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Partners who work away from home?

(21 Posts)
weechops Thu 28-May-15 10:45:32

Hi fellow sahp grin. I posted in the other thread quickly ( I will go back and read all the posts) but I wanted to start this thread to see if others are in the same boat as me.

I became a sahp 7 years ago when my dh started working away from home. Over the last 5 years he's been working on a 2/2 rota. But this summer he'll be starting a new job abroad - 12 weeks on/ 2 weeks off!

Does anyone else have this kind of life? grin. And does anyone else have absolutely no help with the children? My parents have passed away, I have no siblings, dh dad is lovely but won't offer any help.

Usually I'm very independent and like to do my own thing anyway, but I'm getting a bit nervous at the thought of such a long time on my own. Especially the whole summer!

Oh, I have 3 children. Dd(8) ds1(almost 5) ds2 (18 months)

addictedtosugar Thu 28-May-15 10:58:37

I'm about to change from working FT to SAHM to my 5 and 3 yr olds.
DH is about to change from a 9-5 job 10 miles down the road to what sounds like a similar pattern to your husband - but the time off isn't scheduled, he just has to leave to country for 50 days a year. We have no local family, but my Mother is brill at driving up to visit every couple of months. PiL live much further away. DH's siblings are useless!

So I don't really belong here yet, but would love hints and tips to deal with the massive channges we are all going to be facing.

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Thu 28-May-15 11:02:15

Not the same amount of time but we have 4 and DH is usually away 1wk a month. No family whatsoever so just me and the kids usually as even when he's not away he works long hours. I find it exhausting and depressing if I'm honest. I wish I knew the answer esp with summer approaching.

PotteringAlong Thu 28-May-15 11:08:41

So he will be home less than 2 months in 12? Honestly I would move somewhere where you have help / somewhere cheaper so you can afford help.

PotteringAlong Thu 28-May-15 11:09:11

Or I would move closer to where your husband will be working.

Nerris Thu 28-May-15 11:10:48

My husband runs his own business and it is unusual for him to come home each evening as he works away so much. Also he catches up with office work on the weekends so we have to fit in family time where possible.

I have 2 DD's aged 5 and almost 3 and up until last seeptember when my eldest started school I was struggling to cope. I relied on my mum a lot, she would come and give me a hand a couple of times a week. My mil lives nearer but doesn't offer help and my sister lives miles and miles away.

The only thing that saved my sanity during the summer holidays was sending my dc's to a holiday club a couple of mornings a week. It gave me much needed time to have a shower in peace or juust time to read a paper.

Now the girls are a bit older I find it a tad easier, plus my dh is a very hands on dad when he is around.

It's tiring and relentless at times and routine helps.

Nerris Thu 28-May-15 11:12:31

Apologies for spelling errors, stupid phone.

weechops Thu 28-May-15 11:12:35

Routine routine routine! Honestly. If you have a plan for your day/week it really helps. I get stressed if I don't have definite plans most days (even if that plan is just a supermarket trip)
I have a family organiser on the fridge, we all have our own column (ok I have 2!) and everything gets written there so I can see at a glance what we have on.
And I really think that having a positive attitude about our situation helps too. No point me being miserable when dh is away, it's not fair on the dc, so I try to look on the bright side smile
And now we have this board, I'll look forward to chatting with other sahp. Most of my rl friends work.

NoSnotAllowed Thu 28-May-15 11:19:03

I'm a SAHM to a 2 year old and a 3 year old. My DH is in the RAF so he spends a lot of time away (anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months at a time). We are currently posted in an area quite far away from all our family and although I have made friends here I don't like asking for favours such as childcare etc.

When DH is away I get into my own routine and things go quite smoothly. It can get quite isolating though. The only major problems occur if I get ill. The first and last week of him being away is the hardest.

weechops Thu 28-May-15 11:20:05

Pottering - the nature of dh work is contract based, so this one will be for around 18 months. I'm a bit of a homebird anyway and I love my house grin I guess if I really needed a break I could book a babysitter, money's not really the issue there, it's more that I've never really had the need to leave the dc with anyone before.

weechops Thu 28-May-15 11:23:38

NoSnot - I know what you mean about being ill, it's my biggest fear. I get migraines sometimes and depending on how severe they are I find it hard to cope. And I find the first day he's gone the hardest but then we just get on with our wee routine

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Thu 28-May-15 12:28:42

We do have routine and an enormous family calendar on the wall. I guess I just find it hard work. But then I should disclose that I very much want to go back to work but DH thinks it's a bad idea with his hours. So maybe I'm projecting a little. I'm dreading the summer hols. How do you entertain 4 very different children all day when there's just you? That's a genuine question so any answers or ideas appreciated. As I'm 45, my friends all have kids in juniors or older and are back at work enjoying life.

weechops Thu 28-May-15 14:34:44

How old are your children? I'm finding it a bit tricky just now as the toddler can't really do the same as the bigger 2 (although he really tries!) And trying to fit in my one-to-one with each dc is getting tougher too.
Arts and crafts is popular all round here, especially colouring
The big 2 are actually really good at playing with the toddler, and each other on occasion smile

It sounds tough for you though as you're actually wanting to work. I felt a bit resentful when I first became sahm, but now I love it which helps. Is there no way for you to do any kind of pt work? Of work at home doing something you enjoy?

