Rewind.. 9 years ago
I can’t believe B and I have been together for 9 years this year, it truly doesn’t feel like it’s been that long though. For the first few years of our relationship he use to travel for work doing 4-6 week tours (he’s a helicopter pilot) to some very remote areas of northern Canada (Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Yukon, etc). Many times there were no cell service, poor internet connection and only a satellite phone where he can communicate once a day.. if that. If we were lucky and the signal is good we can quickly talk for 5 minutes to catch up. After 4-6 weeks he would be home for a week or two maybe. Fast forward to now, B’s work life is completely different to how it was before.. thank god! I don’t think I’d be able to handle him being away for that long with very little communication while having a toddler running around. Nowadays, he works at base during the winter months (yay!!!) unless he needs to do a tour.. but other than that he’s usually away around May to October for 2-3 weeks and home for 2.
The day B proposed after flying me around the Kananaskis.
Solo Parenting & 2 businesses
(Please note that I’m using ‘solo parenting’ to refer to a family where there are two parents and one is temporarily away. Single parenting is not something that I can comment on.)
I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing and hands on B is at home, from parenting to housework, cleaning, laundry and cooking he is a full participant. We share the load pretty equally, so when it comes to solo parenting…. he is solely missed by Aleia and I.
After some trial and error and lots, I mean LOTS of tears of exhaustion from solo parenting and running two businesses… thankfully I figured out ways for making life easier when he’s away. Here’s a few of my survival tips:
- Stop being Super Woman. Don’t take more than you can handle and say no. Ask my husband and he will be the one to tell you that I’m so bad for this and try to do absolutely everything and take more than I can handle. The joy of having your own business is that you get full control of the days you work, so I ended up cutting back.
- Grocery the day before travel day and stock up on all the big things. Nothing is worse than hauling 100 grocery bags, big boxes of diapers and wipes with a tired and impatient toddler.
- Plan meals ahead. I was planning and cooking easy meals for a bit until it got to be too much. At the end of my work day I just want to sit and relax with Aleia before dinner and bath. Now I have arranged a local cafe to supply me with Ready to Bake healthy meals on Sundays for the week. All I have to do is pop it in the oven and cut up some veggies and ta-da! Such a lifesaver!
- Ask for help. We have no family in the Coast but if we did, I would definitely be utilizing them! Instead, I treated myself to hiring cleaning ladies once/twice a month for a good deep cleaning. It’s so nice not having to worry about deep cleaning.
- Reward yourself at the end of the day. Solo parenting is not for the weak, I like to end the day with some quiet time eating my fave treat (50% of the time salted caramel cupcakes) and watching my show.
- Go to bed early. I’m trying my best to do this and stop working at 9 but its definitely a work in progress.
- Reduce your expectations. Laundry, dishes, toys all over the house… keeping up with everything is exhausting on top of dinner, bath, bedtime. Do the essentials ie: take a 10 minute shower when your kddo is in bed and the rest can wait for another day. It’s okay.
- Time management. Plan everything ahead, organize and utilize the time you have while hubby is home. Before B left I finished all of my work projects and took all the photos I needed to, now I’m set until he gets home.
- Survive. Just get through the day. I find having a countdown and saying it helps because you look forward to something, “4 down, 8 more days left!”
- Last but not least,when he gets home… take time for you. Spa, mani/pedi, massage, yoga, exercise class etc. When B gets home I usually take an hour or two for me just to reset and allow them reconnect and have daddy and daughter time.
Does your partner travel frequently for work? What tips do you have?