Thursday, October 18, 2007

How to Survive Your Husband's Business Trips

How to Survive Your Husband's Business TripsAndrew travels from time to time with his job and at first it wasn't too pleasant but I've figured out how to make it nearly a vacation. Not quite, but nearly.

1. Sleep when you want to sleep. This means I stay up late (for me that's 11 pm), get up late (maybe as late at 7:15!) or even--as I did this morning--get up at 5 am to blog. Andrew's always been a morning person so we go to bed early and get up early but if he's gone I'm treating myself to the wildly hedonistic practice of staying up to watch the 10 o'clock news.

2. Eat what you want to eat.
For me, this is all about the mushrooms. And the quiche. Gotta have quiche when I'm eating alone. Oh wait, I'm not eating alone--I've got four children with me at the table. No wonder it's so noisy.

3. Sleep where you want to sleep. I can sleep on my side of the bed or on his side or smack in the middle, who's going to stop me? In fact, I think I've settled on the best way of it all--sleeping on my side but only folding back the covers onto his side so I don't have to do more than flip the covers back over my side in the morning to make the bed.

4. Watch what you want to watch.
Roman Holiday, While You Were Sleeping, Gone with the Wind, Runaway Bride, That Touch of Mink--I'm pulling out all my favorites and pulling the plug on Wall Street Week in Review or Meet the Press. There is NOTHING more boring in all of modern communication than those programs. NOTHING.

5. Forget about the makeup. I'm normally pretty conscientious about trying to look nice for Andrew when he comes home from work but if he's out of town I'm letting things slide a bit. Letting myself go, lazing it up by abandoning the makeup. Though if I have to go out I will clean up a bit--take a shower at least. Kidding.

6. Eat out. Or eat in, whichever you prefer. I think we're going to do Chinese take out on Friday night before watching my latest romantic comedy. I know, I know, we're living big but I need some comfort while playing single parent.

7. Buy a new car. Surprise him when he comes home with a new car. (I'm kidding, honey, I was just seeing if you're still reading my blog).

8. Eat those veggies. I can cook up a fabulous batch of brussel sprouts or butternut squash and eat that for dinner and be in absolute heaven rather that hearing complaints from the next room that a tiny bit of the steam from the brussel sprouts has seeped into the surrounding atmosphere, thereby polluting said atmosphere for my poor oxygen-deprived spouse. I'm going to town.

9. Catch a movie. I'd go out and catch a movie with a friend if there was anything playing but it seems that it's an entertainment famine out there. All the good stuff came out in the summer and now it's nothing but "black jellybean" movies (leftover movies that nobody likes) until Christmas.

10. Be Fun Mom. When Andrew's gone it's my time to ease up on the stiff stuff and that includes parenting. Bed time? Go ahead, stay up a little later. Cold cereal for dinner? Why not? Usually I'm the mean one in our little parenting routine of Good Cop/Bad Cop that we assume whenever there are disputes to settle and I take a break from this to be Super Cool Mom who lets people get away with nearly everything. I said nearly. You'd better get that homework done!

11. Don't worry about baking cookies. When Andrew's here I feel obligated to satisfy his sweet tooth with a constant supply of cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, pies and brownies. Like an IV drip in a bag. It's my job, it's what I do. But having all those sweets around isn't necessarily a good thing for anyone else--especially me--and if I can leave off baking anything high in calories for a week, then that's a good thing.

12. Plan a super cool date when he returns. Dinner, dancing, whatever makes up for that week of being alone. Alone except for the four kids. I'm thinking I'll need a night on the town when he gets back.

13. Remember that business travel is no fun. Hanging out in hotel rooms, packing and unpacking, eating out every meal--that's no vacation. It would be different if he were lounging on a Hawaii beach but sitting in meetings day after day and analyzing the walls of airports doesn't sound like a good time to me. Hurry home, we miss you.

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50 comments:

Brandi said...

I completely agree with your list! I'll add to that, invite some girls over! My husband goes out of town about once a month. . .I'm now trying to make something fun out of it! The kids and I do breakfast for dinner and I stay up late into the night blogging and sleep in the middle of the bed. It's my "splurge" night. . .so I can enjoy it a little, but I'm still super glad for him to be home the next day! Especially, to take on "kid duty"!!

Cute blog, by the way!

Brandi
www.homehopeandfuture.blogspot.com

Jenny McB said...

My husband commuted for 20 months to Denver, I can identify with most of your list. My kids liked having smaller meals at supper and I loved having the bed to myself.

We may be entering another phase of one week away, that's easy to handle.

ellen b said...

Ha! Nice thirteen!

Jenna said...

