I have a wonderful husband. I give him a hard time, but he really is the best. He's sweet, funny, caring, and thoughtful (most of the time, ha!). He works SO hard to provide for our family. He mostly works nights and has a long commute, so he's not home a lot. And when he is, he's usually sleeping during the day, or busy doing things he couldn't get to during the work week. So, I'm often on my own a lot, and parenting alone with the kids when they're home from school.
It used to bother me a lot early on in our marriage. I missed him all the time. I felt like he was missing out on a lot of family time when our kids were babies and it definitely caused some resentment on both sides - me feeling whiny and neglected, him feeling defensive and tired. At the time, I began to hate the line of work he was in because I just wanted him home with me and the kids, during "normal" times, like "normal" people. But honestly, he's really good at his job. And as we've grown (we're coming up on our 10 year wedding anniversary soon!) and gotten used to his schedule, we've all settled into a routine and things are great - better than ever, actually.
So, I'd like to share the following things that have helped me when dealing with the hub's long hours away from home.
Make the most out of the time you do have together.
Don't spend that time arguing. Go out to dinner. Reconnect. Enjoy each other's company. I've found that worrying about the end of the weekend and what little time you've had together, just makes that time go by faster and nobody enjoys it.
Schedule family events during off time when possible.
Remember that it's just as hard for him to be away from home, missing out on things, as it is for you. Keep him included. Do things together as a family as much as you can.
Find ways to connect/communicate when he's not home.
This one has really been important to me when I start feeling lonely. Texting, phone calls (gasp, I know!), sending silly memes or photos of the kids - it all helps us to stay in the loop with each other and just feel like the other person is always there when we need them.
Take advantage of your alone time.
When hubby is at work or asleep, I'll watch cheesy shows on Netflix that he has no interest in. Or I'll read for hours and hours. Or I'll surf the interwebz to my heart's content. Or sneak off to Target and wander the aisles. It's a win-win - I get to treat myself and I don't feel guilty about making time for me.