The Pros and Cons of a Traveling Husband

Thank you for being a friend.

Thank you for being a friend.

My husband just accepted a job which will put him back on the road during the week.  For those of you who know us, this is something with which we are familiar.  His last job kept him on the road and home every other weekend.  It was awful.  At the start of the job, we had a 3 and a 1 year old.  This lovely period lasted 2 ½ years before he was let go last August.

Now, we start another job with a better company that will bring him home on the weekends.  The kids are now 4 and 6, so a bit more manageable on my end.  Well, I hope.

Therefore, in an attempt to make myself feel better, I thought I’d make myself a pros and cons list of a traveling husband.

PRO – The bed all to myself (well, along with my long-suffering cat, Ezra, who by the way will be thrilled to have me all to herself again).  No loud snoring.  No pokes in the back at 11:30 going, “Just real quick???” I would say no bed hogging or cover stealing, but for this transgression,  I am the sole perpetrator, therefore placing it on his pros list and not mine.  Also, no more hearing, “Why do you have so many freakin covers? I am roasting!”  And best of all, no more dutch ovens, you know, the kind that linger, and permeate the sheets.

Yep, pretty much.

Yep, pretty much.

CON – The bed all to myself.  No getting to elbow him when a kid starts coughing and saying, “I got it last time,” even though he totally doesn’t know there was no last time.  No one to scare the bejesus out of in the middle of the night by slapping him awake when I hear something crash.  “Mark!!! Wake up!  Someone is trying to break in, go out there and use your superhero ninja powers to fight them off!  I’ll be right behind you with my blow dryer….What?  It was just the shower caddy falling off the wall? Oh sorry.”

PRO – No more coming home to such non-diet friendly dinners such as super nachos, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and so on.

This deliciousiness I cannot make on my own - it must be forced upon me.

This deliciousness I cannot make on my own – it must be forced upon me.

CON – No more coming home to such non-diet friendly dinners such as super nachos, hot dogs, burgers, pizza and so on.  Now I have to cook my own crap and for the kids too, all in a 15 minute window.

PRO – I can work out every night after the kids go to bed. No reserving my energy for other late night cardiovascular activities.   I can work out, shower, and go to sleep.

Cause I could totally look like this - Mark has totally been holding me back from my true self.

Cause I could totally look like this – Mark has totally been holding me back from my true self.

CON – I can work out every night after the kids go to bed. No reserving my energy for other late night cardiovascular activities.   My husband has some SKILZ, which will have to wait until the weekend.  (At this point, my family is throwing up in their mouth a little, but hey, what can I say?  I don’t have a smut addiction for nothing.)

Actual picture of my husband.  Ignore the silly writing.  Don't my hands look thin??

Actual picture of my husband. Ignore the silly writing. Don’t my hands look thin??

PRO – I have complete control over my household once again.  No one to forget to tell the daycare and/or school something or pack the wrong thing in their lunches.  No more forgotten paperwork.  No gym shorts on the floor or chip crumbs in front of the TV (after a particularly stressful night of Black Ops).  No more doing the laundry or loading the dishwasher wrong.

A particularly tense evening at home.

A particularly tense evening at home.

CON – I am the only one in charge of my household again.  I have to do all the above mentioned annoying things ALONE.   He might forget some stuff or do it wrong, but at least someone was doing it.

PRO – No more smell of Red Hot.  Dude puts that crap on everything.  It’s disgusting.  Singes the nostrils.

Gross, just gross.

Gross, just gross.

CON – No con, that shit is gross.

PRO – The bathroom gets more “open” time.  We were dumb enough to buy a house with one friggin bathroom and this man goes more than anyone I know.  He eats, he poops. Every. Single. Time.   For like a half hour each time.  If I see him with a phone, kindle or laptop heading down the hallway, I know I am on my own for the next hour or so.  No more asking the kids to hold out just a bit longer, he’ll be out soon.  Once, Will knocked on the door and said, ‘’Dad could you not play your games this time? I really have to go!”  All parents hide in the bathroom, but my dear husband does it at least six times a day.

Again, a completely real picture of my bathroom.  Who wouldn't want to live in  here?

Again, a completely real picture of my bathroom. Who wouldn’t want to live in here?

CON – No con, it will be nice to have a semi-available bathroom again.  He can decimate the hotel toilets during the week.  I will get to go back to my absolutely-no-privacy, 2 kid hug party while I am taking care of business.

So, there you have it, my started list of pros and cons.  This did make me feel a bit better, however, I am sure the cons list will grow longer when he actually leaves.  I might try to talk my husband to do a guest post, where maybe he can give an honest pros/cons list to traveling.

