My social life

Steve was due home Friday evening, late. He left on Tuesday morning, early.

Steve didn't make it home Friday night.  When I learned he wasn't coming home as scheduled, which was around noon on Friday, I was in a funk for a good couple hours. Just like our son, I crush when expectations aren't met. I expected him home. I wanted him home.

For Steve, day 4 consisted of 2 legs. His first leg was delayed nearly 7 hours due to a maintenance delay on his inbound aircraft. He didn't make it into ORD Friday night Saturday morning until 2am. He spent the night in an airport hotel, and deadheaded home Saturday afternoon.

Of course this change in his pairing meant that I had to change plans. I wanted to go to yoga on Saturday morning. I also had plans to meet a girlfriend for appetizers on Saturday afternoon. But, I chose Steve. I couldn't run out the moment Steve came home. Which was a good thing because he come home a zombie, and then took a 1 1/2 hour nap. Sure, there are times when I do this, but not this time around. Not after being gone for 5 days. Plus, I missed him. I wanted to spend time with him.

I had Saturday morning to really get the house in order. I made sure to have good food,
roasted chicken, which I've never made before. It was actually pretty good.
and beer/wine, in the house when he got home. I gave up alcohol for Lent, but that doesn't mean Steve should go without. I figured after the trip he had he may have needed to take a load off. After a 5-day trip, with a day-delay in getting home, I certainly made a point to set the stage in the house to welcome him home. (How to be a better pilot wife)

As always, something inspires my blog posts, and this change in schedule has inspired my need to express that times like this is when it sucks to be married to an airline social life struggles. As I mentioned, I had to cancel plans with a girlfriend. A girlfriend, mind you, that I haven't seen in probably a month. It seems like my schedule is at the mercy of Steve and the kids. Sometimes it feels like there just isn't enough time in a week for me to be 'me' do the things I want to do.

Let me paint the picture of how our week is typically structured:
Monday - Friday: I work outside of the home. The kids are in school.
Monday evening: PSR at our church. I teach, and both kids are enrolled.
Tuesday evening: NOTHING. Yes!!!
Wednesday evening: Cici has dance
Thursday evening: both kids have gymnastics
Friday evening: Polish school
Saturday: this, that, and whatever
Sunday: church, and evenings are reserved to get the kids back to bedtime routines

Now, let me paint the picture of Steve's typical week for work. Generally speaking, it would be any one of the following:
- 3 day trip: leave on Monday, come home Wednesday
- 3 day trip: leave on Tuesday, come home Thursday
- 3 day trip: leave on Wednesday, come home Friday
- 4 day trip: leave on Monday, come home Thursday
- 4 day trip: leave on Tuesday, come home Friday

Steve could be out the door on day 1 at 4am, for a 6am flight.
Steve could get home as late as midnight or 1am on day 4.

On any given week, Steve is home and 'available', if you will, two or three nights. Say he has a 3am alarm on day 1, he isn't available the night before because he is in bed by 9pm. And say on day 4 he comes home at 11pm, well, he isn't too available that night either. For the nights he is available don't think that translates to "free time" for me. We have to have some family time in there. Oh, and let's not neglect Joanna-and-Steve together time. Wait, but I have friends and want to hang and have my girl time. Oh, and let's not forget about Steve's friends, and his need to hang with his guy friends.

See how there is a struggle with balancing this all? I know pilot wives can relate and live this very same life, but so many people just don't get it.

Say I get an invitation to hang out with girlfriends on Thursday night...well, the kids have gymnastics and Steve is out of town. "Sorry, next time!"

Say, I get an invitation to hang out on Friday night...well, the kids have Polish School and Steve gets in too late. "Sorry, next time!"

Sure, there are times when I get an invitation and get a sitter for the kids. I do this for birthday dinners or maybe a school function that leads to drinks afterward. But those events need to fall on a day where I don't have to cart the kids to an activity. Also, I have a thing about not paying for a sitter just so Mama can go booze it up. I have this response to our neighborhood book club, for example. If Steve is gone on the Thursday night of book club this month, well I'll catch it next time.

All these "sorry, next time!" responses I am certain mean that I am not on as many invitation lists as I would like to be. There are plenty of times where I see friends post pictures on Facebook, and I have the thought "oh, I wish I were invited to that." But, I understand. If I don't show face for a while, my face can be overlooked. I get it.

I also want to point out that I am, a lot extroverted. I get my energy from people. I like to be around people. I need to be around people. I thrive when I'm around people. And when I'm not as social as I want to be, it can get to me.

If I am the extroverted one, well guess who is introverted? You guessed right, Steve! When he isn't working, he needs to recharge at home. I can't pull him away from home all the time to do one thing or another. I know he needs to 'just be' at times, and I have to plan for that. We actually cancelled plans, a couple weeks ago, for a road trip because Steve was going to be gone from home too much. One could argue that if Steve needs to be home, well let him stay home while you go out. The only problem with that is that I actually really like Steve, and want to be around him. I enjoy his company. I like being with him. Say Steve is only available two nights a week, I may very well want to spend that time with him. We are married, after all.

Wait, let me add one more thing to this social thing...I work. I can't join other women for their 10am yoga session, and then head to lunch afterward. I would love to, but I can't. The time left in my day for social activity is very limited, if available at all. There are only so many hours in a day, even a week...

Don't take this blog post as whining or depressing or bitching. That isn't my intention. I am merely stating the reality of my life married to a man who is gone every week. As the kids get older, their need for me will decrease. This, in turn, will allow me to become more social. I get that. But, for now, this is my reality.


  1. Nailed it. I'm a corporate pilot wife with two active school age kids AND I work full-time outside the home. Some days I want to just quit work, some days I fail as a mom, but most of the time my social life takes the brunt of our schedule too. I just tell myself that I only have 10 more years with kids in the house, so I'll have a social calendar when they grow up ;)

  2. We can have that social life together ;-)

  3. Im on the other end of this. Im young female pilot, recently engaged, and he's been struggling (with the schedule, insecurities,communication..) but your blog has given him lots of comfort. Thank you for helping our relationship.


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