Four years ago Bryan decided it was time for a job change and he took a job as a Penetration Tester, even though he will swear that’s not the exact job title. He’ll tell you he’s a Senior Information Security Consultant, but don’t believe him. Penetration Tester, actually Traveling Penetration Tester is what it’s really called. (If you’re curious, ask him.) Anyway, this job involves him traveling for work roughly every other week and usually Monday through Wednesday. Having done this ‘wife of a traveling husband’ gig for four years now, our lives look different than before but we’ve found a rhythm that works for us.
It took me some time to get used to him being gone, or more accurately to get used to him coming home all the time. Leaving didn’t bother me as much as adjusting to him coming back. He always came back. The kids and I would find a new rhythm when he was gone and at first it was hard to “let” him come right back into the swing of things. Another odd thing I didn’t anticipate is that for the first several months I had to keep reminding myself that I wasn’t mad at him. Going a few days without talking much tricked my brain into thinking we were fighting. When he came home and jumped back into our life I had to consciously fight the urge to give him the cold shoulder. It wasn’t until after a work trip where he picked up on the upset vibes and asked, “Did I do something?” that I realized that he didn’t do something and I wasn’t actually mad at him. I am a talk-it-out processor and I just missed having him home to listen to me talk about my day.
The kids and I are so in the habit of him traveling that it would be more awkward for us now if he weren’t gone every so often. Cade knows when Bunny is gone, the dog can sleep in his bed. Colin doesn’t go to sleep without sending Bunny a good night text, even if we did just Facetime, and Bryson looks forward to riding barefoot in the car on those mornings when we drop Cade off at school. The boys know they have to help me with dinner, they don’t have to pick up their socks off the couch until Wednesday night, and their questions get answered a little slower when it’s just me. We’ve made adjustments and those adjustments have just become part of our life.
People ask me if it’s hard to have Bryan gone a lot. If I were doing this alone, then I’m sure it would be, but we have family and friends that have made this season of life smoother. The boys have seen our village help me during baseball season to get everyone to practice and games that are at different fields but at the same time. They’ve seen people come over and fix things that couldn’t wait until Bryan got home, and they’ve had my friends take them out for ice cream when they knew I needed a kid free hour. Letting people be a part of our lives has been beneficial and comforting. I’m thankful to have had this opportunity for my boys to see the value of doing life with others, even if it’s awkward.