Advertisements

Big Week

Big week ahead people, big week.  Or maybe not.  Who knows what’s in store for our family?  God does apparently, but he’s not giving us any clues.  Jerk.

I kid.  I kid. God knows I’m joking, he totally gets my sense of humor, after all, he made it, but sometimes, just once I’d like a little heads up on what he has in store.  To explain why my husband is only employable on the east coast.

That’s right, big job interview this week in Philly.  That’s right, Philadelphia.  500 milez away.  They seem interested and he’s a super great fit for the job.  Figures.

Before you all freak out on him for not trying hard enough here, I assure you, he did, and he is, doing everything in his power to get a job that doesn’t take him away on a weekly basis.  We both want it more than you’ll ever know.  It just doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us.

And before you wonder if I will be curling up in the fetal position because I will then be back “doing it alone,” I promise you, I won’t.  Mainly because I learned the hard way that asking for help is not a sign of weakness.   I have a SUPER support system.  In-laws that will drop everything to help us out.  (Yes, Lisa, you too, but come on, you have TWINS for cryin out loud.  You get the year off.)   I have a husband that’s more present 500 miles away than a lot are right at home.  I have a wonderfully tolerant workplace, who understands Sunday night fevers and daycare phone calls at 10:30 a.m.  I have more than most people can dream of, so I count myself lucky, even though I do succumb to the occasional pity party in my mom mobile.  Where I turn on Adele and The Fray and act like I’m in a sad movie and sing and ugly cry.  But then, I put on my big girl pants and move on.  Cause that’s what I do.  It’s what I have to do.

IF this happens, which it hasn’t yet.  This is the man who has had at least 3 job offers made and accepted, only to have the employer all of a sudden not return his calls and act like they’ve never met.  So really, until he sets foot on another job site and 2 weeks later a pay stub is deposited, I won’t get excited or worried.  It’s like he has job VD or something.

Is this circulating Monster and Career Builder?

Is this circulating Monster and Career Builder?

Tentatively, this seems to be a really good company, not the usual 2-man, unorganized, hot mess that he’s used to.  Somewhere where he can grow.  Hopefully, home every weekend.  Make a decent wage.  Not work himself into a heart attack at 36.

Wish him luck.  Either way, it’s good news.  I can say the job market is active, which is more than we could say the last time around.  If this doesn’t pan out, there are always options.  I have a really good connection at McDonald’s if all else fails.  He would bring it to that fry station.  LIKE A BOSS.
And now, a funny video.  I will miss you SNL Shorts. Not for everyone, especially if you don’t like swear words…NSFW. I just thought this might work in Mark’s interview.

You’ve Got a Friend in Me

Being an introvert has its challenges. Being that any sort of unknown scares the hell out of me and the fact that I avoid large gatherings like the plague, finding and making friends is not a skill I possess naturally.  It also doesn’t help that I also have a slightly introverted husband who, as a means of introduction, tells new people we meet that we are “socially awkward and don’t have a lot of friends.”  aawwwkkward.  

But, the perk of being an introvert is, the friends I have made, are long-time, loyal ride and die beotches.   The people I have opened up to have, over time, come to love me in all my weirdness.  Most of my friends, I’ve had for 15+ year, and I will have them forever.  (Mainly because they remember me when I was thin.  Never forget!!!!!  The skinny girl is trapped in there somewhere!)

The best part of these friends is that even though most of them are scattered across the country, we can pick up where we left off and after a lengthy catch up session, we are back cracking the same jokes and acting like we live next door to each other.   

Before we go any farther, I don’t mean to shortchange my close range friends on this post.  Know I love you all, old and new, and am so thankful you are HERE with me in this God forsaken frozen tundra we call northwest Ohio.  NEVER LEAVE ME!!!   We have lost too many already!!!!  Two of my best friends are right here and know I couldn’t live without you.  One gets to see me in all my crazy glory EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  Give this woman an award because let’s face it, I can get seriously annoying when exposed to in large doses.  The other gets to see my lovely face mostly on Sundays and Mondays, when I put on my most angelic face and pretend I am not cray cray.  But, she sees through the facade and loves me anyways.  These girls make me laugh daily and I pray they never abandon me for greener pastures, or say, popular parks ruled by a big mouse.  And I can’t leave out my blood related friends, my sister, but she already got a post, so quit yer bitchin.  And my sisters by marriage, who have put up with me almost as long as my actual sister, I love you three more than you’ll ever know.   (But, seriously SK, when are the Girl Scout cookies coming???) 