ItsNotAsPerfectAsItSeems Thu 28-May-15 15:17:02

Thanks, Weechops. They are, 12,9,3&1. The 12yr old is calm and quiet. Like reading and calm sort of activities like visiting museums and Nationsl trust stuff. The 9yr old is a crazy mad adrenalin junkie who wants to do stuff like Go Ape every day. Would do sport from dawn til dusk and rather pull his own teeth out than visit a museum. The 3yr old has mild SN and just needs attention and the 1yr old is super clingy, not yet walking and utterly exhausting.
I'm a teacher and I know it's not just 9-5. DH knows this too as I was a dep head before I gave up and worked ridiculously long hours inc weekends.

weechops Thu 28-May-15 20:33:08

Wow I see what you mean about totally different shock grin Are the big 2 understanding of each other's needs? (To an extent if course)

Because it's mainly me that takes them to their activities, sorts day trips etc, I've explained thoroughly that there will be days when you basically have to suck it up til it's your turn! I'm fair as much as possible to give them equally fun things to do, but I expect no moaning if it's not their favourite (well minimal)

I guess it's trickier for you just now with your 3 year old needing a lot of attention as well as the baby. Can you pop baby in a sling while you play with 3 year old? Things that involve sitting on the floor like puzzles, cars etc. And with the better weather starting soon - the good old park! Do you have a garden? Lots of ideas for outdoor stuff.

I usually get them to write a list of stuff they want to do : 1- as a family and 2- just with me. Then I work my way through (getting rid of things like Go To Blackpool for the day!) and try to put at least one thing a week on the organiser. Doesn't need to be a biggy, sometimes it's just to play connect 4 without the toddler eating the pieces!
I'm rambling a bit but trying to jot stuff down in the BGT ad break grin

FoxyJane Thu 28-May-15 20:47:56

Yes I'm a sahm with a dh who works away. Dh works anywhere between 2-4 months away with a month home between times away.

Dh works at sea so when he's away I often can't contact him other than the odd email unless he's alongside. So I will get a short call a few times whilst he's away, that can be as few as 4-6 calls in 4 months and I can't reach him easily if there's an emergency.

It is very hard my 4 dc are 8,6,4 and 2. My two middle have asd, I think my youngest also has asd. It is very tiring my family live over 5 hours away.

I cope mostly, the hardest thing for us is the fluctuating wage if he's not away working we are on a basic salary it makes budgeting and shopping very stressful.

weechops Fri 29-May-15 15:30:08

FoxyJane you sound like superwoman to me! I think it takes real inner strength to be able to have this kind of relationship/life/career, whatever you want to call it. It's hard going some days, totally fantastic other days, and the good points absolutely outweigh the bad. Helps to have people to chat to in the same boat smile (no pun intended!)

TeacupTravels Fri 29-May-15 15:43:51

Mine's away for roughly a week at a time, sometimes overnight or sometimes a few days! I find it hard that I never know (self employed/contractor on short contracts) so I can never really find my routine/groove yet.

I wouldn't mind working part time as our house is tiny/lots I'd like to do in life but I am exhausted and wouldn't manage teaching with him away easily. I do love SAHM, if we were v.well off I'd really it as i wouldn't have the worry!

When he comes home its fantastic but uspets the routines I've got into. I think I need a "A" and "B" pattern depending if he's here or not!

Purpleflamingos Fri 29-May-15 17:17:55


Me too.
Only 2 dc though.

BlackeyedSusan Tue 02-Jun-15 17:24:43

lone parent here, so with the children all the time... with minimal help.

I think your hardest bit will be when your dh comes home. you will sort out a new routine and things will adjust to having just you home, but then you will have another adult coming back changing things and disrupting the routine.

It will probably take a week or two to get used to being on your own for long stretches but it will be fine once you are used to it. It will be difficult to be in the limbo land between a couple at home all the time and full time single parent. whatever you do do not make any references to being like a single parent. It is like lighting the blue touch paper and standing well back with some people.

ipsos Wed 10-Jun-15 22:32:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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