Survival Kit for Wives Whose Husbands Travel A Lot

Disclaimer: This kit also applies to husbands whose wives travel a lot for work.

Back in our dating days, my husband and I worked in the same company and we traveled a lot for work. I traveled mostly around the cities in Kalimantan, while he took flights back and forth from Surabaya to Jakarta, and many times abroad. We would keep each other updated on which city we’re going to travel to next, because many times the itineraries were decided a couple of days before we left our base towns. Up to now my husband is still working in that company and his current traveling frequency is not less (or will likely be less) than ten years ago. I occasionally ask him on the weekend what his plans for the upcoming week(s) will be, and I’m pretty amazed if he can spend one whole week from Monday to Sunday without going out of town.

I can say that it’s quite a challenge for me to stay at home with two young kids and not having him around as much as I want to, but humans are resilient creatures and I’ve managed to build my own resilience over the years. I did manage to squeeze three tips out of this integral part of my life to be my survival kit.

  1. Acceptance

My husband’s current career might not be what he (and I) had in mind when we got married, but I was there when he made the important decisions regarding his occupation. I was there when he told me that the kind of job he would have would take a lot of time traveling for meeting, supplier audit, factory visit, you name it. I know his deepest interest, passion, and ambition, and I’m in every step of the way to support whatever he does career-wise. Grumbling that he’s never home long enough will not benefit anyone. Complaining heavily cannot make the traveling duties go away, so I might as well accept the fact and be a strong guard for our home and children.

  1. Sufficient groceries and medical supplies

What task in this world is more challenging than doing monthly grocery shopping with two very active kids in tow? I say, none. Ever since my boy could get out of the shopping cart by himself (sometimes unnoticed), I started to do groceries all by myself, one hour before the hypermarket closes at 10 PM. That way I can save myself from the hassle of calling out for my daughter who stayed too long in the children’s shampoo/soap section because she hoped Mama would eventually buy her the Cinderella’s theme shampoo (it’s never going to happen, darling, sorry. Johnson and Johnson still has the best hygiene products for children), and finding my son who went missing in the toy section because he’s too busy eyeing the Hot Wheels cars, Thomas the tank engine, etc. etc. My son had gone missing several times in the Hypermart near our home while I was paying at the cashier, that the security guards kind of remembered our faces after the third time I asked, in great panic, for their help to search for him. He didn’t go that far, by the way; he was just playing with some batteries at the cashier next to where I was paying for my stuffs. Therefore I always make sure that food and medical supplies are always sufficient at home, or at least for as long as my husband is away for work. I’d prefer having oversupply of food and medicine than having to go to Alfamart/Indomaret late at night because we run out of bread/cereal/milk/diaper.

  1. Do things that will keep my sanity intact

I keep telling myself to do things that will give me comfort, that will give me enjoyment, that will help me release my stress after long turbulent days handling the kids and the house all by myself. My husband, being supportive and everything, will always try to call/video call to check how I (and the kids) are holding up. Some days are good, some days are better, and some days are worse. Kids’ homeworks, after school lessons, play dates (rarely), house cleaning, laundry, and cooking are the major errands I run on daily basis. I’m on my feet most of the time and my down time is when I go to Taekwondo lesson three mornings a week or when I have lunch with my friends. The feelings of being lonely and exhausted can creep in anytime, so it’s important to keep my spirit up by doing things I like as refreshment. I like watching K-dramas or Star World while sipping Bailey’s/hot tea as a way to wind down before I go to bed. I also write blog posts or continue writing the novel I’m working on as a way to do something for myself after an almost full day living and breathing for my sun and my sky.

I’m sure there are a lot of other wives out there with similar experience with me. I’d love to know the survival kits you guys have up on your sleeves!

*) Picture above was taken from his IG account. He surely loves to take pictures of the early flights he often takes.

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