Several blogs and articles talk about motherhood and raising children and are usually written from a mother’s perspective. Many mothers have read these and found comfort knowing they are not alone in the universe. They are able to unite with women around the world that they don’t know, yet share life stories and experiences. Well, this post is a little different. As a husband, I would like to share what it’s like journeying through life with my traveling wife, while balancing work, children and my love for the Houston Rockets!
Lets be honest from the jump, it’s more difficult with our two boys when she is away traveling. It was hard before we had kids. Ashley is nothing short of amazing and when she’s away, her presence is definitely missed and the tasks of caring for the kids and holding things together are more difficult. What I’ve learned along the way is to suck it up, get it done and do so with a smile.
Ethan and Blake are nothing short of joys in my life. I cherish the moments spent with them and as Ethan gets older, there are lessons in life that I’ve been able to teach him. I have had the opportunity to see both kids have a respect for me and the things that I do to make sure they are safe, happy and feel loved. When Ashley first began frequent traveling, Blake wasn’t with us yet and even with 1 child, it was still difficult. I wasn’t accustomed to doing this on my own, even despite her efforts to try to make everything as easy as possible while she was gone. Honestly, before Ashley, I struggled taking care of myself! Ashley could tell the stress I allowed myself to endure and it affected her. She already said she felt mom guilt from being away, but she began regretting her trips and not enjoying being away. Overtime, I realized that the real issue was me.
Now, it’s not easy to admit that the root cause is yourself. Accountability is something we all need to have, though. One day, I had the opportunity to speak to an older gentleman in my Bible study small group, who expressed something that would change so much. He was having trouble at home with his wife and kids who needed his help when he arrived home from work, but in his mind he worked a full days work and all he wanted to do was rest. He didn’t want to wash dishes or bathe the kids. Just grab a beer, watch the game and relax in his recliner. God touched his heart one day and told him, “Serving isn’t something we are born wanting to do, it’s something that requires purpose and sacrifice”. This message hit me deep. My dad always talked about and walked the walk of a servant, so I already had an example set before me. It was time to be what God wanted me to be, to serve my wife and family.
WOW! That made a huge difference. I began taking things off my wife shoulders. Even when I knew I was dead tired, I found myself sacrificing and placing her and our kids before my own selfish desires. Now I’m no where near perfect and there have been recessions, but I’ve seen the positive affects this has had on my family and I. Stress levels have decreased. Ashley now goes out of town knowing I have everything under control. I know I’m really serving well when she says she feels like she isn’t helping enough (which is never the case)! Now that’s a medal I like to hang! Plus the more I do it, the more I am used to it. We have a good routine for the kids that I am actively apart of on a daily basis, so when she is gone, I am not like “a deer in headlights”.
Before I go, I want to add one more thing about traveling with the family. This is by far one of the best times in our lives. Ethan loves everything airplane related. Blake needs some patience…okay a lot of patience ha! He isn’t a fan of planes, car rides, being in the stroller, or sleeping anywhere that’s not his bed. Ugh. Ashley is pretty self explanatory, she loves traveling so much she blogs about it. When we travel we like to make sure everyone gets to do something they want to do. Sometimes its a restaurant, a dinosaur park or just relaxing on a beach (well as much as you can with kids).
I’ve heard through the grapevine, some husbands restrict or produce negativity towards anything that takes their wife away from being with the kids and leaving them alone with the kids. I pray they are given a servants heart and understanding that they are equally a part of the parental pair. We must always continue to lift each other up and make sacrifices for each other’s happiness.
I leave you with a motto I live and work by: “Teamwork makes the dream work!”
Written by Paul Lilly
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