This post is for my long distance friends, two of which I had the wonderful pleasure of escaping this freakin freezing weather for a few days and hiding out in Florida with.   

I met these girls in college (remember THIN) and 5 minutes after meeting them, I knew we were soul mates.    Ever meet someone and it just clicks?  Well, that was us.  That was 1997 and even though we are all grown up, we are still closer than ever. 

We couldn’t be more different.  One is a super positive save-the-world social worker, who is seriously the world’s biggest extrovert.  This girl attracts friends like flies.  PEOPLE LOVE HER.  She is one of the most genuine real people you’ll ever meet.    The other is an extremely successful PR genius who is beautiful inside and out.  The one who’s always put together, even when she’s hot and sweaty after a workout.  The one who, after 16 years, still let’s us tease her mercilessly for taking over an hour to get ready every single day.  And me, the neurotic, introverted, long married, mother of two who makes jokes CONSTANTLY.  Especially during the inappropriate moments – that’s when I really shine. 

We have been through it all.   College, hangovers, graduation, job hunts, crazy boyfriends, big moves, promotions, career changes, falling in love, marriage, infertility, sickness, death, postpartum depression, babies.   We are basically married because we hit all the vow highlights.  Love/cherish, sickness/health, good/bad, you get the gist – we are in this until the end that’s for sure. 

I have watched these women grow more beautiful, stronger and smarter with each year.  They make me laugh, help me cry, build me up and support me no matter how far apart we are or how long the time passes between conversations.   We are very different, but share the same love and respect for each other, which makes the bond strong no matter our differences.  Even if one of us did vote for Romney. 

I’ll take these sistas before mistas anyday.

I love you girls and hope this post does you justice. 

Marriage…Loud Breathing and Other Trials

002

Rockin the sexy specs.

After 11 years of marriage and 17 years of togetherness, I think I can safely say I am the foremost expert on relationships  Yeah right.

 In trying to get a flow for this post, I posed a simple question to my dear husband:  “What things annoy you about me?” 

For some reason, he didn’t want to answer this question.  SEE HOW DIFFICULT HE IS TO LIVE WITH? 

So, I started. 

  1. Sometimes he breathes REALLY loud.  It’s annoying.  I wish he would stop.  Sometimes I feel like I’m sleeping next to a horse who’s being sat on by a fat lady.
  2. He has a constant need for sex.  I mean, every second of the day.  Give the vajay a break would ya?!  That’s how infections start. 
  3. His ADD is off the charts.  Sometimes it’s just fun to sit and watch him bounce from one thing to the next.  Other times, it’s a bit annoying.  Ever see UpWe have a longstanding joke in our house that he’s the dog.  I would love to clean up the dishes and help…SQUIRREL!    

So after this rapid fire list came at him, he finally had some thoughts of his own. 

  1. I never finish anything I start.  Gardening.  Organizing the house.  Tons of printed cleaning lists pasted all over the fridge that have never been attempted.  Tons and tons of printed recipes.  Crafts for the kids.  Thousands of photos stashed in every corner of the house.  I have long asserted that I am a totally organized person trapped in a disorganized person’s life.  I can’t help it.  I have grand ideas and fabulous plans, but hey, wait…a rerun of Friends is on.  Maybe later.  Alright honey, score 1 for you. 
  2. I always have my nose in an electronic device, and apparently, this includes magazines.  ??  Well lover, you my dear are a world-class enabler.  Last year’s AWESOME Christmas gift?  Kindle Fire.  This year’s?  An iPhone.  Quit buying me these shiny new toys and maybe I would keep my nose out of them.  Besides reality sucks.  Why be present in life when I can be planning the perfect one via Pinterest or reading about the perfect guy in a smut novel (ahem, Unidentified RedheadSeriously READ THIS). 
  3. Apparently I complain about my weight a lot.  This is annoying to him.  I think it’s funny.  Apparently it’s not funny to complain and then NEVER DO ANYTHING TO FIX IT.  Yeah well, I like pie and hate exercising.  SUCK IT.  Good thing he likes squishy, so really, the pressure’s off anyways. 

So – I think we are a successful couple because the above conversation made us crack up at each other while discussing the above items.  Really, we know it’s all true, but we put up with each other anyways.  Because really, who else will? 

MIA

Sorry I’ve been MIA this week. Christmas, a full week of work, holiday parties, more food inhaled than humanly possible, combined with a lingering sadness that I can’t quite kick has made the desire to be funny put on the back-burner.

