It can be very difficult to have a truck driver as a husband or wife. They may be gone for days or even weeks at a time, leaving you at home to keep everything going smoothly. This can be hard enough when it is just the two of you, but if you add in children, it can be even more challenging for both of you.
That being said, you fell in love with a truck driver (or supported his or her decision to change careers), so you can't back out now. You can just do whatever you can to take care of your family, home, relationship, and yourself during this time. Here are some tips to help you survive at home while you significant other is out on the road.
Learn About the Trucking Industry
One of the best ways to support your spouse is to learn about the job and the industry. It might even help if you are able to ride along so you understand what the job entails; some trucking companies offer spouse and/or children rider programs so be sure to inquire. Though you may think that it is just driving around all day, you might not understand the stress of sitting in traffic, loading and unloading cargo, and dealing with strict regulations all day can bring.
Most truck drivers have somewhere to be at a certain time and it can be hard to do that, especially when they are stuck in traffic or waiting on a load that is late. It isn't an easy job and it can take a toll on a person. You will need to learn to respect that.
If you find that the hours or the time away from home simply do not work for your trucking family, there are plenty of other trucking jobs available that may better suit your family's needs. Niche jobs boards, such as CDLjobs.com, offer trucking families a means to search for driving jobs that offer family time and greater peace of mind.
Make Your Relationship Important
It’s very important to make your relationship important when you spend days and weeks away from your spouse. The best way to do this is by spending time communicating. Even something as simple as sending small text messages to each other throughout the day will help to make you feel connected despite the physical distance.
You should also try to schedule time in every day to talk over the phone. You may even want to video chat so you can see each other. You need to stay involved in each other's lives so that you feel married, even though you are not together every day.
When your significant other is home from their truck driving job, it is important to spend time together. Date nights are essential for a feeling of wellbeing in a relationship.
There are weeks when you have to be both mom and dad to your children and it can be tiring. You also have to do everything around the house, both your normal tasks and the ones that your spouse normally does.
This can get tiring so you need to make sure that you get help. Rely on family members or close friends who live nearby. Let them pitch in and keep your children for an hour or two so you can get some things done. If they want to invite you over for dinner, don't make excuses. Think about a homemade meal that you don't have to cook!
If something breaks and you don't have time to (or can't) fix it, hire someone that can. You don't need to watch hours of videos on YouTube just to save a few dollars on a leaky faucet! Don't have time to clean this week? Hire a teenager who is trying to save money for college. Don't want to mow the lawn? Maybe the same teenager would be willing to help.
Take care of yourself
Though you may feel like you don't have time, you need to take care of yourself. It is important that you eat properly, exercise, and make sure that you get enough sleep. If not, you aren't going to be able to take care of everything that needs to be done.
When your children go to school, make sure that you exercise. If they aren't in school yet, use their nap time wisely. This is time for you and is just as important as the laundry that needs to be washed.
Make it a goal to get to bed at a certain time each night, no matter what. You need to get enough sleep so you wake up refreshed and ready to start the day. If not, the whole day may turn into a struggle.
Don't be afraid to ask for help to give yourself free time. You need time to unwind too. Let your children play next door and read your book for a few minutes or catch up with friends over lunch.
Get a New Hobby or Rediscover and Old One
Your whole life can't be all about your spouse and his or her trucking career so it is important to find something that you like to do. Do you enjoy reading, painting, or crafting? Do you like hiking and taking long walks outside?
Whatever your passion is, spend time doing the things that you love to do so you are fulfilled outside of your life with your spouse.
Don't have a hobby yet? Give yourself a chance to try a few new things until you find something that you really enjoy.
It can be hard to stay positive when you are home by yourself all the time. However, you need to remember that your spouse is out working and providing for you and your family the way that he or she knows how.
So, instead of crying about the distance, dream about what you are going to do when you finally see your spouse again. Maybe you are going to go out to celebrate his or her trip home or spend time on the couch in your comfortable clothes. Whatever your plans are for when your spouse returns, stay excited and remember they will return soon.
Being a trucker's spouse isn't always easy. You have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility while he or she is away. However, it doesn't have to feel that way. Don't be afraid to get help, work on your relationship, and stay positive. These steps can go a long way to making you feel a whole lot better about the situation.