How to become that Loving & Supportive Truckers Wife
Wow, I just said a mouthful there didn’t I? How do we become the independent, positive thinking, and supportive woman that it takes to be this woman? I hit on some of these issues in the “Power of Thought” Column, with this however, I am going to be more specific on what you can do, to be more helpful, and supportive. Follow these steps- whether or not it makes a huge difference with your driver- This will help YOU!
Education & Knowledge!
First and Foremost, I push being proactive. What exactly is it that I mean by this? Well it starts with educating yourself on the Laws that Govern this occupation, and our men in their careers! This alone will be HUGE for your husband. My husband (in his interview here on the site) Names that as something that he finds very supportive.
Of course, I did not just “wake up” and know all these laws. I had to educate myself. It is a continuing education of sorts. If Keith talks about birth time, off duty, on duty, driving. Do you know the difference? Any idea what it means to be “on duty, but not driving”, how many hours are expected to be berth time? For the most part, we as women are clueless.
In my “profile” it talks about an incident that I had where on more than one occasion I called dispatchers and safety managers. Although I STRONGLY recommend that you do not do this, I have, and will continue being pro-active in what my husband does. It may be their truck- but it is MY LIFE that they are overlooking.
Here is what I think your first step should be regarding pro-activity. Learn what the HOS (hours of Service) are, and how they should directly effect your driver.
fmcsa dot rules
This will inform you on the hours that should be used, and the information that is needed to understand this.
The FMCSA is what governs our men, they set the laws. This direct link will take you to the site. Anything you want to know is there.
Of course the more knowledgeable you are about any situation, the more apt you are to be involved. This is what I am trying to get you to do. If you are reading this page, then you already have the necessary requirements to be pro-active. You can read, and you have a computer with online access. The rest is up to you.
Another good thing about being educated in these laws is that it will definitely broaden your communications with your driver. There is nothing that he can throw at you, that you do not understand.
Show some interest in his rig
Yea, Yea, Yea, I know the home-wrecking, rubber and steel, 50 ton Tessie! In all seriousness, the more interest you show, the more he will be willing to bring you into his life. If you are standing on the outside looking in, have you ever wondered why? At this point I have to remind you “POSITIVE ATTITUDE GIRLFRIEND!” This is his home away from home. What happens in this truck should be of serious interest to you. It is as much a part of your life as it is part of his.
For my husband, of course as mentioned in the “Power of the Mind” I have taken pictures for my husband, and placed them all over his truck. Not only does it make a great lizard repellent, but it also keeps me in his mind all the time. They are placed strategically all over his truck! There is not one place (outside of the windshield) that when he looks, he does not see my smiling face (sometimes a bit more- but hey that is not for this conversation lol) I have also made him a blanket for his truck. He is a Huge Packers fan ( I know, I know, that does not say much for his taste huh?) so I crochet him a blanket, with the 2007/2008 scores and such.
How about taking a few hours with him, and helping him clean it. Hey lets be honest here. If your cleaning it, you know what’s in it (evil grin).
Find someone to help with your kids- and go for a week.
WOW, talk about an eye, and mind opening experience. This is so important, I cannot stress enough how much you will learn in that week.
First, and foremost, it gives you hands on experience of what your husband/significant other does on a day to day basis. Time spent on the road (this will even tell you, that there is NO reason that you do not talk to your husband at least 3-4 times a day!) is a priceless experience that will change you forever. I know it did me. There is no way for me to sum it up in a few paragraphs, but I do believe it is something you need to experience for yourself.
Be involved while not being there.
How can you do this. Here are 2 links to save in your favorites.
The Weather Channel: weather.com
Map Quest is such an important tool for me. It keeps you informed of where he is at all times, How far he is from home, how far to his destination. You simply plug in his “last past town” and his destination. Its also a great way to keep your kids involved as well. It is hard to explain to the little one’s where dad is. Something else you can do is what I have done.
Get yourself a map- laminate it/or not either way. Put it on the wall. Ask Dad where his destination is. You can constantly update where he is with either a sticker with his picture on it. Here is an example of what I have done
I took a map that has already been laminated. I printed a small (2 x 1) picture of my husband behind the wheel. I put the corner of his picture close to the place that my husband has said he was. This would be better with a very large map, and his picture with an arrow. For my purpose it worked wonderfully, as my kids are much older.
The Weather Channel is a wonderful tool as well, especially in the winter, or storm seasons. One thing these guys do not have is computers at all times, or the ability to see what they are driving into.
My husband will often call me and say “What’s the weather like in _________” I punch that into the weather channel and the zoom in to see what’s going on. It’s important to both of you for his safety. It also gives him yet another reason to call you!!
Little ways to show him your trying!!
As we all know, its not always the easiest thing to be that drivers wife! One way that I tried showing my husband (that just thrilled him, and literally brought tears to his eyes!) was that I took a wall in our bedroom, just above where we keep his computer. I went online, and I printed a lot of tags, pictures and all together “truckers stuff!” I printed these, and then I put them all over the wall above his computer. He was so touched when he saw it, it brought tears to his eyes. He knows I am not “fond” of what he does for a living, but I do adore my husband! He is my life, and I want him to know that above all else, that I Love HIM! Also, it added to his understanding of how supportive I am.
These are easy enough to find, here is a start: trucking pictures
Here is yet another one ;) This is truckers wives stuff
Another idea is to do something similar to this, and then to get him to pick you up a post card every where he has been, and put it in a photo album with the day he was there. That is a great way to keep a journal of his time on the road. Also a great way to include your kids in a scrapbook that you guys can put together.
There is NOTHING more important in a drivers life than a family that is supportive.
With these simple steps, and going from there. I do believe that it will help you change your opinion, as well as your children’s.
“A Negative Thought Process will surely lead to nothing Positive.”
For life it is truly is that “Life is 10% of what happens to me, and 90% how I deal with it.”-Charles Swindell.
I hope this helped a bit on being pro-active. You can never try hard enough; I personally will never stop trying. It gives him a reason to look forward to coming home! I will be adding some more things to the Page, such as “on the road recipes” that you can make a head of time for your hubby, and ways to save money while on the road. All of this together makes for a very supportive and understanding wife (even if on the inside you cringe at the thought of it.)
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