But, my sister is sitting in a hospital room with one sick kid at home with Dad and the other with her in a cramped, non-private room getting roto rootered every so often, just enough so that he screams bloody murder and wakes up just enough to be a squirmy, not-feeling-so-bad 7 month old in a tiny cage of a crib so that she can do nothing but try desperately to entertain him until the next round of suctioning. (which, by the way is awesome. Why don’t they pass these things out to go home? Best snot suckers EVER.). So for her, I have to try to come up with something funny to lighten the mood right? OK, here goes…

I think motherhood is off the table for the moment, as I can’t quite stop kissing on my kids and being thankful for them. So… let’s find bigger game…

Marriage? I can give a brief taste of the book I just finished that I mentioned a few weeks ago. Created to Be His Help Meet was all sorts of fun to read and has made for quite the after the kids go to bed conversation topics.

In a nutshell, Debi Pearl hates women. We are not supposed to have fun, leave our children or our husbands. EVER. Babysitters make you a horrible mother. Don’t even get me started on how much I am a failure for working. If she had her way, I’d be stoned on sight.

In addition to homeschooling our delightful children who are never to leave our sight, we should do all the household work…changing light bulbs, mowing the lawn, taking out trash, painting the shed, fixing the car, hand whittling kitchen chairs, all so our husbands can relax after a long hard day’s work. Not only should we do these things, but we should do them joyfully. Joyfully! HA! THEN after a full day of sheer joy, we are supposed to jump in bed and please him sexually so that he doesn’t stray, as men are wont to do if they aren’t pleased in every way. Yes, ladies, this book has been put in the freezer many a night, which was then followed by a stiff drink and leaving the dirty dishes to SIT in all their glorious dirtiness.

Needless to say, I can’t quite accomplish this attitude in my home. Let’s face it, even if I wanted to turn over a new leaf and be a reverent, joyful slave, my husband would NEVER be able to take me seriously. When you have a solid 17 year relationship built on mutual sarcasm and self-deprecation, being that positive just doesn’t quite fit my personality.

And really, who wouldn’t want me this way? Doesn’t every husband need a bit of ball busting every now and again? Can you imagine if NO ONE ever told him he was wrong? G would be wearing purple polka dot pants and bright pink plaid shirts with mismatched socks every single day. Will would never be allowed to bring his sexy back, put a ring on it, or vogue in any way. He would just be this mash of jerky offbeat gyrations my husband calls dancing. (I love you honey, I worship at your altar of smartness, but let’s face it, Channing Tatum you are not on the dancefloor.)

If I was a reverent super happy wife, who would teach my kiddos the greatest defense mechanism ever….sarcasm? When my husband teases me for being a “rich girl,” and then I break out my tiny violin (which totally does not annoy the piss out of him) when he talks of how SOOOO poor he was, we help to put each other in perspective with a little touch of dry humor and teasing. All in good fun I say.

Ms. Pearl, the ultimate help meet, would just listen and nod enthusiastically when my engineer husband makes the simplest task the most complicated, confusing, full set of blueprints, series of instructions that you ultimately give up and fall asleep while he is “explaining” how this will work instead of just doing it.

She would kiss his feet just for hanging the curtain rods a few inches from the top of the ceiling so the bottom of the curtains have at least a foot of clearance betwen them and the floor.

She would revel in his awesomeness when he proposes gunmetal gray floors because they won’t ever show dirt. She would lovingly buy his 30 different types of saws while she enjoys her one pair of sensible black shoes.

She would of course be supportive of his NEED for fog lamps on his truck while you have a phone my great grandma would laugh at.

OK – so maybe I am not the ideal wife, but let’s face it, I am WAAAY funnier than Ms. Pearl will ever be. I think that’s a much better arrangement. What do you think honey??

20130205-124600.jpg

Created to Be His Help Meet: Mark Your Calendars…This Sh!Ts about to go Down!!

Created to Be His Help Meet: Discover How God Can Make Your Marriage Glorious: Debi Pearl: 9781892112606: Amazon.com: Books.

 

So, my cousin thought she’d  give me a book to eviserate after my mention of one of our church ladies being obedient to her husband and being thankful for it.   So no one goes after her, she gave it to me as a joke, not because she believed a word of it.

 

I am 6 chapters in, and have run the gamut of emotions with this book.  A lot of it was laughing out loud and yelling, “Mark!  Read this part!”  Some of it is utter disbelief that in 2012, almost 2013, there are people still out there who believe this pile of crap coated with crazy.

 

Oh, it’s on Ms. Pearl.  It’s so on.  If I am taking a break from my awesome smut collection to be “taught” by you, please know that a most awesome book review will be coming your way shortly.

