hard marriage

For the Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours: How To Thrive and Not Just Survive At Home

When Brian was signed on at his previous job, we were told the hours were 8AM-4:30PM. Once he started working, we quickly realized {through lots of arguments and cancelled plans} that overtime was just a part of his job. We made the decision that as long as his job could support our family, it was better for him to be at work for long periods of time so that I could stay home with our babies, than it was for us both to be gone from 8-5 every day. 

The hard truth was that moping and complaining about it or trying to change things out of anger wouldn't do anything good. It did a lot more good when I chose joy in my life, and no good at all when I gave in to my flesh by griping and allowing depression in.

I continually reminded myself of these truths:

  • It pleases God when I choose to praise when circumstances do not make it easy.

  • It pleases my husband when I choose joy and am happy with him and his job.

  • It pleases God when I please my husband.

So how do you handle life with small children and being a stay-at-home mom with a husband who is mostly gone? Here are my key choices that make a big difference. 

Your husband's days off call for some major family time! 

Turn off the world and tune into what our purpose is- family. Depending on what you're feeling is best for your family that day, you can either hang out at home or spend the entire day out, bypassing naps and soaking up every hour. Involve the kids in everything, even if it takes a little longer to move through the day.

Take advantage of technology when your husband is working.

If possible, make it a point to let the kids FaceTime with their daddy a couple work days per week. Be careful not to tell the kids about it until it is actually happening, just in case it doesn't work out. It is also a great idea to send him tons of pictures and videos of whatever we are doing that day. That way he is brought a little joy in his day and feels like he missed less special moments.


Let go of expectations. 

I have to let go of all my expectations about when he will be home, if he could maybe get home early and help me with the bedtime routine, if we could maybe make it to a social event we were invited to, etc. When I hold onto these expectations {because sometimes, they do happen} I am always completely let down if it doesn't end up happening how I wanted. Then I'm in a terrible mood and can't love on and serve my hard-working hubby when he gets home. 

Try to go out for coffee with a friend once a week, every week, no matter what.

You have to take care of yourself, and you have to make sure your well is full so that you can continuously and constantly pour into your family. Get out of the house, sip a delicious cup of coffee that you didn't have to make, and talk to another adult. Perfection! 


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Plan a monthly date night out, and some date nights in, on the weeks in between. 

It is extra important for a couple with crazy schedules to have alone time! Go out to one of your favorite restaurants and enjoy the benefits of your husband's working so much with a delicious meal that you didn't have to cook. Sit close to one another, hold hands, touch, kiss, and act like a dating couple. When you stay in, cozy up on the couch and act the same way together. As long as you are without kids and enjoying one another's company, the goal is met, and the marriage is strengthened. 


Plan for the occasional nap during the week. 

Try to let go of the chores and lay down on your couch a couple times a week during the kids' naps. It is so refreshing and will really help you get through that second half of the day.

Have a routine to use as a guideline. 

Create a list of daily and weekly must do's- the things that keep your family functioning smoothly. When you don't have your hubby home to wrestle with the kids while you catch up, a routine is a lifesaver!

Don't let the work schedule become a "pause" button for your family. 

Take the kids to do fun things by yourself; don't wait for hubby's day off. Know that you will do something else fun on his day off, but his schedule can not have you waiting around at home constantly. I know my limits and where I can and can't handle them on my own, and I live my life as their mom.

Try to keep yourself busy.

Whether that means making an effort to get out of the house at least once a day, or just being productive at home, it's important to have some form of motivation to get going. Stay busy and don't let yourself just hang around getting depressive about your husband's schedule. 




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