needed/need.*

I'm sorry about your loss and how much you are struggling. The above is a concern and is something more problematic than him 'not chasing after you' as the other poster suggested. Can/does your OH keep in touch whilst he's away? He really isn't being supportive when he's at home.

Are you on anti-depressants OP? If not can you discuss with your GP. You seem very low and they might help you to see the wood for the trees. You sound so lost and isolated flowers

Fairysnuf Sun 20-Mar-16 12:49:21

Anti depressants scare the bejesus out of me.
I put off taking paracetamol because how will I know then if the pain has stopped off its just the drugs doing it.
Though the stress headaches, it must be stress, since the letter came home from school are Awful I've been taking paracetamol because it's Has to be done.
To reiterate the stress is the feeling of not having my mum to discuss things with and keep me calm, not a disproportionate anxiety over the 5 teachers.
At the end of the day, my little boy is a happy soul and a people pleaser, he'll cope fine with it all. His academia might not because his attention span is pretty short at the best of times, lol. But it's only this term (Or so I hope) next term should be back to another probationer.

But anti depressants can become addictive and how will I know if it's real happiness or just the drugs making me smile more.
Won't I feel like I'm stoned.
Like in one of money pythons films 'I feel Haappppy!'

They sent me for CBT last time, they aren't keen on handing out drugs, they said so.
I basically asked for that when I went to the doctor but he told me I was fine, read some leaflets.
Then I hit a good spell and told them I was ok now.
I am down just now, but I'll get back up.

Fairysnuf Sun 20-Mar-16 12:55:17

DH calls almost every night to FaceTime with the children.
But there's rarely an opportunity to talk to him myself.
So I just get on with stuff.
That probably me being passive again.

I shared some stuff with him about my worry over the school thing.
He replied with exactly the same thing a RL friends husband did and my own dad 'Och, it'll be fine, it'll all work out'
It will, yes, but right now, I'm worrying. Whether that's the correct way to react or not, it's my reaction.
Just support that please, tell me you understand what I am feeling but that it'll work out. Don't tell me it's not worth worrying over, I know that, but unfortunately it's out of my hands whether I worry or not. Please help me through it.

But how can he, over the phone or on a Facebook message?
So why even start the convo?

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