My husband went away for 4 months (work training purposes) and it was as if my life had been turned upside down… I couldn’t eat. I refuse to get out of bed and I watched the clock tick like mad… kidding! lol I’m not that bad. I tell ya, when you have demanding little comrades, you have no option but to jump outta bed and pour that cereal with joy. The window to moping only parts an inch when you have children.
But in all seriousness, to have your best friend away from you, sucks! right? My life is so much easier when he’s around. So how did I cope with the absence of my husband? In preparation to my husband leaving, we put together a list of things that I could do to make things a little easier.
1. Regular contact: Telephone, video call, Facebook, text, which ever you prefer. Do it. During my absence, we agreed that he would call me everyday at 6:30pm. In saying that, every time my husband got the chance to call, my phone would ring and vise versa. Take time to talk to each other and have a good yarn. Although, my favorite was always the simple texts; “Good morning darling” and “I love you“. The separation of time and distance vanishes when there is regular contact.
2. Create goals: I wrote down so many things I wanted to start and achieve by the time my husband finished his training. Some of these goals included getting up early, running, teach my daughter to write her name and plant a herb garden. Thinking about these goals alone kept me busy. I didn’t accomplish all my goals but it fulfilled its purpose, it kept me going.
3. Routine: Yes, having a routine is crucial! I wasn’t the only one missing my husband, my daughters were too. So I had to set a routine that will not only keep my mind ticking but my daughters as well. Have an everyday routine that will work for you and your children.
4. Support: We decided it was best that the kids and I stayed with my parents (best decision ever!). My family was amazing while my husband was away. My brothers and sisters were great company, they kept my days happy and filled with excitement. If you have family or friends nearby, ask them for help. Not only will they be of great support to you but it’s also an opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with them.
5. Distraction: friends, hobby, volunteer, exercise, read… whatever it is you may find interesting. Find and do things that will keep you happy and positive. I enrolled my girls into Kindergarten and during that time, I picked up swimming, read books at the library and visited friends.
6. Stay positive: Think happy thoughts. Surround yourself with positive people because you can always bounce off their good energy. Another thing is to make sure you’re prepared. Prepare yourself to have a good day tomorrow morning. Whether it’s planning a visit with a friend or reading motivational books. Do what you need to do to stay positive. Waking up early helped me quite a bit.
7. Do something together: wait, what? how is that possible? Easy! If your family normally has dinner at 7pm, you can still have dinner as a family at the same time with your husband present, cyber ofcourse. You can skype and eat your dinner together. This may be tricky if he’s in a different time zone. But hey, it doesnt have to be just dinner. It can be any family activity of your choice. We would do family prayers together on the phone or viber video.
8. Keep a journal: Record your feelings and experiences of being apart. It’s very therapeutic. It helped me express my feelings without irritating my brothers and sisters about how depressing it was. We both made sure we had our journals with us. We recorded our feelings, experiences and trials. Both our journals between the months of March and June include the aroma of “absence makes the heart grow fonder”… Ew that sounded a bit corny lol but it’s true! 🙂
9. Simplicity: I know I’ve encouraged you to take up extra curricular to keep you busy, but be smart about how you do it. Keeping things simple is always best, especially when you have children. Be careful not to burn yourself out.
10. I love you: Every conversation and opportunity we got, we never missed the most important words “I love you”. I would say this is the prime antidote to coping with the absence of your spouse. “I love you” encourages confidence, strength and peace within a spouse. So don’t ever forget to say those three important words to each other, especially while your husband is away.