It can be easy to forget that this is no picnic for him either. Sure, I am looking after Skye and all the General Household Boringness by myself, not to mention that pleasant period of morning sickness and first trimester fatigue that almost drive me batty, but I have one clear advantage over Mr Bond in this situation:
I am dealing with all of this in the comfort of our home.
In theory, the idea of getting to go the pub and have someone else cook my dinner for me each night while I relax with a couple of beers after work sounds heavenly. Actually, the distinction of an after work at all sounds pretty damn good. But I know the novelty soon wears off when you then have to spend every night in a strange bed in a small hotel room with none of your 'stuff' around you and most importantly, none of your family by your side. As much as he gets along with his side-kick, I am sure they both miss having a bit of personal space and even Mr Bond doesn't like chicken schnitzel enough to have it 5 nights a week! Were the situation to be reversed, I doubt I would handle it as well as he does, but as the weeks and months pass by, I can see how hard it is for him.
Now that Skye is older and better able to express her feelings, I see how it hurts Mr Bond to hear her say that she misses him as he packs his bags on a Sunday night. I watch him hold her that little bit longer before bedtime because when she wakes the next day he will already be gone. I wonder if the photos I text him and the stories of our day make the distance easier or harder to bear.
It can be a delicate balance being the supportive and loving yet independent wife. In my effort to avoid putting any additional pressure on Mr Bond by complaining about him working away, I have risked making him believe that I don't care if he is home or not. My desire to reassure him that we can cope without him was never because I enjoyed it, it was merely because I didn't want him to feel guilty about the sacrifices he makes to provide for his family. By keeping my own feelings guarded, I wasn't seeing how much he was missing his family, his friends and the security of the routine activities I take for granted.
That's not to say there aren't moments when it overwhelms me. It's exhausting trying to fill the void and be both parents, even more so now that I am pregnant. There are times when the weeks drag on and the weekends just aren't long enough to enjoy any quality time beyond the catch up of mowing lawns and washing the bags of clothes that accompany his brief returns, but every week I try to make the conscious decision to get on with the task at hand, because dwelling on the negatives just drags us all down.
I am conscious of the impact it has on Skye too, it is hard enough for her to be missing seeing her daddy each night and while she is not yet 3, she absorbs my every emotion like a sponge. If I began each week complaining about how hard or lonely or exhausting it can get, it wouldn't take long before the whole thing became unbearable for all of us.
It can be easy to talk yourself into that mindset and almost impossible to talk yourself out of it.
So instead I accept that in order for one of us to be home with Skye everyday, right now, one of us can't always be here.
It's not ideal, but it's also not forever and I console myself with the fact that so many families out there are in the same boat, for the same reasons (or worse) and I look forward to the weekends in a way I never have before and hope for a time when the work is closer to home again.
Do you, or your partner have to travel for work?
Do you have any tips for making the time apart less stressful?