Coping with Spouse's Frequent Business Travel
My husband travels fairly frequently for work, and is usually gone at least one week a month. I work full-time and we have a preschooler and a dog at home.
After a few years of this, I’ve hit the point of complete exhaustion. Even with a somewhat flexible job that lets me work from home when needed, and family nearby to help, I find myself resenting my husband every time he goes out of town for work and leaves me to hold down the fort. I know business travel is not a vacation, and he is always very apologetic about not being home to help, but it still drives me crazy to hear him talk about how “tired” he is after a day at a conference, when I’ve been doing ALL the school drop-offs and pick-ups, cooking (or, more likely, takeout ordering), cleaning, dog-walking (we don’t have a yard), and other grunt work at home, while also trying to do my job that pays my share of the bills. Since I don’t travel for work, he’s never in my shoes so I’m not sure he realizes just how hard, and time-consuming, and stressful it can be. (I don’t know how single working parents do it, I honestly don’t!) My husband has had the same job since our pre-baby days, and I actually used to kind of enjoy having a bit of time alone when he traveled. Now, I dread it.
For those with spouses / partners who frequently travel for work, what have you found to be useful in managing while they are gone? By “managing,” I mean both taking care of everything that needs to be done, and also taking care of yourself. And, how do you keep from acting like a martyr, or being resentful? I would appreciate any suggestions for how to cope from those who have been in similar situations. Thank you!