Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How do you prevent aviation lifestyle burnout?

Calling all pilot wives!  I have an interactive post for you all.


This question was asked to me via email, and I wanted to ask all my readers: How do you prevent aviation lifestyle burnout?


** When you are living far from family, work full-time (or whatever your circumstance are), and your husband is gone half your life...how are you manage it all?

** What are the things that make your life run smoothly, more than just getting a baby sitter?

** What are your organization tricks? 

** What is your strategy when your pilot misses important days?

** What are your tricks for the flexibility needed in our lifestyle?

I look forward to reading your responses!


(because this blog is rather basic, simply answer this question by posting a comment)

5 comments:

  1. Before he departs, I try to have meals at least planned if not ready, dishes washed and laundry done. I always get as much done during the day that I can as far as upkeep and getting kids' clothes pulled the night before lunches and bags packed and everything ready to run in the morning so that once everyone is in bed, I can have some down time. If he's gone and I haven't gotten dishes done or everything picked up or laundry folded or whatever, I make myself leave it for the next day because if I keep go go go going I tend to get super cranky and feel like I'm just an empty shell, you know? So, after stories and bedtime, I take some time for myself to read or plan things out for the next days or weeks if he's going to be gone that long or I watch a girly movie that I wouldn't get to watch with him home (No, my darling husband, I do NOT want to watch Flight with you!!) Ha!
    If he misses important things in the kids lives, we try to Facetime and they chat about it or if it's a holiday we just make a big deal about getting TWO so we celebrate when it is and when he gets back. Also, I am a super big people pleaser and I have had to learn to unapologetically decline things if I just CANNOT do it. If we miss birthday parties or a soccer practice or a school event, I do my best to make it up to the kids, but the hardest part is a lot of people just don't understand this life and they get all bent out of shape when you can't make it somewhere. I've learned to just let things go sometimes and try to roll with things. Also, whenever he comes home, that night is Date Night and we sit and chat and sip and snack together to re-connect and bring each other up to date on things. One hard thing is that we don't have it in the budget this year for a sitter so that's been a bit of a juggle but hopefully in the coming years and as the kids get older that will all become a non-issue. The largest things I have learned that keep my sanity is the Me Time and not caring if people understand or not. I know I'm not a flaky person and we can only do what we can do. It's comforting knowing I'm not nuts and that pilot family life is crazy! Thanks for sharing all you do!

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  2. I don't have kids so I think my balancing act is a little easier. However, I do have a very busy and demanding job so even getting home in time for the fur babies we currently have is a challenge. When he is gone the gym is too, and so is most after-work activities. But, when he is home I want to spend time with him so those things usually get left behind a lot. I think I am still a rookie Pilot Wife (2 years) but have already learned a lot on how to cope, stay organized, and not dwell on the things he misses. My current "Go To" when I am out of options is to look to veteran pilot wives. They motivate me knowing they have been doing this for 15+ years. I used to rely on my husband telling me when he was gone/home to plan things, now his trips are blocked out in my Outlook calendar at work so I never forget. For a guy who has his life run by departures/arrivals/schedules/etc., he sucks at it in his personal life!
    Some friends truly understand that our life is different and sometimes we just can't be there, or we can't commit to doing something. Others make me feel bad and the last thing I want to do is lose people from my life when I have enough alone time as it is (true most of that time is from 8:30-10 pm during the week...but it still gets quiet). Hubby does an amazing job at picking up where I left off when he gets home from a trip. He cleans, does laundry, buys his food (for his trips - not extra food for me, but at least I don't have to buy his food on my way home from work), takes the dogs on runs, and tries to make my life easier for those few days. I'll check back in when we have some future pilots in our house...but right now just the thought of that is overwhelming. But, then I look to all the other fabulous pilot wives and know I can do that too!

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  3. ** When you are living far from family, work full-time (or whatever your circumstance are), and your husband is gone half your life...how are you manage it all?
    We do live far from family, I do work full-time (as a college professor so some flexibility), and we have a 4 year old and a 1 year old and two dogs. Sometimes I have no idea how I manage it all. ;) I take it a day at a time honestly and try to stay positive. There are just times when I need an extra set of adult hands. I do the best I can can. Caffeine in the mornings helps. My house is not as clean as it should be-that is the thing that often goes by the wayside-just not enough time in the day. My husband does a phenomenal amount when home-cleaning, cooking, laundry, yard work. He really tries to lighten my load.

    ** What are the things that make your life run smoothly, more than just getting a baby sitter?
    Having a general schedule that we follow each day. Staying active-getting outside daily for an hour min is good for all of us. Teaching my 4 year old to help mom with little things-putting away her laundry, helping pick up toys, clearing her plate after meals, etc.

    ** What are your organization tricks?
    I try to stay organized regarding meal planning /shopping for the week ahead on the weekend. On weekdays, I do as much as I can the night before-making lunches, picking out clothes, showering.

    ** What is your strategy when your pilot misses important days?
    We take pictures or skype. If it's a holiday, we celebrate it twice.

    ** What are your tricks for the flexibility needed in our lifestyle?
    Don't worry too much about keeping a perfectly clean house. Spend as much time enjoying my kids as I can. Talk to friends/family when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Just keep going forward. Taking me time even if it's just reading, online shopping, etc.

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  4. We are very far from our family in canada. my husbands flying has taken us to hong kong, so we are really on our own. Fortunately our friends here are also pilots and their wives, so we all kind of get the life style. the ladies meet for coffee or lunches or even just to do errands together when the hubbies are away, and we try to plan events around rosters and sleeping schedules. We don't have any kids yet either so right now it's just balancing our schedules between the two of us! his company sends out their roster via email with a download option, so it goes striaght onto our macbook and then syncs to our cell phones and iPads, so I am never without roster! When it comes to any kind of holiday or vacation, family and friends often need commitments more ahead than we can give, so we just stopped committing to things like that, and if we can make it on standby and his days off allow it, we do! If not, no harm or foul, because we didn't commit!

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  5. Hi , I'm about to be married to a pilot in June although we have been together for 7 .5 years (6 of which he has been flying for). I am so glad that I found this blog. Even though ee live in Atlanta, a huge Delta hub, I have no pilot wife friends and it's very hard for my friends to understand my lifestyle.

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