what I will and will not do as a pilot wife

I like to think that I am supportive of Steve being a pilot.  I do things around the house, so that he doesn't have to deal with this stuff when he is home.  He is spending a lot of time training for the marathon, and when he is home he shouldn't have to be dealing with a honey-do list all the time.  So, I help out where I can.

Other ways I help out: 99% of the time the pantry is filled with items he can take on the road with him.  99% of the time the laundry is done so that he can pack his bags easily for a trip.  I still haven't figured out how to get wheel-well grease off the back of his shirts, but that is a different blog post.  I even do his uniform pants in a way that he doesn't have to press them.  If he is running short on time, and asks me, I will starch and iron his shirt for work.  I know how to put his epaulettes on, and I know how to hang his badge and tie around the neck, and the pen in his shirt pocket...all ready for work.

There are, however, things that I just don't do, and probably won't ever do. 

***** I don't pack his bag.  He is the one on the trip, so that is his territory, not mine.  I know some pilot wives do this for their husband, but even my controlling self just doesn't get it.  I don't always know where he is going, so I wouldn't know if I should pack pants or shorts.  Swim trunks? Running shoes? Flip flops?  He can do it .  Plus, at this point, he can pack his bag in a matter of minutes.  So, it doesn't take much time at all.

Now, I will pack for him for our vacations.  As a matter of fact, when we went to FL to try to see the Endeavor launch, I packed ONE suitcase, only weighing 51 pounds, for 2 adults and 2 children.  Yes, I am that good at packing.  I should clarify that: I am that good at planning clothes, Steve is good at actually packing them into the suitcase.  Plus, Steve got home the night before we left at 11:30p, so the last thing he was thinking about was packing clothes.

*****  The other thing I am hands-off about is his schedule.  I tell him the dates I would like for him to have off (like  when we are going to an amusement park with my sister and her family), but he is the one that actually bids. 

Also, he is also the one that watches open time.  I am SO clueless about his bidding/schedule system.  Scratch that, when Steve tells me got his schedule, I can log in to figure out where his schedule is posted.  I will reference that once a month, on the day it comes out, and mark up my calendar at work. 

I know there are pilot wives out there that watch open time and do trip trades.  I think Steve would kick my ass to the moon if I tried messing with his schedule.  Again, I am clueless, so I would trade him for a worse trip, by accident, of course.  It wouldn't be pretty.

His schedule is his territory.  I stay away.  Even if he asks about a trip trade or something, my response is always "do what you want to do.  I will support whatever you want."  It is his time away, not mine.

*****  As a pilot wife, I also do physical labor that should be left to dudes.  I like to think I am strong, physically, but Steve is stronger.  The other day, while watching the kids mind you, I had to take 4 loads of paver bricks to the back shed....down a big hill.  No joke, at one point the weight of the cart was too much for the hill, and the cart started going faster and faster.  I had to jump out of the way, and the cart finally crashed into a tree. Physics at its best.  That is why I was a business major in college.

Our old sidewalk was, in my opinion, a lazy way of installing a paver walk.  Since it was not installed correctly, the pavers all buckled or sunk.  Plus, it was too close to the house.

The bricks had to all be removed so that we could get a new sidewalk, as well as raise the grade:

Yes, Steve did most of the job over the last couple weeks.  Well, my nephew also had his hand in it since he was picking up the bricks to look for bugs.  But the last 4 loads I had to do.  It was a bitch of a job, but it had to be done since Steve wasn't home.  I will do things like this if it means saving money, and getting the house ready for a big project.

This list could go on and on, but the packing/laudry thing, as well as the schedule thing, are the two top points.  The sidewalk thing is just top of mind right now. Plus, at this point so much of my life is doing what I have to do, and I don't even think about the fact that it may or may not pertain to being the wife of a pilot.


  1. Nice job hauling the bricks! :) Any suggestions for how to handle the situation when I want something fixed but don't have the skills and the pilot wants to fix this something himself as opposed to hiring someone...meaning that I have to wait for it to get fixed until he's home ...when it could have been done 2 weeks ago if I would have just called a professional?? :P

  2. I am super wife with those bricks, I tell you what! It was the biggest bitch of a job to do.

    My only advice about pending projects...hire someone yourself :) We JUST had this issue, regarding the running fridge. I tried to clean out the bottom area of all the dust and dog hair, but failed. It took Steve 2 weeks to get it gone. Oh, and I constantly had to remind him.

  3. You are a great wife. Can't believe you moved all the bricks, that would have waited tii my husband got home at our house. Just a question for you.. You mentioned you stock your pantry of food that steve takes with him, what types of food does he usually pack. Food is such an expensive issue, and we are still trying to figure out the best. Regional FO salary doesn't leave much in the budget for lots of out to eats. Any suggestions??

  4. What a lucky man he is!
    (On whites you can try rubbing in liquid dishwasher detergent, then let soak in bucket with water... Might want to test first. Used to get all sorts of 'unknown' stains out of kids school uniform shirts. Be very careful around colours though!)

  5. I will have to try that trick...I will let you know how it turns out!


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