Can't turn it OFF

Last weekend, Steve went on a guys lake weekend.  As I explained in this blog post, I was trying my hardest not to be sour about it.  We are now a couple days past the lake weekend, and I am still quite sour.

I know Steve deserve these weekends.  It is tradition.  How dare I get in the way of this great weekend of his.  I keep telling myself these thoughts, but it isn't helping.

Monday afternoon I was talking with a co-worker about it, and we started on a train of thought.  Sunday, when the kids and I got home from our weekend at an amusement park, Steve was sleeping on the couch. Surprise, surprise.  He woke up as we entered the house, and rose up pretty quickly to welcome us.

All you pilot wives know how cranky the pilot can be when he is sleep deprived, so you can totally sense the mood I was encountered by.  He was doing his best, but I would tell his mood was off.  I hated that his weekend wasn't one of those "what happens in X stays in X."  Because he sure brought X home with him.

Like a good pilot wife, I bit my lip.  Steve played with the kids, and I headed out to the screened porch to enjoy a couple drinks.

The world was good for a brief moment.  I thought that the worst was behind us, and I could move on.

I was wrong.

I forget the exact chain of events, but at one point the kids and I went outside to outside.  The kids were getting their helmets on, and, as typical for Cici, she started throwing a fit.

Steve lost it on her.

I lost it on Steve.

How dare he be away from the kids for two nights, and come home and scold her for throwing a fit, all within an hour of being together again.  Shouldn't he be recharged after this weekend? Shouldn't he be a better father and spouse after being recharged?

The previous day, I was the one that battled 90 degree heat, and heavy crowds, at an amusement park.

What was Steve doing on Saturday afternoon, after fixing the A/C on the boat?  Pool bar.  I was the one dealing with Cici and her sassy attitude for two days straight, in hot temperature to boot, yet once he had the first taste of her fit he loses it.

And here is the train of thought my co-worker and I was talking about...when Steve comes in and out of our lives so much, I expect him to step into our line and our life.  This doesn't always happen.  And when it doesn't happen, it sucks.  When he interrupts our schedule, this is where I think "go back where you came from."  Sometimes life is easier when it is just the three of us.  The kids and I are in our groove.  We get each other.  We know each other.  It is us 100% of the time.  Most times he steps into our groove...our line, our life.  But, sometimes he doesn't.  When he doesn't step in our groove, and actually agitates it, that is when it sucks the most.

After talking it out with my co-worker, I thought maybe that would help.  Maybe the fact that Steve didn't step into our line is why I was still sour.  Nope. Talking it out didn't help.  Still sour.

Monday evening was full.  I got home late from a busy day of work, and was able to unwind a bit.  I did some yoga while the kids watched something on Netflix.  Then we went to the bank, then the store to get a necklace for me, and then to the grocery store.  Only to come home quickly and change before Cici's last soccer practice/game of the season.  Once we got home, it was about 8p.  It was a quick shower for the kids, and I made a mish-mosh dinner for the kids.  Mish-mosh is basically a bunch of random quick things.  Tonight they had baguette with hummus, cucumbers, and cantaloupe.  As I was preparing Cici's second helping of baguette with hummus, I had another thought about why I am still sour.

Perhaps I am still sour because there is no OFF button for a mother, more so a pilot wife.

I am always ON.  I am ON both when Steve is gone and home.  When he is gone, I have to be ON.  When he is home, I think that I am just so conditioned to being ON that I can't flip a switch.

As a matter of fact, Sunday night after the kids settled into their pajamas and started watching a movie, I headed into the kitchen.  Steve grabbed me, gave me a hug, and asked me if I was going to be able to unwind "because I had been wound up all evening."

Yeah, I was fucking wound up.  I got home from a busy weekend, to relax for a second, and then it was ON the rest of the evening.  We went on a walk.  I drank salty water from our broken water softener, which then prompted a trip to Target to buy six gallons of water.  Then it was home to make dinner for the kids. Even though Steve said the we would go out before he left for the weekend, as a way to make Sunday easier for me.  Then it was a load of laundry. Then it was pajamas. Then it was cleaning up. Then I asked Steve to put the kids down.  I think that is when I finally "unwound."

So, maybe that is why I am still sour...because Steve CAN unwind. Because he has the ability to turn it all OFF.  I can't do that.

