I'm hardly the first person to have a spouse who's a jet-setter, and not the first to be home alone with a child while the other is away, but for me it was definitely an adjustment. When my husband and I first started seeing each other, I knew that he would do some travelling. He usually is attending conferences, and at the time it was about two a year, mostly within Canada.
Anyone who travels knows it's expensive, and while his flight was usually arranged through work, the rest we had to pay up front and claim back later. It was never too much of an issue until we got to the UK.
His job has been super busy. He's a physicist and the list of projects he's now involved in has grown from when he first arrived in Scotland. This translates into more work meetings and conferences, which when your collaboration is an international group, means you're off to this place and that quite frequently. He probably travels once a month, 6 months out of the year for the last year and a half or so, which equates to about 9 or 10 trips he's taken.
That's a lot when the bulk of your travel expenses (excluding flight) are paid out of your bank account. Ahhh the wonders that are debit/credit cards. They allow you the flexibility of booking/ordering online, but you have the finite amount of money that comes with a normal bank account. Now, while these aren't exactly new, they are to me.
Except when we're using our (very) limited disposable income to pay for his travel expenses. It resulted in some really tight months and a grocery budgeting exercise that left me wondering how we ate as well as we did on so little (much creativity needed). Thankfully, we've got our banking all sorted out (that's another post), and he now has a credit card that is used solely for travelling. Yay!
The first week long trips were difficult for me because I was acutely aware that I was alone in a strange country by myself. I still didn't know many people and since I had no access to our bank account, I was eyeing the cash we allotted for the week with a slight panic when I wondered what I'd do if something happened and I needed more, or if in some strange nightmarish scenario something happened to him and I had to somehow, uh, survive? Yes, there were some crazy thoughts that went through my head in my homesick depressed months when he was away. Eventually, we got into a rhythm with the travelling and I adjusted to being alone with my toddler 24/7.
This trip was a bit more difficult for me than usual. I was low on food and my new PIN for my debit card hadn't arrived. In a true comedy of errors, my online banking stuff arrived on Saturday, so I could order groceries online. Hubby was due home on Sunday and I knew after flying from the US back to Glasgow, he'd be tired and we'd not want to do the whole challenge of buying food and chasing after a toddler (who really dislikes being in her stroller in shops).
So I went to order and then really needed a nap, so finished afterwards. Problem with doing that was that I forgot to book the delivery and when I went back, there were non available on Sunday (or at least none before dinner). Damn. So I took off a bunch of stuff and then set the delivery for Monday, thining we could pick up the fresh essentials on Sunday. I managed to scrap together a decent dinner but the fridge was looking more bare than I'd like.
That night, hubby texted me to tell me that due to engine problems, his flight was cancelled.
He was delayed 24 hours.
Which was why I was so glad that the online banking stuff had come. I ordered dinner from one of the take out places, and all was fine.
Well, almost. I was tired and it had been a long week. I was really missing him and that anticipation was deflated so quickly after I got that text. I was pretty upset for awhile before I went to bed, but calmed myself down since I knew I had another day to tackle before he was home.
Come Monday morning, hubby had two very happy people throwing their arms around him. It's the last trip for awhile, and now our attention is on renewing our Visas so we don't get kicked out of the country come September.
I find all these complications slowly grating on me and my patience. I want things straight forward, even if in execution they end up far more complicated. In the end though, you just have to go along with things, because fighting it can be a waste of energy and much needed sanity.