Four things you should know before your spouse becomes a truck driver
It get’s easier with time
At first the absence of your spouse can seem almost threatening. The person that you have come to depend on is no longer just around the corner. They’re not there to give you a hug after a bad day, to kill the spider that just ran across the kitchen floor, or fix the clogged sink. When Jeremy started driving I was a student at Red River Collage. Much of my time was filled with studying and caring for our daughter who was one and a half. I also remember that the house had never been as clean as it was during the first six months of Jeremy’s trucking career. Now, this could be because we only had one child at the time, but I remember filling all my spare time with medial tasks trying to fill the time; trying to keep my mind off worrying about Jeremy; trying to avoid how creepy a house can be without a man there. Eventually Jeremy’s absence became easier to cope with. Don’t get me wrong I don’t like it when he’s away, but when he’s gone the remote is mine, there’s no one hogging the bed, or stealing the covers, and I can make pancakes for dinner without questioning glares.
Communication is they key
Just because your husband is 2,500 miles away doesn’t mean that he’s not close. For 12 years now, daily phone calls have been mandatory in our household. We try our best to schedule these calls at the end of Jeremy’s work day, as well at a time when the kids and I are settled down for the evening. Sometimes our calls are short and sweet, other times Jeremy just won’t shut up and the conversation goes on for hours. The key is to share the entire day with each other. I make sure that he knows what the kids did throughout the day, and I don’t hold back. If they were misbehaving, or received a bad grade, or just did something stupid and embarrassing I tell him about it. A ‘no secrets’ policy is a good way to keep the connection not only between you and your spouse, but between your husband and the children. If you have children, give them a chance to talk to dad too. Jeremy has sat through many conversations just listening to the kids babble on the phone, but it makes sure that they maintain a level of communication with each other.
Technology has made communication easier. We can video chat on Google+, Facebook or Skype. These are better than a phone call. He just needs a decent internet connect.
You are the one responsible for the household
After a long day of work you come home, prepare dinner and tackle the household chores and maintenance. Think of the daily or nightly tasks that you do right now. They will still be there, even when your husband is not. Now think of all the jobs that your husband does around the house, many of these will fall to you now as well. My dad would probably smack Jeremy upside the head if he knew some of the tasks I did around the house that, in tradition, are the man’s job. On more than one occasion I’ve snaked drains, changed plumbing, switched out car batteries, heck I’ve even moved without the assistance of my husband. It’s important to know that just because your husband isn’t there day to day doesn’t mean his traditional tasks don’t need to be done.
Most of the family responsibilities fall to you
If you are a mother you will need to make adjustments to your roles and responsibilities to the family. The saying ‘Just wait until your father gets home,’ does not work in a trucking family. You will have to be the caregiver, the protector, the disciplinarian and the rule maker. It may be hard for some women to be the disciplinarian and rule maker, but if you leave these tasks to your husband your house will be ruled by the children. It took me some time to make this adjustment, but in the end it wasn’t as hard as I once thought. Another important thing to think about when it comes to the kids is the family schedule. Remember doctors appointments, after school activities, play dates, your own work schedule and everything else fall solely on you, most of the time. Make sure that you arrange your schedule in a way that works without help from your husband.