Sometimes I feel like I complain too much about being a pilot’s wife. He’s gone a lot, I have to do everything while he’s gone, blah, blah, ad nauseam. There are a lot of things that are difficult about it for sure. Sometimes it really sucks. And it feels good to be able to bitch about it every once in a while (especially to those who are going through the same things). But there are definitely some perks, too. I wanted to list some things I love about it, mostly so that I can tell myself I’m not a bitter old hag who just gripes all the time. Plus, I need something to refer to when I’m exhausted and everything’s a mess and I’m about to pull out my hair.
I must be in a good mood or something…
Even though it’s harder now with kids, being able to skip through security (we’ve had great luck with my husband taking us through the employee line and asking TSA nicely – they’ve always been happy to let us go through with him) and then get on a flight is pretty nice. Last October we took a trip to Disney World and had a great time! Of course standby is not for the faint of heart – there are plenty of times we’ve been stuck at an airport. But when it works out it can be awesome!
Before kids, we used to hop on flights all the time – hell, one time we spontaneously flew to Santa Barbara because we felt like having a date on the beach! Ahh, those were the days. I can’t wait for my youngest (she’s one) to get just a little older so we can do more family traveling together.
Doing What I Want
Oh, yes. I am a lover of me time, if you haven’t noticed. So when my husband is gone and I finally get the kids to bed – I look around like a kid in a candy store. Where to start?! I can do whatever I want! The remote is mine, I can eat whatever I feel like eating, the world is mine for the taking! Reading a magazine with no interruptions is heaven. Add a glass of wine and it’s even better! Sure, I miss my husband, but I still have things I like to do that do not include him. I love being able to catch up on “my” stuff. Plus, I really don’t want to sit around missing him all the time – if I dwell on it, it gets lonely fast. So instead I focus on things that keep me busy that I also happen to love (photography, reading, taking the kids to the park, going to friends’ houses) and the time flies!
Having Weekdays Off Together
It’s awesome to be able to go out to eat when the restaurants are nice and quiet, or to be able to go grocery shopping or to Costco when it’s not a zoo. My son loves when Daddy is able to go to his school functions and parties, he lights up as soon as his dad walks into his classroom. Having weekends off is great too, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to get things done while most people are at work. Not to mention, traffic is usually better as long as you avoid rush hour.
One of my favorite parts of my husband coming home is that he takes over with the kids. Since I’ve had them all myself for days and he’s had uninterrupted sleep in a hotel (save for the occasional bad night due to construction/crying babies/other noises), he gets up with them and lets me sleep. Sure, things may not be done exactly how I do them, but they still get done. The kids are fed and happy when I wake up, and when I am well rested, it’s guaranteed to be a good day. And since I’ve taken care of everything while he was gone, I REALLY appreciate (and tell him that) when he helps out with dinner, bath time, and bedtime. This in turn (feeling appreciated) makes him happy to help. Win win!
Sense of Pride
I know you’ve felt it, too. Sometimes it’s when you catch a glimpse of them in their uniform. Or if you’ve been a passenger while they fly and you know that they are the one behind the controls. Or if you’ve ever heard them on the radios during their flight (if you haven’t done this yet, go to www.liveatc.net and listen! There’s also an app you can get for your phone. It’s pretty sexy actually – your husband can thank me later. Haha.)
The sense of pride that swells up in your chest is like falling in love all over again. That’s right ladies, that’s your man. Flying an airplane. I don’t care how long they’ve been doing it, it doesn’t make it less cool. This is why movies are made about it and people still react when they find out what he does for a living. There is still something magical about being able to fly a giant machine as a career. (Even if it gets old for all of us sometimes.) So when you’re walking with him at the airport, or meeting new friends and they give you that momentary look of awe, try to forget just for a minute about all the crap that comes with it and bask in the moment. Milk it for all it’s worth. We need as many of those moments as possible.
Whenever things get hard, or overwhelming, there is nothing like being able to turn to a community of women who know exactly what you’re going through. There are wonderful groups on Facebook that are available, and some are even broken down by airline. Being able to vent your frustrations to women who understand is a great relief, because most of our (well-meaning but often misinformed) family and friends don’t really get it. Yes, they know your husband leaves for days (or weeks) at a time, but throw out words like bid, furlough, line, deadhead, legs, overnight, or turns and you’ll often be met with blank stares. I am forever grateful for the pilot wives I have met and who have become friends of mine. They help me not feel crazy, they help with giving ideas, advice, support and so much more. It’s a huge blessing to have other women get it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love having my husband home. But our relationship has been this way from the beginning, and it’s one of the reasons we thrive. When we get time apart, we get to do our own thing. We both stay busy with work, and of course taking care of the kids while he’s gone takes time and energy and focus. But it really makes me appreciate when he’s home! It makes it exciting that he’s coming back from a trip, and my kids get excited too (although the one year old pretty much gets excited about anything – ooh, milk!). But things never get boring around here, it’s never the same old, same old. We always have plenty to talk about, that’s for sure. And ladies, let’s be honest. There’s nothing like some good ‘ol coming home lovin’ when he gets back. Having time apart lets the anticipation build. And anticipation is a very good thing – we’ve been together for over a decade and there are still some nights that clothes get ripped off. Definitely a perk. Of course there are nights we’re both too exhausted to even think about it – every couple has those. But knowing that the spark is still there makes us both feel like we’ve still got it. I think we’d have to work a little harder for it if we saw each other every single night.
What do you think? Have anything you’d like to add to the list? Comment below! I always love hearing what you have to say. 🙂
The Flight Wife