A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Who’s the Boss Post 1

My husband, Jerry, travels a great deal on business and is away for weeks at a time. I stay home with our two children, and it seems as if things are better when he’s away. I’m completely in love with him, but the household simply runs more smoothly when I’m the only one in charge. I’m not sure what to make of these feelings. When he’s due home I look forward to seeing him but feel tense about the disruption in our routine. Also, the kids don’t listen as well when we’re both home. How can we maintain harmony when he’s home?

Your feelings are perfectly normal. It’s a big stress on family life when one parent travels a lot and is away for weeks at a time. Each “re-entry” disrupts the familiar routine and the dailyness of family relationships — as you’ve discovered firsthand.

You’re actually describing a very familiar pattern, even if the particulars of your situation are more extreme. Once kids come along, he automatically steps up his position as breadwinner and wage earner and she automatically rolls up her sleeves to do all the nitty-gritty work that babies and running a home require. Everything pushes men and women in these directions, even when we don’t see the powerful forces that drive us. These roles get pretty entrenched as Mom makes the kids her primary project and principal area of expertise and Dad concentrates more on his efforts at work.

But maintaining harmony (which boils down to doing what’s most comfortable in the moment) isn’t the goal in your situation. Sure, it’s tempting for you to be the only one in charge, since it’s easiest and most familiar. The problem is that this “solution” (you do the parenting, Jerry stays on the sidelines) carries a very high price tag.

Here are five suggestions for you to ponder. None of them are easy.

1. The first order of business is for Jerry to use the telephone as much as possible. He should call the kids every single night that he’s away, to find out how their day at school went, whether they’re doing their homework and everything else. (“Billy, did that boy on the school bus start another fight today?”) Your kids need their dad, even if they respond to Jerry’s comings and goings by ignoring him or acting up. You and Linkoln also need to stay in close communication so that he’s totally in the loop, even when he’s on the road. Obviously, he just can’t waltz into the family and become an instant dad if he hasn’t made every effort to stay connected to the day-to-day details of his kids’ lives.

Comments are closed.