 

I hope the rest of you enjoy.  If God is actually like the God within her pages, He will not be pleased.

 

It’s coming, be warned….

Kind Of Deep Thoughts By Jen….

Yeah, I wouldn't take advice from me either.

Yeah, I wouldn’t take advice from me either.

“MOOOOMMMM!”  ….   “Whaaat?”  ….  “MOOOOMMMM!”    My oldest is screaming through the house, while Dad’s on the pooper and I snuck downstairs to clean some cat poop while the chokeable Dora is making its evening run.  Quit staring at me, answer your own questions!  It’s creepy.   Is something wrong I think?  It’s only been two minutes since I was last upstairs, but this sounds frantic.  So, I stop scooping and run upstairs.  “What?” I huff out of breath, because you know, 13 stairs are a toughy.  “What’s 5 + 2?”   Of course.

 

 

So, I’ve been MIA for a few days.  Been in a bit of a mood.  Either pissed off or sad for no reason.  Yep, you’re right men, it’s totally my period.  (Really it kinda was.  Even Mark left me alone.)  So, I decided to stay quiet.  Didn’t want to write something snarky and mean, although trust me, it would have been entertaining, and I did write some feelings I was having about the fact that cancer seems to rearing its ugly head EVERYWHERE, but Mark said it made him want to jump off a cliff and could I end on a happy note?  At this point with that subject, no I can’t, so I’ll save that little gem for another day.  Let me know when you’d like a good depressing, there is no hope, is there a God and if so, WTF is His plan post.  Never?  Yeah, I thought so.

 

 

Hold on, I’m getting some pretty detailed instructions on how to wipe a butt.  Apparently, there is a procedure and very detailed rules…..

 

 

OK, I’m back.  I think I did it right.  God that kid scares me.  He is about six months away from being smarter than Mark and me, or maybe he is already at 6 and I am just too proud to admit it.  And yes, I wipe my 6 year olds butt, but I’ll take that stigma over track marks and itchy assholes any day.

 

 

I wonder if I’m hovering, if I’m one of those so-called helicopter parents.  Maybe a little.  A few weekends ago, Mark was with the kids at a function without me, and he came back with a story that Will was being punched and kicked by another kid during some rowdy play that got out of hand.  My mother bear instinct came out and I was ready to go right then, but Mark told me that while he kept an eye on the situation, he wanted to see how Will would handle it himself.  Apparently, he did great.  He stayed calm, didn’t freak out and told the other kid that he wasn’t playing by the rules.  Not sure what happened after that, but my guess is they went back to being friends and playing their game.  Now if I had seen that happen, you’d bet your ass I’d be up and in the middle of it.  Mark did the right thing and took a breath and let Will spread his wings a little.  It all turned out OK and maybe Will learned something about how to handle a situation that might be uglier and intentionally meaner next time.    That’s why I keep my husband around ladies.  As he would say, clearly, he’s smarter.  Until you ask him to spell ridiculous and then he yields his greatness to me for a bit.  We all have our strengths.

 

 

Then Gracie’s teacher tells us she wishes she was more assertive, and she was glad that just last week she stood up for herself for the first time.  And all this time I thought she was a bulldozer who let no one get in her way.  Apparently, that’s just her brother, or me.  Not her dad, cause he’s wicked fun, but even he loses a few battles now and again.  She lets kids take her toys and tell her to do.  NOOOO!!!!!  That’s the downfall of having a bossy older brother.  That’s how I was growing up, and while I didn’t get picked on so much, I did let those that I loved around me get picked on while I tried to fade into the wall.  I also let these strong-willed people define me as a person, and it took a good 20 years before I realized those people have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, they’re just louder.

 

 

So, what’s next?  Homeschool?  Yeah right.  I am a horrible teacher.  I’d just end up assigning them homework and then doing it for them.  They’d end up hermits who couldn’t conjugate verbs, let alone balance a checkbook, because I would skip math completely.  So, I’m not sure what to do.  I guess face my own fears as they grow up and teach them to be the kick ass person I always wanted to be.  Somehow make them comfortable in their own skin, in love with their uniqueness and quirks.  Aware of their appearance and proud of it, but not be obsessed by it.  Mess them up just enough so they can be funny.  Help them to focus on what’s important and what’s not.  And most importantly, not let the loudmouths define who they are.

 

 

Ga!  See??? I got all bummer at the end.  What’s my deal????

 

 

Until next time…now I have to go make a Christmas list….Grrrr…  How much are maids and full time chefs????