Steve was texting me Friday night and Saturday morning and was actually responding to all the pictures I was sending him.  Then, his responses stopped.  He was obviously involved in something else.  I used to be bothered when Steve would be unresponsive to my texts when he was on the road, but then a wise pilot told me that I shouldn't expect responses.  Just send them, and know he loves them, and not expect a response. I have grown to be okay with Steve being unresponsive on the road.  But, I wanted a fucking response this time around, and I wasn't getting them.  This adding fuel to my already sour fire.  This just goes to show you that he is able to turn it all OFF when he is away.

The last time I went out for the night was to celebrate a friend's 40th birthday.  Her husband put together a great night including hotel, limo, and dancing.  It was a great night.  I had a great time.  But, as the room was spinning at the club, all I could think of was "you better stop have X, Y, and Z to do tomorrow,"  I am sure X,Y, and Z included things like laundry shopping for household stuff, cooking, ect.  Sure enough, I was home by 9:30a the next morning.  I just can't turn OFF.  I just can't.  Maybe it is the mother in me...maybe it is the pilot wife in me.

Perhaps the timing of it all created the perfect storm, as I currently feel like I fucking do everything all the fucking time.  I know you pilot wives can relate...where it feels like it is all you...all the time.  And all you want is a fucking break.  But, you don't get one.  You never get one.  You just have to suck it up, go forth and be the pilot wife you know - doer of all...all the fucking time.


The reality of our life is that "this, too, shall pass."  As the days pass, the less sour I get.  The more distance I have from the weekend the better.  The fact that Steve was away a couple days for work has been a good thing.  I needed the distance.  Pilot wife perk, perhaps?  Quite soon, our world will be back to normal.

The reason I have been so blunt and so thorough regarding this guys lake week is to just put it all on the table.  Time and time again I get people telling me how great it is that I am so real on my blog.  That is one of the best compliments.  I make a point to be real...I make a point to be real because I know that I am not the only one going through this.  To relate to someone else helps validate your feelings.  And in this crazy-ass aviation lifestyle shit, we need all the support we can get.


  1. Love it. I will reiterate that I love your realness. Everything in your last paragraph - thank you. I get so excited when you blog because I can relate every time. In a non-creepy way, wish we lived in the same town and could be "real friends" . I would demand a girls night and we could vent, relate and turn it off for a few hours.

  2. Same here! Can totally relate to your life events!

  3. Joanna thank you for being brave and sharing your thoughts in writing. I too am a pilot's wife raising two small children and I can't tell you how many times I have said how there aren't many other Moms out there that understand what I/we are going through on a day to day basis. I have just as many ups and downs as you and it is good to know we are not alone in this crazy life.I try super hard every minute of my day to stop thinking resentful thoughts about my husband and the life I find myself in. (Of course some days are better than others!) It really is hard isn't it? It's good to know there are others out there, such as yourself, who are able to put into words our experiences as pilot's wives.

  4. Joanna,
    This is my first time commenting, but I've been following for about a year now. I'm a pilot wife too, so I just love hearing from someone with similar issues! I can totally relate to your frustration with always being on! My husband came home sick from his last trip and moped around all weekend. My kids were sick too, which meant a lot getting up with them at night and dealing with their crankiness during the day. I barely held in my contempt when my husband did not help because he was "sick". Pilot wives are always on, if we are sick, no one cares. We still have to get up and take care of everyone and deal with the household things.

    I appreciate your realness too! And I know you love your husband very much, even though you express your frustration with him here. I just don't think they can possibly understand how difficult it is to ALWAYS be the one responsible. We do need a break, but how do you really get that?
    Keep sharing here!

  5. Thank you! I needed this today. Just came across your blog for the first time. I'm also a pilot's wife. We will be married 10 years in April and we waited to have kids thinking he would be in a better position to make things easier on me. Yeah, that's a joke - life never gets easier as a pilot's wife. In fact, we have a 3 month old and it's hard. I also work full time in corp America, so I don't have flexibility. He changed airlines when our little guy was 1 month old. So now he is gone even more during training. It's been a blast for me. Thank you for being real! It's amazing how many people think being married to a pilot is so glamorous.

  6. The worst part is having words (and I say that lightly sometimes ) And then he takes a flight. I get anxious especially with bad weather and it comes out in other ways often. Going thru a lot in the adaptation of being a pilots wife. Two years and lots of work as an instructor and strange people as well as desperate women! It's funny I never noticed how desperately women want to be around pilots. Like you say it's not that glamorous! My husbands Italian cute and funny so you can imagine and he's faithful too so I know I'm lucky... But these women are like gnats sometimes!


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