Originally posted in Mommy Nearest Magazine.
I’ve always been a very independent kinda gal. (Except when it comes to putting together Ikea furniture, that is.) I just didn’t realize how more independent I would have to become when having a child and becoming a “work widow”. My husband works long hours - he’s out the door around 7:30am and not home again until 8pm or later most nights, and often on the weekends. He also travels a lot. I was thrown right into it – left all by myself for a week with a brand new two week old baby. But you know what? We survived!! And I was so proud that I did it all by myself and have continued to do so. Do I NEED my husband to be home and helping out? No, I guess I don’t. Do I WANT him to be? Yes, of course!! But we’re making do just fine and here’s how:
Communication is Key
You may have days (or weeks, or longer) where you don’t see each other because of his hours or travel. Make sure you still keep lines of communication open – have a quick daily chat on the phone or Skype (this is especially great for getting the kids involved). Text a photo or video of your little one doing something silly. Make sure to tell each other that you’re thinking of them and love them.
Quality Time Together
Sure, you’ve found your groove taking care of the house and the kids all by yourself – congratulations! But, when your partner is actually home, don’t let him annoy you by “getting in your way”. Don’t let him sit around like a house guest, either! Involve him in the daily grind such as changing diapers, story time, and fun at the park. And don’t forget some much needed adult private time to keep the spark alive.
I feel this is true for anyone, work widow or not. You need a good support system – friends, family, you name it! People who are understanding and sympathetic. Some good shoulders to cry on, to vent to, and to make you laugh! It can be tough to make mommy friends, but they are so so so important (see my tips for making mommy friends)!
Don’t Be Negative
Being a workaholic doesn’t mean he loves you any less. It doesn’t mean he prioritizes work over family. (I mean maybe yours does, haha, I don’t know him, but anyway it’s not a given!). Try to see the positive – he’s working hard to provide for his family, and he takes great pride in his work! Do make sure he knows how you feel about his work schedule (I’ll reference above – communication is key), but don’t complain about it all the time – this is not productive and will likely lead to fights and stress.
Know Your Breaking Point
Do you feel completely overwhelmed taking care of everything at home yourself? Maybe he can help out more or you can get some outside help such as an occasional babysitter, housekeeper, etc. Do you feel like you two are drifting apart or having major issues? It might be time to consider marriage counseling, but sometimes it’s as simple as getting away from it all and reconnecting on a vacation!
Are you a work widow? Share your tips for surviving below!
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!