6 Coping Tips When Your Spouse is on Business Travel

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My husband used to travel for work constantly. I would say he was gone 50% of the time. As a mom to three young kids and no family around at the time, it put a lot of strain on our family. I can recall a time when my oldest son used to tell my friends that his daddy lived in a hotel. One time he even called my friends husband “Daddy”. Of course it was totally innocent and he didn’t mean any harm by it at the ripe age of 3, but it certainly can certainly pull at your heart strings.

My friends would often say to me “I don’t know how you do it”, or “I could never do what you do” but the fact of the matter is I DID do it. I had no choice. It took years to develop coping mechanisms but along the way I found quite a few tips that worked and I would like to share them with you.

  • Line up a babysitter as soon as you know your spouses schedule. Having a sitter lined up in advance was not only emotionally reassuring for me but it was awesome for the kids. They would get excited and have something to look forward to. You do not have to leave the house either. I would just have someone come and play with the kids while I cooked dinner, or did bath time or homework. I was a much better mom to my kids at the end of the day.
  • Go grocery shopping BEFORE they leave. I cannot tell you how many times I have had to drag 3 tired kids out of the house because I had nothing to make them for school lunches the next day or we had nothing to make for dinner.
  • Arrange Carpools. With all of the sports kids are in you probably find yourself driving all day long dropping off and picking up. And when your spouse is not around to help it can be so draining. Ask another mom who is in the same class if you can take one way and have them take the other. Trust me, one less pickup makes a HUGE difference.
  • Get out of the house. Staying in can feel  like the days just blend into one another. Take the kids somewhere fun after school or out to dinner. A break in the day can be very revitalizing.
  • Stay Connected. If there is one thing I learned on this journey it is to stay connected with your spouse. Whether it’s through Face time, or Texting or Instant Messenger, check in daily with your spouse. I was really bitter in the beginning but I learned that being able to talk to my husband or see him helped me relax. And it helped him too! The kids will also enjoy it and won’t feel so disconnected from their dad/mom.
  • When all else fails and you feel like you are going to pull your hair out, pick up the phone and call a friend/neighbor. Be honest. Tell them you are stressed and I can almost guarantee that they will be at your door in a heartbeat. If they don’t then give YOURSELF a time out. Or a glass of wine. They both kind of go hand in hand.

Tell us, does your spouse travel for work?  What are your coping mechanisms or tips for dealing with several days of solo parenting?

I have the utmost respect for single moms. Hats off to you ladies!

21 thoughts on “6 Coping Tips When Your Spouse is on Business Travel”

  1. My husband doesn’t travel, and I can see how it could put a strain on a family. Talking to one another every day seems like a great way to help you through the time.

  2. I try to catch up on reading.. My husband used to be away for 5 days a week six months straight and I bought hundreds of books to read at night. Hard at the first few days but somehow you learn to live with it

  3. My kids are older and I still hate it when my husband travels. My boys are 12 and 17 and I usually make a run into town for movies and snacks for them, and my daughter usually comes to visit. It’s hard to cope with.

  4. In our family, I’m the one who travels. Before I go, I make sure the laundry is done, the fridge is full and the kids’ schedules are all arranged. My hubby, who is AWESOME and keeps up with the housework for the most part, takes it from there. When one spouse travels regularly, teamwork is key. Though, my trips are all short, 3-10 days. Longterm distance would be much harder!

  5. Thank you for these helpful tips! I’m lucky that my husband doesn’t have to travel a lot. However, when he does I yearn for that magical hour for adult conversation and help a the end of the day. I work from home and have two young children. I try to wrap up work by 5 pm and venture outside for a walk, play outside in backyard or play ground, or just do something fun together. Getting out of the house even for a little while is key to maintain your sanity. :)

  6. I am single with no children so I can’t even imagine what you must have gone through! I am glad you found ways to cope and are willing to share them with others who may be in the same situation.

  7. Thank you for the fantastic tips. Most of the time we realize these way too late to do anything about it. We must plan ahead.

  8. These are all great tips! I’m actually looking into getting a nanny for the entire time because I just don’t like being home alone! lol! My husband used to be gone 90% of the time. Now it’s a lot less but I still wish it was never.

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