Let's see...what should my first positive thing be...
1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder!
I have said this over and over, and I will say it again because it is so true: absence makes the heart grow fonder. Most times when Steve is gone, I miss him. Just a couple trips ago, as a matter of fact, I texted him just hours after he left and said "you make me happy." He questioned my motivation for texting this, and the response was simple - thinking of him put a smile on my face.
When you are away from someone, you miss them. When you miss someone, it makes your love deeper. Since Steve is gone most every week, I like to think that our love continues to grow.
This goes the same for the kids. They miss Daddy when he is gone. There is nothing that warms my heart more than seeing the kids run up to Steve when he gets home from a trip. They miss him too...and they love on him when he is home.
Ben still anticipates Steve's arrival after a 4-day:
And after Steve puts his bags away, changes out of his uniform, and settles into home, the kids can't get enough:
2. You travel to some pretty kick ass places...for free!
If you have done the non-rev game, you understand the fact that nothing is really for free. In the non-rev game, the cost is gray hairs and probably a year off your life from the stress! But, when the non-rev game works out, it is SUCH a nice perk.
First Class to Paris:
Trips to Zurich Switzerland on the fly (pardon the pun). And, we took my sister with us!
Trips to warm Florida in the cold winter months:
Domestic First Class before the age of 2:
PS, I know this may be beyond company policy, but the only three seats available were up front.
How about a wife tagging along with her pilot husband on a long overnight in Vegas? We can do that...with airfare and hotel taken care of!
I have tagged along with Steve a total of three times now. And the same goes in reverse...when I travel for work, Steve will often times make his way to wherever I am. A couple should never underestimate the power of a little time away from your normal routine.
3. I work part-time:
When Steve first started out in the airlines, I was the breadwinner for a good number of years. However, now that he has been at this awhile, and is mainline, his paycheck can afford for me to only work 4 days a week. This allows me to feel balanced with my work and home life. As a mother, this balance is huge! Maybe it is the libra in me, or maybe it is the mother in me. Either way, it is very important and I am very thankful that I have the balance.
4. Bedroom Happenings:
I hope Steve doesn't kick my ass for mentioning this (since he is rather private about this topic), but I consider it a pro - and it is my duty as an honest pilot wife blogger to share this. When you missed your pilot like crazy during his 4-day, the evening that he comes home is considered a perk of the job. Anyone who has spent time away from their partner can relate. And pilot wives get to experience this every week. Well, ok...it doesn't happen the eve of every time he gets home, but it happens often enough. And let's not forget about the eve of him heading out, as this is the time to give a proper send off. That is about all I will elaborate on this topic...but just trust me that it is a perk *wink*
Kind of cool when you are driving down the road, and a 737 roars above you as it is about to land. You have a sense of pride that your husband can operate THAT machine.
You also have a huge sense of pride when you see your husband in action. Take the time when I loaded the kids (and my aunt) into the car on a lazy Sunday afternoon to see Daddy's plane take off. So cool!
Most times, people are impressed with pilots. Your heart swells a bit when you mention that your husband is a pilot, and that person's response is "oh my goodness, that is so cool!" I think any woman likes a strong man, and you do have a huge sense of pride when someone confirm that your husband is a strong man.
I, as a pilot wife and mother, do a lot when my pilot is away. This includes anything and everything from taking the trash out to mowing the grass to raising the children on your own to addressing water in the basement (Shit Happens)...the list is a mile long. I would be lying if I didn't say that all this "independence" wears on you. But, this post is all about positive and I will be positive about this.
Just the other day during my 4 hours of volunteering at the Children's Hospital, I was shadowing another volunteer since I am new to the "patient sit" program. While we were in the room of a little 4 month old boy, rocking him to sleep, we were chit-chatting and getting to know one another. The women's daughter, probably in her late 30s or so, lives on a farm, has two sons ages 5 and 7, and her husband is a long haul truck driver. The volunteer was going on and on about how much her daughter does: tends the gardens, cares for the animals, farmers markets, raising the boys...all while her husband is gone.
Sounds impressive, doesn't it? Sounds exhausting, does it? Us pilot wives live the same life! Listening to all the details of this women busy life, made me realize how much us pilot wives actually do! Hearing it come from someone else made me realize all the more that we DO carry a lot on our plate...and we do this week in and week out. We can do it all!
Fix a broken sump pump? I got this.
Care for the kids? I got this.
Organize our calendar? I got this.
Manage all appointments? I got this.
Do yard work? I got this.
Have a clean house when my pilot gets home? I got this.
Keep my husband happy? I got this. At least, I like to think I do.
7. Work stays at work:
I have to be reminded of this benefit, since I often take it for granted. When Steve is home, he is HOME - physically and mentally. Work does not come home with him. Work stays at work. When he is home he is a dedicated husband and father.
I will even take it one step further...Steve will bid his monthly schedule either at work or late at night after I have gone to sleep. Steve will do his computer training stuff at work during some sit-time. He will also do his Jeppesen revisions in the crew room, not at home. Steve will even study for his PCs when he has downtime at work or late after I have gone to sleep. And as far as union emails or webboards, he even watches that time around me.
I am lucky to have a husband that doesn't bring work home...that is committed fully to us when he is home, and not distracted with work this or work that.
I intentionally saved this one for last, as this very well may be the best. I am intentionally remaining vague on this, but Steve is currently taking a medication that disqualifies him from flying. Nothing serious...and nothing long term. This means Steve is home. This means I have a husband around every night for a good while. This makes me happy.
Last night as we were in bed, Family Guy was on the tv, my glasses were off, and I was snuggled up close to Steve. As I am sure most bloggers do, I often have an internal dialogue of words that I would like to put down on "paper". As I was lay there the internal dialogue started. He was supposed to be on a trip, but wasn't. He was next to me. He was right next to me, warm and strong. I loved him being there, especially considering the alternative. I really appreciated Steve being there.
Rewind back to Saturday evening. I had a college friend come up for the evening. Steve was supposed to be working, but wasn't due to the meds. The kids were watching a movie inside, and the three of us were outside on the cool, crisp night huddled around a warm fire in the fire pit.
I looked across to Steve and said "I am really glad you are here." I actually think I said this to him two times. I really was glad he was there. My life is more complete when he is with me. And when he is with me I appreciate it. I cherish it. I try my best to not take his time with us for granted. I try my best to embrace it. When you have a husband that comes and goes in your life, you do tend to enjoy the time he is home more. How does the saying go? "You don't know what you are missing until it is gone" Well, us pilot wives get reminded on a constant bases of the things that we miss, which makes us appreciate it all the more when our pilot is back.
Again, I am purposefully keeping this blog post positive. I am sure a lot of pilot wives are reading this and thinking "well, good point, BUT..." I realize that there are a lot of "buts" that go along with this points. I am ignoring those right now.
If you are having a low day, come back to this post as a reminder that with the bad comes a lot of good. There are a lot of pros being married to a pilot, and when focusing on the positive only good things can come from that.