Surviving the week while your husband travels

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

When we moved to Memphis, TN in Nov. 2012, we knew Russell's promotion meant that he would be gone pretty much every week and only return for the weekends.  But, it was a wonderful opportunity for him we couldn't pass up.  Then, in August 2014, Russell started his online MBA program his company offered to pay for and that put him busy on the weekends.  Being gone during the week and then studying on the weekends makes it pretty chaotic for me during the weeks while chasing a toddler around, cleaning a house, and fitting in workouts, while balancing a 40 hr work week.  How do I do it?  Here are the steps:

1. Schedule, schedule, schedule!
Being the Type A person that I am, structure is key...its like I live for it.  But I have found that creating a strict schedule has been KEY for our weekly balance at home. From sun-up to sun-down, everything is scheduled and it runs like a well oiled machine.  My husband thinks I schedule too much of our life but it works best for me during the week when I am the only one here and juggling our chaotic life.  And, if I didn't schedule every aspect of the day, then I wouldn't be able to squeeze in my "me" time while I value so that I don't lose it.

2. Quick dinners to eat on all week
My motto: If it can't be cooked in 30 or less, then I'm not making it! If it weren't for quick dinners, I swear I would starve.  There is so much to do when I get home in the evenings and not enough hours!  I have worked really hard at collecting a list of delicious recipes that take 30min or less to make that feed Ryan and I and give enough for leftovers for the next few days.

3. While the baby sleeps, the sweat repeats!
Since we are on a strict schedule during the week from sun-up to sun-down, there isn't any time for me to workout before Ryan's bedtime. I am not a morning person when it comes to working out, so I have to do it in the evenings.  As soon as Ryan goes down, I hit a sweat session.  But lets be real, I am tired and ready to wind down myself.  So, I give myself 30 minutes to get one heck of a sweat session on.  I push with HIIT training through the treadmill or strength sessions and then get to relax at least an hour before I put myself to bed.  I have found that it is really important for me to workout during the week because it really helps me battle all of the stress.  I also take this as part of my "me" time.  I work all the stress off and feel much better afterwards.

4. You time.
While I may not get a lot of me time in on the weekdays and most weekends, Russell really tries hard to give me some time when he is home for me to have "me" time.  Even if it is him taking care of Ryan's bedtime routine so that I can relax on the couch, every little bit counts. And this is also where my schedule works for my benefit.  Since I have a strict nightly schedule and have quick (but effective) workouts, I get my very own wind-down time every evening to indulge in my reality tv.

5. Remember that it is all worth it in the end.  
It is easy to find myself so worn out by the end of the week (especially after a week where it seems all goes wrong).  Being a mom that doesn't get a lot of "me" time, I can sometimes get frustrated and I try really hard not to take it out on Russell.  He is not choosing to travel on the weekdays and study on the weekends for only his benefit.  It's for our family.  Once he finishes his MBA in August 2016, there is much more opportunity for him in his job that will ultimately help our family.  And while I am busy juggling everything at home I try and put myself in his place.  He is a working father who is away from his family a lot, that has to be hard on him too, and he is making a huge sacrifice being away from us.  It makes me love him even more.

Am I exhausted every day?  Yep, pretty much.  But I love my life, I love my husband, and I love our family.