Post # 1
My husband is in a position at work that he’s not too happy with. It’s really demanding of his time and since he will be starting his MBA in June, AND our 1st baby is due in June, he’s looking for a position that won’t be as demanding. Luckily, there are a couple of open positions in his current company that he could move to. One is a position in Quality that he knows he’ll hate (he has sought counsel with some trusted co-workers/old bosses about which job he should take), and the other is a job in Engineering that he knows he’ll love. The problem with the Engineering job is that he’ll be traveling to customers about 50% of the time. It already sucks that he leaves for work at 6:00am and comes home around 7:00pm (the plant is an hour away from where we live because it’s out in the boondocks). So now he’ll be gone, not coming home at all, almost every other week. I’m not so much worried about the brunt of the parenting responsibility being mine. It probably would have been anyway since I’ll be a stay-at-home mom. But I’m worried about how much he’s going to miss with the baby. Will she still be able to make a good bond with her daddy? How important are those first two years? I want to tell myself they aren’t that important since memories don’t really start forming until 3 years old. This situation won’t last forever. He’ll be done with school in two years and at that time he’ll get a job somewhere else, hopefully with less travel. No, definitely with less travel. 🙂 I want him to be happy at work, because he hasn’t been for some time and he is the breadwinner after all. Does anybody have a similar situation and can give me good news?
Post # 2
Hm, not exactly the same situation, since my husband comes home every night, but he works 4 10s, and before the time change, he didn’t get home until 6:20, and bedtime for our son (now 16 months) was 6:30 (it’s now 7:30, so he sees him more). He has 3 days a week at home, but at least one day is spent doing homework (he’s in an accelerated Master’s program). At the most, we get 10 minutes in the morning before he leaves for work.
He has an incredible bond with our son, but at the same time, he hates not seeing him every day, and it really bothers him. He gets some great quality time with him on the weekends, but it’s rough on him. Functionally for me, it’s not a lot of difference in my day (although I’m glad this wasn’t our position with a newborn…that would have been really hard), but it’s really rough on him.
I don’t know if that helps at all. Would he be gone more than one day in a row?
Post # 3
Jess1483: Yeah, I don’t know the specifics but he’d have to travel to customers and I think the customers are all over the country. So yes, he’ll be gone for more than one day at a time. I think I’ll try to negotiate that he needs to leave work at 5:00 at the latest on the days when he is in town. It’s good to know bonding can still happen!
Post # 4
I think solo parenting can def be challenging on you, especially when baby’s sick or not sleeping or the like. Do you have a good support system for yourself? That would really make a big difference for how doable lots of solo parenting is. My husband works long hours, and not having family around makes it challenging for me. As far as dad/baby relationships go, mine is only 8 months old but they have a lovely relationship when he is around. The only real impact of him not being around enough is that the baby is not jazzed about being just with dad – she will cry after awhile and want me to come back. I don’t think that’s a long term thing, and it happens often where mom is the primary caregiver even when dad is around more. What kind of bond they’ll have is probably more determined by how your husband is as a father when he is around, especially with older children. If he was distant or unengaged and around a lot, it would have more of an impact than him being involved and loving and around less.
Post # 5
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
idoalterations: What is the longterm potential of the job with 50% travel versus the other position? My gut says it’s better to have a happy husband 50% of the time than a grumpy, miserable one 100% of the time (but it can tough to deal with them being gone so often.)
Will the travel position ever change over to a non-travel position or gear him up for a better position with less travel in the next few years? If so, it may be worth losing some time the first few years to ensure you have the extra time later on. It’s a really tough decision. Good luck!
Post # 6
beachbride1216: It’s not that the job he has for the next two years will have an impact on his career, the MBA is what will have the real impact. No matter which job he chooses now, he’ll have a lot of options when he gets his degree. So he bascially has a choice between liking his job for the next two years, or not. I agree, I’d rather not have him bringing frustration home. I just hope the traveling job really is as fun as he thinks it will be!
Post # 7
My FI travels for work about 30% of the time. Problem is, a lot of time it’s last minute and he has to drop everything and go. Then he works 12 -15 hour shifts and sonetimes its the night shift. To make matters worse, the length of time he’s gone depends on the progress of the job, so he’s usually gone longer than he expects. This makes life difficult because we have four kids (his 2 boys and my 2 girls) that attend 3 different schools and with odd co-parent schedules. A lot of times I have to work with his ex on a daily basis for weeks at a time. And its very taxing on my patience and sanity…but somehow (and I wonder how sometimes)…I manage. You just learn to adapt when you’re faced with no other options.
Post # 8
maybe this is a really dumb question (you mentioned you live out in the boonies) but if neither job will really matter in the future (bc of this MBA) why not look for a totally new job with a totally new company (hopefully closer to home) that he actually likes and will be around for?
if that isn’t possible I would rather a job I didn’t love but have more free time than a job I might love but would cause me to be away from my family so much (but then again technically my job is 50% travel but I knew that going into it and don’t have a kid, but I do really miss my husband and get very sad and lonely at times when I am away esp when I have to miss out on something because of it)
Post # 9
idoalterations: Don’t worry about it. Its quality over quantitity. My husband works crazy hours and I am also a SAHM. He leaves the house at 7am and gets home around 8pm most nights. Our daughter sleeps from 6pm to 6:30am so during the week he rarely sees her. She LOVES him though. He gets her up in the morning at 6:30am and changes her diaper and hangs out w her for a couple minutes before work and thats it during the week. On the weekends he pretty much takes over and spends every second with her. She is so so happy every time she sees him and on Saturday morning she cuddles up to him while they play like they’ve been together all week. We also face time while she eats dinner at night. Its harder on my husband then it is on my DD.
