I’m sitting here reflecting the past 2 years since my husband took on a job which takes him all over the globe, and I’m going to reflect for a moment on what’s like to be married and be a part of that traveling career. I am reflecting because it seems strange to me that some would judge us as something we are not.
First of all, we are very grateful that he has a job and I want to make that very clear because there are many who are still without. But please don’t let anybody tell you that having a traveling job is glamorous. It’s hard on the traveler, hard on the family, and if that wasn’t bad enough then there are those who think you’re wealthy just because you have a career that takes one of you all over the world. There are times that his job is fabulous including those few times we do get to travel with him and enjoy a hotel room paid by the company and a home cooked crock pot meal. However, normally when we travel to see him, while he’s working I take the kids to sites that are bent toward extending the education of the children. Otherwise, he puts in his hours and then sits in a hotel room while we are at home without him. All the while he only gets paid for the time he actually works just like any other person who wakes in his own bed, goes to work, and then goes home to spend time with the family. The only difference is that he can’t come home and I am left to play the role of both parents.
There are other repercussions of a traveling job which takes the person away ½ to ¾ of the year which include:
Some people ask that he bring something back to them without realizing that they are asking us to spend our money to give them something. Honestly, we don’t mind bringing back gifts to those who genuinely care and are a regular part of our lives. We also don’t mind as long as we don’t feel used. However, the requests are becoming more frequent and like everybody else, money is tight for us in the economy also.
Then as the stay-at-home mom, home educator, and LMIS graduate student who usually is the only parent available to taxi the kids around, there’s that lovely question I’m getting more and more often, “Are you a single mom?” Um…you would think those people could at least look at my ring finger first. Now I have a lot of respect for single moms. I have wonderful friends and relatives who accomplish far more than I do and they have to do it all by themselves. I am in awe of them. However, when I’m asked that question it’s a painful reminder that I do spend most of my nights alone in bed and there’s not a thing I can do about that.
There’s also dealing with the airlines which has become more frequent since there is more decent work outside of the states than inside. This is not a pleasant experience either. Terrible schedules, terrible customer service, terrible service over all. The only good thing the airlines have going for them is the travel-time saving factor. The only thing that seems to keep them alive are the business travelers who become prisoners and are body scanned and/or fondled/frisked and treated like the enemy due to the whole messed up system once they step through the whooshing sliding doors. Flying is not friendly
Sometimes the life of living with somebody who has a traveling job is wonderful, but most of the time it’s not very glamorous. Actually it’s just plain lonely for everybody involved. Too bad most people just don’t get that.