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Airline pilot's wives ...survival tips

(8 Posts)
Flipssake Tue 09-Jun-09 15:41:55

My husband works a mixture of short and longhaul. We have a 7 and 2 year old. Not much support localy, parents all live a good few hours away.

I'm trying my best to develope a support net work but it is hard tbh as most people don;t really want you round over the week end if their husbands are off and I tend to feel very dictated by DH's rosta- if he's around we do stuff with him, so that makes me not so reliable with friends.

DH's ad hoc roasta and lack of baby sitting means that i am somewhwt limited in my choices for going out, making arrangements etc..

Our house is a rennovation project so being at home feels awful some times, we've had lots of mice,slugs and burglars too.

I work half time. DH seems to think I'm a lady who lunches and he does nothing to help around the house as he says he far to busy with DIY.

Tips pleased. How not to get depressed and lonely?

mumonthenet Tue 09-Jun-09 22:30:44

not sure flips but am bumping this for you as there's loads of help and company on here.

dancingqueeen Tue 09-Jun-09 23:52:51

just wanted to post and give you a bit of sympathy. DH not an airline pilot but similar job with lots of weekend etc working and an adhoc system which makes it hard to plan. still trying to ttc and its hard enough now, so I have a lot of sympathy for you as with children i'm sure it's harder to plan.

i'm sure there will be people with more suggestions, but my thoughts are:

- when house is sorted will that make it easier as then at least maybe you can sort out people to come and visit
- can you think of a few friends who might actually be in similar situations, e.g. divorced/ single/ other halfs work weekends. it's not that unusual for one reason or another, i'm slowly trying to 'collect' friends in similar situation to me
- you say that "if dh is around we do stuff with him, so that makes me not so reliable with friends".... I caught myself getting into this trap, have now made a promise to myself that I won't let people down if it we've made plans and it later turns out dh is free. he will just have to come along to or we will work around my plans. otherwise I think people can start to feel a bit 'used'.

you really do have my sympathy though, it is hard when other half works away a lot, especially if there is no real rhythm to it so you can't plan. staying in touch with friends by phone and internet helps me a lot too. also, is your job sociable? I find this makes a massive difference for me, I'm much less lonely this year in a more sociable job.

hopefully more people will come along with some tips :-)

sb6699 Wed 10-Jun-09 00:30:21

One of my friends' dh is a pilot and his shift patterns are pretty erratic. I think she is bloody wonderwoman, she has 3 dcs under 5 and always seems to be doing something which I guess is her coping mechanism.

They moved into a house recently and she has done most of the diy herself as she says it makes her feel proud of herself.

She does aerobics each week as well where they have a creche (is there anything like this near you).

I think as dancingqueen said you have to make an effort to build yourself a social circle and see your own friends even when dh is home. My friend has us all over and sends her dh into his study "to do whatever it is he does in there".

There are plenty of us out there who have dh's who work away/shifts and I;m always glad of an invite even just for coffee for the sake of company. Do you know any of your dcs friends parents that you could invite round - that way the kids are occupied and you have people to talk to.

Could you afford to pay a babysitter. There is a company called "sitters" which has been highly recommended on MN.

sb6699 Wed 10-Jun-09 00:38:47

Oh pressuming you live near the airport your dh flies from do any of the other pilots have their family based near you (there are loads round here). I would presume sme of them are in a similar boat so might be good to try and meet some of them.

IVB Wed 10-Jun-09 18:45:07

I can relate. My husband is a pilot and my boys are now 5 & 6. Initially, as babies, I felt very isolated (my family live abroad and his are not very hands-on) for the same reasons you have described. However, I have now found that one shouldn't assume people don't want to meet up at the w/e - I've been surprised just how many people have said yes to me when I have suggested doing something with them on a Saturday and Sunday, so I urge you to give it a go.

My husband is very hands-on when he's home and has also been emphatic about the fact that I should make plans to suite me and not around his eratic schedule. This is good in many ways; however, as time has gone on, I've noticed that my husband and I are spending less and less time together when he's off, which is not necessarily a good thing. My problem was that if I tried organizing our lives around his, it ended up with me feeling resentful toward him - not his fault, but still maddening for me and the boys.

We have never established any social life through his work exactly because of their erratic roster - no one is off at the same time and it's impossible to organize!

Making good and reliable friends who understand your predicament is rough and it's taken me all these years since my first was born to put together a network of friends. If we are asked out to dinner/drinks, I will accept, even if my husband can't make it because I think you've just got to get on with your life. If you can afford it - as suggested above - use 'babysitters'. My boys and I are flying abroad this Christmas to spend it with my family (the first time since my boys were born) and we don't even know if my husband will be given that time off. You've just got to get on with living - your husband is getting a life when he's away, and so should you. Good luck.

Flipssake Wed 10-Jun-09 21:25:13

Thank you very much I really appreciate this advice as I am definately getting resentful as well lonely.

My DH seems ro expect me to understand the inner workings of his leave and rosta system and to organise things around him. It drives me nuts.He's a bit of a perfectionist.

Yes, dancing queen I agree - I would never let a friend down to be with DH but would be unlikely to arrange things if he were around- often saying no to friends.

Any more pilots wives out there? Come on - how do you do it? I am really struggling at the moment.

LondonLegend Tue 23-Feb-16 13:45:22

Hello, I know this is a VERY old thread, but I've only just come across it, and in case anyone out there still wants support, there are a couple of good Facebook groups I can recommend. One is called Pilots' Wives (this is global) and the other is UK Pilot Wives and Girlfriends. Come and join us smile

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