We just came off such an amazing family weekend with BBQs, pool time and working in the yard. Hope you had a relaxing one and your week is off to a great start. I wanted to talk about a question close to my heart that I know lots of women ask themselves: how do I consistently keep it all together when my husband or partner travels weekly? And really it shouldn’t just be searching for how to “keep it together” because you deserve more than this. It should be “How do I thrive?” Even though tech makes it easy to work from anywhere, if your love is in sales, the United States Service, the hospitality industry, or hundreds of other job sectors, you may have to put up with an unknown itinerary beckoning them away often and for long periods of time. This can be challenging on many levels, especially with children, having a career yourself and/or if you have no family nearby. It’s not all roses and it sure ain’t easy. But looking at it opportunistically, it can also be fantastic time for personal growth.
Here is my resume for writing about this topic: Geoff is a VP in Sales and currently travels 3-4 days most weeks. I own a full-time business, have a 3 1/2 year old son and I’m currently 25 weeks pregnant with my second. I also have two step sons, ages 15 & 17, that visit during the summer and holidays. And although I pray every day that my parents will move to Charlotte, currently we have no family here.
Each of our situations is different, but the following 9 points below have helped me balance family responsibilities while also feeling fulfilled and happy.
Enlist Star Quality Help. That saying “It takes a village,” is so true and used to piss me off since my village was non-existent. Whose fault was this? Mine. Building a support system takes time. You need to put time into finding the right resources to help you. This means doing your research to find amazing child care, a stellar nanny, a trust worthy housekeeper, a quality handyman etc. It is not always about who is the most expensive. That definitely doesn’t always correlate to highest quality. It is about putting in the time to ask around, trust your gut and pay attention in order to find people who take pride in what they do. Make finding resources a top priority. Once you’ve found them keep a list with their contact information handy as well as putting them in your phone.
Have a Solid Emergency Contact List Ready. Gee…if I go into labor who will take me to the hospital? If something happens to Camden where is the nearest hospital? Urgent Care? Get your ducks in a row.
Make Time for Friends This is always true, but with Geoff gone often, sometimes I feel I might go crazy without good friends to share a laugh with. Try your hardest to work in a weekly lunch or coffee date. It’s important to have a few close girlfriends with children your child’s age too. They are at the same stage in life and you can relate to each other (and vent a little when you need to). Make sure your partner understands how important friend dates are to you.
Be OK With Saying “No.” When your other half travels you need to look at your commitments and be honest with what you can manage. I used to feel badly that I couldn’t go to Camden’s school’s PTA events or our Community’s meetings, but they are at night during the week and I just can’t. Just be super present to the things you can attend and let the rest go.
Do Not Lose Yourself. If you read my blog you know I’m a huge proponent for me time. I’ve learned it’s not selfish…it’s self-preserving. Make time daily to do something you love that fosters your growth as an individual. Find 45 minutes to an hour (maybe cut into TV time) to take an online class, study a language app, write. Also, once a week get something done for you in the maintenance and relaxation department. Just you. Manicure, pedicure, blow out, massage. Something to make you feel good about yourself. I like to make my appointment near the end of the week as a kick off to the weekend.
Workout: This falls into the “do not lose yourself” category. For me it’s mental and physical. I’m not going to list all of the benefits of working out I just feel it is critical to me being happy.
Wake Up Early. Some days it feels impossible to find time. The best place to pull from is the morning. Some days I get up at 5:30 to workout or write (I realize things are going to change when the baby comes).
Pray and/or Meditate: It’s all about perspective here. 5-10 minutes of quiet time for gratitude can work wonders on your mindset for the entire day.
Facetime. Often we have meals with Geoff, my MIL or my parents by propping the phone up on the table. They’ll even do flashcards with Camden (the miracles of technology)!!
Do you have any tips you swear by to re-frame your position from work widow to warrior? I’d love to hear them. Below is my current #1 selling style of Love Tag Necklace from the new collection: #strength in silver. Quite fitting, right?
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