Ah, yes. I remember the business trip vacation well. I did all those things too! And then you know what they say...'absence makes the heart grow fonder', and it's ever so good to see him when he gets home!

Lori said...

It sounds like an awesome vacation;) Happy TT.

Jackie said...

Hey great ideas!!

Happy TT :)

tracy m said...

Love the new look, Michelle. One of the downsides of using Bloglines is I don't see the individual sites on a daily basis anymore. Not sure if that's worth the tradeoff, by the way. I really like what you did with the place.

I also agree with your suggestions. It's gotten to the point that we have a really good time when DH goes away. The kids like it, I have fun, and we're happy to have him back when he gets here.

Cagey said...

Before we had kids, I used to call business trips Husband Vacations. Now, those trips are not nearly as fun.

I agree with this list - great suggestions. I do try to stay positive while my husband is gone and do the things I like to do that maybe he does not.

Also, if one is feeling lonely and has small children, I really recommend late afternoon playdates - just after the afternoon, yet before dinner. It helps to keep the evenings from dragging on.

Nicholas said...

Funny! I like that list.

Dawn said...

LOL about the folding down only one side of the covers! My husband can go away for a week and his side of the bed looks like it hasn't been touched even though I've been sleeping in there all week! (And he thinks *I'm* the one that messes up the covers at night!)

My Ice Cream Diary said...

I wish I had had this list when my husband used to travel ALL the time for work. It took me some rpecious time to figure it all out on my own, especially that last part. I still haven't managed to fall asleep when he is away, or when I'm away from him. I need to make myself a body pillow in the shape of my husband.

Kathy said...

great list for a TT! I enjoyed reading it, and agree with pretty much all thirteen items! Haha!
However, another boring channel to watch is the SciFi network! Gag me! that's gotta top the list for insane people running the asylum!
Have a great weekend!

MommyK said...

You forgot "Feed the kids macaroni and cheese for dinner, then put them to bed early."

My husband is out of town for work this week, and I gave myself a break from cooking for a couple of days. Last night I put the kids to bed early and made myself a yummy tomato, basil and mozz cheese salad for dinner. And ate it on the couch while watching a movie.

Robin said...

I don't like it when the business travel piles up, but as long as it's only once in a while we do tend to live it up a bit. I try to plan some extra-special out of the house activities to help pass the time too.

my4kids said...

I love your tips and do some of the same things when Kelly is gone. That is when we get to have my homemade mac and cheese! He doesn't like it but for me it is heaven so when Kelly's gone we are having it, yeah. I sleep in the middle of the bed and stay up later. I watch what I want and yes the kiddos stay up a little later then usual...if they are being good.
Incidentally Kelly will be in Juneau next week so you know we will be having mac and cheese...at least once!

Jennifer B. said...

Great survival tips! I hope you're getting some rest after getting up so early.

p.s.
Your template looks fantastic!

Stacy said...

Fabulous list...you nailed many of my 'coping' techniques. After many years as a military wife & now that he's retired,a slope worker's wife, I have become quite accustomed to my time alone. You know, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade....or Lemon Drop Martinis :)

childlife said...

Ha! Loved the "black jellybean" comment - knew what you meant instantly without the explanation : ) Black jellybeans... yick.

jenn said...

Love the list. I too like to relax when hubbys gone. It's all about "me time". Of course, I have 3 kids there too, but I have gotten good at tuning them out!
Happy TT!

Melissa Markham said...

But I like the black jelly beans! We have the movie problem worked out here. We wait until they get to our local dollar theater. So in the fall, we are watching the summer movies:) And then in the winter, I don't have to worry about going to moview because we are busy with holiday stuff:)

I enjoy it when my husband is out of town. I love him dearly, but it eases the stress on me...one less kid to care for. And it makes the homecomings spectacular:)

Melissa Markham said...

P.S. I forgot, I have something for you!

Community Blogger Award

Irene said...

Hi! Love your blog!

My husband doesn't travel, but he is a high school coach, so during the season, he is gone a lot for dinner and there are some overnight stays. Anyway, I used to hate it (still do), but I now try to make the best of it. I, like you, make my favorite meal - usually with LOTS of veggie, maybe fish. He is a horrible horrible eater.

I got a kick about your tv preferences - I think those movies are hated by every husband, but loved by every wife.

Oh, and yes, I am smack dab in the middle of the bed with a big ole smile!

girlymama said...

thanks! husband is in miami as we speak!

i love the 2 night trips - very indulgent - but when its a whole week, i get a little crazy ;-)

Susan said...

Love the one about the new car! Once when my husband was gone I remodeled the kitchen, he still hasn't gotten over that. Sometimes it is fun to be apart, you know what they say - absence makes the heart grow fonder, or something like that...

