Stay Connected. Talk to your spouse as often as you can over the phone. Even if the conversations can only last for a few minutes. You will still feel connected as a couple vs. completely living separate lives.
Joint Decisions. Make key decisions together. Don’t try to decide everything and not have input from your spouse, because that will cause significant tension in the marriage. There are some things that you and your spouse will have to agree that you should handle on the home front. You may be responsible for making sure the bills are covered and you won’t be able to call your spouse about every bill. You should set the bills up on auto pay so that you don’t have to discuss it every month.
Tag Along. Whenever you can, travel with your spouse. It makes it so much fun to enjoy a free hotel stay and be in the room waiting when he returns. Take your family on some of his business trips when possible. This will allow for more bonding between the spouse and the children. This also makes it appear as though daddy spent less time away from the family that month.
Play Catch Up. When your spouse comes home plan some time to discuss everything that happened on his trip and at home. Don’t just disregard everything that he experienced while he was away. Learn more about what he enjoyed about the trip and what frustrated him. Show an interest! As well, you should update him about the children and what happened while he was away.
Reduce your schedule. Don’t try to do everything at home as if your spouse was
There – they’re not! Trying to do everything will only burn you out ! Go to the grocery store before your spouse leaves on his trip. Identify which activities you will allow your children to participate in, based on what you will be able to take them to alone.
Stop Worrying. Some people suggest that spouses who travel often, cheat on their spouses the most. I would like to suggest that cheating is not a traveler’s thing. Cheating is a person thing. If a person wants to cheat then they will cheat regardless of their travel schedule. Hopefully, you have a faithful spouse that is REALLY going to do what they said they were doing.
Make your life easy. While your spouse is away, use paper plates and plastic ware. Do whatever you can to cut down on the amount of work you have to do. Order food out or prepare your dinner while your children are in school or napping if they are younger.
Pray for your spouse!
If your spouse is traveling in the military:
Be creative. If you have young children and you know that daddy is serving our country and will be away for an extended period of time, creativity is key.
• Allow them to wear camouflage outfits so that they can mirror what daddy looks like.
• Let daddy record a video of himself reading bed time stories to the children. He can record the messages with each child’s name as a part of the recorded message.
• Have the children create a scrap book outlining everything that they did throughout the year so that daddy feels like he was a part of their world while he was a way.
• Let the children and daddy text each other while he is traveling.
• Send a care package, picture, or a letter to daddy at least once a week.
Daddy Dolls. This is a fascinating concept. There is a website called www.daddydolls.com where children can get “a lifelike doll of the child’s deployed parent.” This is through a non-profit organization called operation hug a hero. This will help the child feel connected to the parent while they are away.
If you are the spouse traveling:
Keep your spouse informed: Extend common courtesy by letting your spouse know when you have arrived to your destination and when you are departing. Give detailed information, such as the flight number and time of departure and arrival. This cuts down on the amount of stress the other spouse will experience.
You can watch Daily Balance with Kim Jacobs, on PBS - WTVI every Saturday at 10:00 A.M. If you would like to hear more tips from me, you can see me as the Daily Balance Expert every Wednesday for a segment on Charlotte Today (WCNC – News Channel 36) between 11:00 AM -12:00 PM. Feel free to also email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.dailybalancewithkim.tv to learn more about the show. Thank you for your continued support.