There are a couple sites that I frequent that are geared towards being the wife of a pilot. At times there are women who are either dating or married to a pilot and have questions. So, they describe their problems and we all respond with our experiences.
Lately there were two things brought up that really got me thinking. One wife of a pilot said that knowing what she does now, she would not have married her husband because of the job. I just don't get it. I mean, I married Steve when he was a pilot knowing fully what I was getting into. Yes, raising children with a traveling husband is a lot harder than one could ever imagine. Case in point, I always said that I wanted 3-4 kids, and now I feel very satisfied with our two beautiful children. I am satisfied since I know how hard it is to care for them when Steve is gone, and frankly I don't know if I could keep my head above the water with another one.
This also makes me think about her husband. How would you feel if you knew your spouse would not marry you based on your job. This makes me sad. I know Steve doesn't hate his job, but I know that Steve hates every minute he is away from home. And, this will only get worse the older the kids get. Now, include the added pressure of a wife who may not be so happy about your job, and you get an unhappy situation.
For the record, I hate every minute that Steve is gone...I often wish that he had a different job, one that would allow for him to be home every night and to be home for every holiday, and birthday, and weekend party, ect. But, this is our life and you know what, life ain't so bad. We have a happy marriage, two beautiful children, a nice house, soon to be two nice houses (I think I need to bury a statue of St. Joseph soon!), two fun dogs, supportive families, and our health!
As much as I hate him being gone, there are times when I love that he is a pilot. There is something about a man in uniform, about someone who has so much power at his hands, about someone who is well traveled. One recent prideful moments was on our last flight. I was sitting in 5A and Steve was in the exit row (I think row 14). As our flight was boarding, and after Steve passed and told me he was in the exit row, I was telling the man sitting next to me that I hate the exit row. I don't want the responsibility of having to open that door. His response was "well, let's hope your husband can open the door". I told him, "well, he better...he flies this plane". That is pretty darn cool!
The other recent topic that got me thinking about this blog post was a wife that mentioned that she stayed emotionally disconnected from her husband when he is home because doesn't want to feel hurt when he is gone. She was asking for advice on how to manage these feelings, more or less. My advice was to love hard when he is home and dream of him when he is on the road. I try my hardest to enjoy each and every minute when Steve is home. Yes, we all have our moments, but I try.
Take last night for example, he had to run 3 miles (he is training for a marathon in September), and I decided to ride along with him in the bike with the kids in tow.
Granted, the excursion didn't quite keep us together (I had to stop a couple times) but at least we made the effort. We got home and, after scooping dog poo, Steve and Ben played baseball, football and hide-and-seek in the front yard. I sat with Cecilia on the front stoop and we just watched them play. These are the moments that I cherish and will forever hold in my heart. When Steve is home, he is totally focused on us, and this is one perk of having the job he has.
So, to answer my own question "knowing what I know now, would I have married him?" My answer is yes! And I would do it over and over and over again.