My husband got home about a week before Thanksgiving and he doesn’t head back on the road until January 1st. He spent 250 days on the road this year. Yes, two hundred fifty. This means I saw him about 25% of this year. (And there was also all the time he spent recording new songs – home, but still working!)
Saying that it’s “nice to have him home” is a huge understatement but I cant help but reflect on those 250 days apart. It kind of sucked.
I had more “I can’t do this anymore” conversations than I care to admit but I’m finishing 2014 as a happy wife. Here’s how:
We made quality communication a priority. We would plan out our days together so that we could talk for more than 3 minutes at a time. We had a ton of long conversations that were sweeter and better than any we had while he was home. I worked on things that I wanted to work on. I started to rebuild my photography business after our cross-country move. Work is good for us. Work hard while that man is on the road. I worked hard at building new relationships. I went to every social function I possibly could and sent texts and messages to friends, new and old. I told people when Dan was home and when he was gone. I found how important it is to let your friends and family know exactly how long you’re home alone for. It’s equally important for them to know when he gets back. You’ll build a community of people around you who get excited for his return home and check in with you while he’s away.
How much was your road warrior away this year? How do you maintain your long-distance relationship?
On our Facebook page we’ve been hosting (almost) monthly meet-ups for about a year and a half now. Without a doubt, those of you who do not live in Nashville are feeling a little left out. I have a dream of some of you (yes, YOU) hosting little meet-ups for musician’s wives in Los Angeles and Austin and everywhere else!
1. SHARING: Meet-ups have been a fun way to meet other women who are… living the dream. Share your successes and failures, annoyances, grievances and just simply share your story with other women who totally get it.
2. CONNECTIONS: At several meet-ups I’ve found out that my husband toured with someone else’s husband or they met and hung out at a festival. Sometimes it’s a strange feeling realizing all the strange people your man comes in contact and these connections form an instant bond with other women and make me feel more at peace.
3. SUPPORT: If you meet someone you click with, get their number and add them on Facebook! It’s nice to have a friend you can talk with when you’re missing your man.
4. FRIENDS: When your husband’s schedule coincides with your friends’ husband’s schedule… BAM: insta-friends! Find out when these other ladies are alone and try to plan little hangouts for those long, lonely tours.
5. OBVIOUSLY: Fancy drinks! Girls Night Out!
Join us October 6th for our October Meet-up in Nashville. Or plan one in your own city! Let us know what city you’re in and we’ll start making connections.
A few weeks ago I shared how our son told daddy not to go to work EVER AGAIN. Thanks to this community of road wives, I got some great advice about how to cope.
I got a cheap map of the US and taped it to the fridge. I cut out a photo of daddy’s van and glued a magnet on the back. Whenever he asks, “Where’s Daddy?” we walk into the kitchen and I show him. He also knows how to find Nashville and where his grandparents live, which is really fun!
We’ve also changed our tone. When he misses daddy or asks where he is I say things like, “He’s playing a big, awesome concert!” or “He’s rockin out on his guitar!”. My former response was just, “He’s working”, but the added enthusiasm has helped. (And it helps that our son loves wild and crazy concerts!) Anything to keep him excited about dad’s job.
I’m also teaching him the days of the week. Toddlers have no concept of time but I’ll point to the days, also on the fridge – under the map, and show him when dad gets back.
Do we miss dad any less? No! But I hope these are healthy steps in helping him cope.
What do you do when your kids have missed their dad when he’s on tour? I’d love get and share more ideas. That’s what this community is for!
This week, for the first time ever, I got to feel what it was like to be the unavailable person in the relationship. This time it wasn’t bad cell service in small town venues or traveling abroad. It was dunking my phone in a toilet. For 24 hours my phone was drying out, possibly dead, in a bag of rice. Coincidentally, my husband didn’t have WiFi so he didn’t get my Facebook messages. We had no contact. Not one text, tweet or video chat. It was like touring in the 80s!