Ally said...

Great list. So true. I do them all-- well, minus the kids, of course.

Darla said...

We do a lot of those things, too--eat food that Carl doesn't usually like, watch a movie he wouldn't think of watching, etc.

Janet said...

Scott was out of town Monday night and Mary Margaret informed me that she couldn't go to sleep until Daddy got home. She finally succumbed at 1 am. William went to bed at his approximately normal time of 10, and was of course back up again at 2, 5, and 7.

You have 4 kids and you put on makeup AND make the bed? You are my hero!

Melissa Garrett said...

My husband travels a lot. Okay, so he only travels about five days out of the month, but it seems like a lot when you have, well, (my kids). *I love my kids. Really.*

First of all, I most definitely won't let him read your list for fear he'll start demanding I wear makeup and bake him sweet treats, two things which rarely happen anymore - LOL! When I know that he will be gone, I stock my Netflix account full of romantic comedies and watch one after the other. I wish I could say having a bed to myself is great, but I have a toddler who still comes in for half the night. One of these days!

The best part of my husband returning home is how the kids go absolutely NUTS when he walks through the door. Oh, how I love it!!

Life on the Edge said...

I didn't see your hobbies on the list anywhere...except blogging. My hubby works graveyards 7-7, 3 days on 3 days off. So for 3 days I'm a single mom. This list totally describes my life every other three days....I would add--14. play with my scrapbook stuff 15. clean, clean, clean--especially pulling out the vacuum! I get just wild!

Amy W said...

I do the same when my husband is out of town (which he has another trip planned soon, I am breaking out While You Were Sleeping AND Hope Floats!!).

Pendullum said...

A great list....

J. Lynne said...

I love being single. :)

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

My hubby never travels, but he works long hours so sometimes it feels like it. I love your list! :)

Patois said...

Oh, I love your ideas! The new car one is most intriguing to me.

wayabetty said...

The hubbie has been gone for the past 12 days and I'm ready to go off for a few days by MYSELF!!

pussreboots said...

Teach your DH to bake his own cookies if you don't enjoy it. Most of the things on your TT are things we do on a regular basis but then DH doesn't make the rules. We're more about compromises.

Happy TT.

amypalko said...

In our family, I'm the one who goes off on the business trips. I'm off to Madrid tomorrow, so I'll be passing on this list to my hubbie, to make sure he has as good a time as I will!
My TT is up here if you fancy popping over for a read.

jubilee said...

I have enjoyed some of the things on your list while hubby has been away. "First Wives Club" and "Monster_In-Law," anyone?!

He has been gone for for two and a half months for military training, and while it hasn't exactly been a vacation for him (or for me, truth be told), he has been the one to see movies, go out to eat and spend time with new found friends. The other day he told me he was actually thinking of getting a deep muscle massage! I don't mind his enjoying a few perks of being MIA from the familial duties, but boy do I have some catching up to do when he gets back!

Scribbit said...

Well, I should clarify my comment. I don't really mind baking for him, it makes him so darn happy, it's just a temptation for me when there are treats around.

Crys said...

You can't be serious?? You really do like Brussle Sprouts?? ;)
~Crys

Amber said...

I laughed about the makeup. When I went to Canada recently without my hubby, I was lucky to get a shower. :-)

Stephanie said...

We've got to make the best of it. I have similar sentiments most of the fall when Tim is in town, but might as well not be for as much as he is home!

Lisa said...

You have SO got it right lady.

My hubby has been traveling quite a bit lately. It was nearly constant years ago.

And wow, you are SUCH a great wifey to do all of the sweet things you do for him. He's a seriously lucky dude!

Lisa said...

Oh and p.s. I love the new look. Very pretty.

Babystepper said...

Oooh. Hate Hubs' business trips!

Thanks for all the tips, though, I think I'm ready for the next one. For me, however, it would be make no vegetables and bake lots of cookies.

I am definitely the child in our relationship. =)

Denise Patrick said...

The solution for those boring programs Washington Week in Review, etc. is to go into another room, if you can. My computer is not in the same room as the TV, so when my hubby wants to watch those - I'm in the other room on the computer.

Happy TT!

Daisy said...

I like number 7!!

edj said...

Great list! I can relate--I do many of the same things when Donn travels.

Damselfly said...

Buy a car, hee hee! Actually, my husband and I watched a DVD about a photojournalist whose wife actually bought a *house* while he was gone. He was gone a long, long time.....

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

michelle:
great great list. enjoyed this. you made me laugh with the "black jellybean" comment. also loved the "IV drip bag." :) kathleen