By Erika Wilson of tiredmamaproject.com
You’ve finally started “family planning.” You’re scouring Pinterest for nursery themes when your husband comes home with great news: He has taken a new position within his company! He may have to travel more but, hey, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Of course, you celebrate. All that extra one-on-one time with your baby will be worth the husband-less nights.
You are absolutely right to be optimistic. Over time, you may even start to feel guilty about your amazing stroke of luck. You will soon find that your husband traveling often and for varying lengths of time actually makes mom-ing easier.
It’s a startling phenomenon, for sure, but let yourself enjoy it! Time will fly while you’re having all that fun married-single parenting, so make sure to savor every moment while he’s away.
Here are five examples of how traveling husbands are the best thing ever when raising babies:
Playing chicken with your due date is a huge rush. No need for that babymoon to Vegas; you will have all the excitement you can handle watching your appointment calendar and your husband’s travel schedule like a roulette wheel. 37 weeks? Time for a 6-hour drive for three days of meetings! 38 weeks and 2 centimeters dilated? Double down and head across two states! (He can always gamble on a last-minute flight home if you go into labor, and that would be exhilarating for both of you.)
The sink or swim method is the most recommended segue into full-blown motherhood. Once your two blissful weeks of mesh underwear, painkillers, and help from in-town Daddy end, it’s time to learn to fly, new mama! Daddy has to help pay for those diapers, too, you know, and this week you are more than ready to fly solo. Don’t worry, you will feel extra-capable as each “crying hour” arrives in the early evenings. You’ve got this! Also, your infant will show his unwavering faith in you by changing the routine anytime you begin to get into one. But doesn’t it feel just amazing to do it all by yourself?
Speaking of routine—good sleep habits are proven to establish best when you consistently change how you do bedtime. More notably, who does bedtime. So, when Daddy is home for a week, it will be a perfect time to move the 9-month-old into his own room. Daddy will be more than happy to take the night shift for a while. And why not sleep train the baby while you’re at it? Certainly you will have it all figured out by the time Daddy hits the road again. And if not? Just think of all that extra cuddle time you will get putting the baby back to bed throughout the night.
Your child will have superior communication and technology skills. Those doctors who say screens aren’t good for children under two years of age must not have had traveling husbands. Your child will be able to run every aspect of your iPhone and FaceTime effectively by the time he is 12 months old. All those other babies will still be working on sign language like “more” and “please.”
Lastly—you won’t have to feel guilty that your baby only wants Mama because he won’t. Baby will say Dada like a broken record, run to Dada whenever he enters the room, and all-around prefer Dada anytime he is in town. But seriously, what a relief, right? (Just imagine the guilt those poor moms must feel whose babies get plenty of Dada and simply love Mama more.)
Enjoy your husband while he is home, new mama, and make sure to let him help so he feels like “part of it all.” But go ahead and crack that wine in celebration when he pulls out of the driveway for his next long work trip. He doesn’t need to know that he is doing you so many favors. Might as well play the “poor, lonely me” card, too! You can always tell him how you hardly survived without him when he gets home on Friday. (After all, who doesn’t love to feel missed?)
About the Author
Erika Wilson is blessed to live on a Montana farm with her husband and four rambunctious boys, one of whom she carried for nine months. Once bedtime rolls around, she chronicles the life lessons mamahood teaches her daily on her blog, The Tired Mama Project, even though she really should be sleeping. Her writing can be found on Mamalode, Her View From Home, Tribe Magazine, and in StepMom Magazine. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.