I realized throughout the day how often I call my husband. During those 24 hours I showed our son his new daycare and that’s something I would have called him to tell him all about. I bought a ton of groceries and a few things for the house. I made plans with friends (via Facebook message) and I wished I could have consulted him on some of it. But, because I couldn’t, I just rolled with it! Independent woman over here!
Normally he’s the one that’s hard to get a hold of. I have internet access and a cell phone [with a charge!] pretty much all day. It’s a disgusting balance of being independent because you can’t rely on him but still needing him there for moral support and to discuss your life with. This lifestyle requires us to be independent but doting, self-sufficient but loyal. I want to believe I’m independent and then I have trouble deciding what color sheets to buy or who to invite to dinner next week and I am reminded that he’s with me. I need him. He is a part of every mundane detail of my life regardless of the fact that he’s been on the road for over 150 days this year already. (There have been 239 days this year, for the record).
Wanna know what the first text I sent was?
We’ve had a lot of new visitors on our Facebook page and a ton of new traffic to the site so I thought I’d do a little recap! Here are five of our most popular and helpful posts.
1. The Musician’s Tour Clock. This is a post I wrote, complete with a graphic, that shares about what exactly your man is doing while he’s away.
2. Things only other Road Widows will understand. Nise wrote this post and it’s spot on. You’ll get it.
3. Things your traveling husband should never (ever) say to you. These will either make you mad or make you laugh — depending on what day it is.
4. Blurred Lines. This was a saucy little piece written by Chris, our creator. It’s about fidelity and trusting your man while he’s on the road.
5. Who We Are. Nise gives us a clear depiction of who Road Widows are (who YOU are) and what we’re all about.
Thank you so much for being a part of this community. What have been some of your favorite posts – on this site, or others?
Since moving to Nashville nearly 6 months ago, my husband has been non-stop touring. He’s popped in here and there, stayed home for a week to ten days a couple times. But, other than that, he’s been on the road. It was starting to wear on me and I’ve had a few of those, “I dont know if I can do this anymore” conversations with myself and sometimes with my husband. I’ve gotten used to it, for lack of a better explanation. I’m fine. This week.
I am having a problem with the current tour, though. This problem is new to me: our son, Liam, is missing daddy in the worst way. He’s acting out, being overly clingy, refusing to talk to dad on the phone, crying for daddy before bed, looking for daddy whenever we go out. It’s heartbreaking. Yesterday when I made him talk to dad on the phone he said, “Daddy, you work too much. Dont go to work ever again!“. My husband feels terrible. I feel terrible.
This is new territory for us as this almost-3-year-old is communicating so much better than he used to. It’s heartbreaking for us to hear him say those things even when we knew he always felt them.
Dad gets home in a couple days and then we’re all going to back to our home state for 2 weeks together. Hopefully our son will get the attention from dad that he so desperately needs.
My plan, when we return is to try and show Liam where daddy is and when he’s coming home. Up until now we’ve kept daddy’s coming and goings a surprise – so as not to get him too anxious. But we think he might be at the age where he can start to comprehend time and space. So, I plan to teach Liam the days of the week. We’ll get a calendar and we’ll get a map. We’ll talk about what day it is and count how many days until dad is home. We’ll make a magnet of daddy and of us and show him where daddy is in the world.
Any other suggestions on how to help our son through this? Please share your ideas in the comments or on our Facebook page!
map via: http://www.awanderingsole.com/
I realize that you need to be in remote locations in order to accommodate large crowds and play loud music. However, sometimes I don’t hear from my husband for days. He’s in a small band so their “bus” doesn’t have “wifi” and sometimes he stays at the festivals for an extra day or two to sell merch because that’s what you’ve gotta do when you’re an indie band. It would be really nice if you could provide secure, password-protected wifi for band and crew members. It’s 2014. It’s not that hard to do and it’s not that expensive either. It would mean the world to me and all the other frustrated road widows out there if we could keep in touch with our husbands easily. Just an idea. Keep doing what you’re doing!
A Band Wife