I’m happy to introduce to you our guest blogger for today, Debi Stangeland, from the Funki Planet. Today she is writing on how to be a part-time single mom, when her husband is away at work during the week. Please take a moment to stop by and visit her encouraging blog.
Every Monday morning my husband leaves our house, gets into his truck and drives to work. He comes home on Thursdays.
Every Monday morning I go from being a wife and helpmate to my husband and one of two parents to my kids, to being the head of our household by proxy.
During the week I wear the apron and the pants in our family. My reality is the reality of many moms in our country today.
There are more part-time-single-moms than you may think. We exist in a gray area between being married and falling under the authority of our husbands and being required to shoulder the burden of the family alone for certain periods of time.
When most people think of part-time-single-moms they think of military families, but there is another group – Those of us who are constantly going back and forth from one reality to another due to the job situations of our husbands.
My husband travels. This means that during a part of every week I am solely responsible for the care and feeding and safety and rearing and education and spiritual wellness of my children.
I have to make the decisions about auto repair work. I balance the budget and make sure the bills are paid. I ferry kids to and from lessons and get up with them in the night when they are sick. I check to make sure the doors are locked before I go to bed and keep the yard maintained.
I teach the children how to do chores, live within a family structure and care for one another. It falls to me to model how to be an earnest Christ-follower, a caring parent and a loving spouse in all my activities. Sometimes I do this better than others.
For now, this is our reality, and to help us to keep our marriage and our family as healthy and stable as possible, we have found there are some important non-negotiable rules we must follow.
1. Constant communication. We have to work extra hard to communicate. By whatever method, we have to be more diligent to share with one another what is happening in our daily lives than most couples who see each other every day. It is also important for the kids to see their dad regularly and talk with him about their own lives.
2. Healthy bonding.We respect the transition times. Lives that are filled with coming and going are emotionally challenging. We have learned, the hard way, that there is a certain amount of transitioning that must occur for each of us. As husband and wife we have to get reacquainted each week – we do this with a date night, so we can reconnect after being apart. We also make sure the kids are getting alone time with Daddy so that they feel bonded to him.
3. Spiritual health. We study the Word together, even though we are a part. When we come together again, we talk about what we’ve learned or struggled with. We do devotions as a family, pray for one another, memorize scripture and make church a priority on Sundays.
4. Internet Transparency. As a husband and wife we are very open and honest about our internet usage. It would be very easy, being apart, to fall into the trap of emotional affairs online. I make sure that my husband is also a “friend” with any man I talk to on Facebook so that he can see all interactions I have. I know that some couples avoid social media because of the dangers, but we do not feel compelled to do that as we have some vibrant, healthy communities that we are a part of online.
5. Just say NO. We set aside “Family Time” each weekend and we guard that time diligently. There are a lot of opportunities for sports, scouting, birthday parties, baby showers and other fun activities each weekend. While we try to include some of those things in our family life we also realized that being together strengthens us for the times when we are apart. During the winter we ski together. In the summer we camp and fish as often as we can. Sometimes we just have to say NO to others so that we can be together.
There are a lot of families these days who are apart for some period of time. While it isn’t ideal, it is a reality and the best we can do is to make sure that we are diligently maintaining family bonds and traditions. A little extra work now could mean the difference between success and failure later.
Debi Stangeland is a speaker, blogger, wife and mom. She loves Jesus, fly fishing, reading her Kindle and experimenting with gluten-free/dairy-free recipes. She and her husband Mark have two children and live in the Pacific Northwest. Together they ski, fish and are constantly rearranging the sports equipment in their garage – to fit more in, of course.
At A Biblical Marriage, one of my other blogging homes, the team has put together a free eBook titled, Glorifying God in Your Finances. This eBook is full of Biblical advice and helpful tips for how you can put God first in your finances. To download your copy of Glorifying God in Your Finances, simply follow Leaving A Legacy, via email! Then check your email and once you confirm you can download this eBook instantly! This resource is free for a limited time only!