Post # 10
Ballet513: That’s so nice to hear they have such a great relationship! I think we’ll be in a similar situation when we have children – i’ll be a SAHM and my FI is in an industry that while it pays really well, means he’ll be working long hours during the week and won’t see us a whole lot. I’m ok with the prospect so long as he’s happy. Its so nice to see that you can make it work without it affecting their bond/relationship 🙂
Post # 11
idoalterations: My husband travels for work every week and is only home 3 days a week. It’s really freaking hard on us, and I would never recommend it unless you have lots of help from nearby family and friends (which we don’t). We’re trying to get out of this job situation as quickly as possible.
But it has not affected my husband’s relationship with our daughter. She is 16 months old and loves her daddy SO much. He travels to remote locations so we can’t even skype and sometimes can barely talk on the phone every night, but she gets so happy whenever she hears his voice on the phone.
DH is extremely involved with our daughter whenever he is home on the weekends. That’s really important to us because even though she won’t remember these years, this is the time that builds the foundation for the rest of her life.
One bad thing for me is that because she loves daddy so much, when he’s not home she really misses him and her behavior is worse. She gets very clingy to me, and fusses and whines a lot more easily than when DH is home. That makes things a lot more difficult for me. DH also noticed that during her first year, she grew and changed noticeably each week while he was gone, and that made him sad because he felt like he was missing so much.
Post # 12
My dad travelled a LOT in my first few years. Mum would video tape me for hours, just me cooing at the camera or trying to roll over. That way when he did come home, if I was asleep he could still watch what I did that day/week. We even have on video the first day that I “discovered” my hands, which is really cool. Now days this is even easier to do with phones and cheap tripods.
In terms of bonding, if you are planning to breast feed you could try pumping and making sure that he can do at least one of the evening feeds. Also, and I don’t mean to put everything on your plate, but the more housework etc you can get done before he gets home so that the only thing he has to worry about is spending time with you and baby – the better!
For the times when he does have to do things around the house, find a way for baby to watch, perhaps in a bouncer/other weird baby holder thing :P. Even though he isn’t playing with baby directly, being able to talk about what he is doing and having baby watch him in fascination will all help with the bonding.
Also, don’t be alarmed if things seem to go backwards. Apparently one night after being away dad got up to soothe me (crying in the middle of the night) and when he walked in my room I SCREAMED because I didn’t recognise him. But it’s all good, we have a great relationship and I don’t recall those feelings at all.
Post # 13
littlemisshostess: Actually we live in a great little beach town. It’s the plant that’s out in the boonies; we would never live there. We have entertained the thought of him working at a different company (in fact he has an interview next week) but that would require us to move away from our beach town because there are zero jobs in his industry in our actual city. Plus, the company he’s at now has agreed to pay for his MBA, so any job he might move to would have to offer the same deal or a big raise in pay. That’s something that’s not likely to happen, but we’ll see! I know what it’s like to be at a job you hate. I’ve quit more than one job to get away from a shitty situation so it’s high time I let him have the freedom to do so too. He’s been working for the same company for 7 years!
Ballet513: Love this! That’s what I’m hoping will happen with my DH and DD.
Post # 14
I can tell you from experience. My dad traveled for work. He was only home on weekends from the time I was born to about 10 years old. I was such a daddy’s girl. We had no trouble bonding. My mom said the only issue I had was when I went through a sacred of beards phase and my dad had a beard. When he came home I would have to get over my fear each time. Eventually he shaved.
Post # 15
I have 2 relevant points for you. 1-I”m in a similar boat in that he works long hours a lot. But he loves it. And to me that is a HUGE difference. My mom and sister leave exactly 8 hours after getting to work. I talk to them on the phone a lot. But they often seem just emotionally drained. After work they have to ‘unwind’ and recoperate. My husband got home at 9pm last night after leaving here at 730am. Then we went through a bunch of legal documents together. He dealt with stress and crap. Got me water a dozen times cause I’m also due in June and wearing out sooner in the evening but also dehydrating. The thing is he loves his job. It’s what he would do for fun if he was independantly wealthy. We are on Gchat all day so I know all about his projects and I knew that this project he would put a ton of time into because I know how he works. But he comes home totally eager to help around the house, deal with stressful things- because most days at work he isn’t just hating being there. It’s the biggest difference in the world. In fact when he comes home and just wants to veg out (like everyone else I know does) I know he’s on a crap project or some other work stuff is off. So if he had a job he worked less hours I actually think he’d be less help. Esp if he just came home and had to ‘recover’ the way so many people seem to.
2- My dad for awhile worked in another state. Mon-Fri flew to Chicago, was home weekends. I was 4-5. I remember getting him at the airport. I don’t hink as a kid it really damaged me BUT my mom HATED it and I could see why. She didn’t have a support systerm there and it’s hard. So really the kid will be fine -its you that might need to start a mommy club or go to other things with adults to have adult conversations. Luckily I actually think the internet helps immensly in that we can talk to people in similar situations that are further away.