Ladies it can and will get better as a trucker's wife!!!
I am a Proud wife of a trucker. Let me start off by telling our story. I met the love of my life 11 years ago, working with developmentally disabled people. Brian worked with the families and I worked with the clients. So he wasn't a driver yet and the thought never crossed his mind. Well a six month whirlwind romance started and we decided to get married.
I had a four year old daughter from a dead beat so Brian quickly stepped in and became her dad. We decided to move from a large town to his SMALL home town in central Illinois. We moved into his grandmother's house which was small. But we were in love and didn't care.
I was given an opportunity to stay home with our daughter and he tried working in a factory. Well no money and hardships started. He saw an ad in the local paper for driving school. We both thought why not give it a try.
By the time he finished school I was pregnant with our first child together. By this time I was starting to feel alone and isolated, I had moved away from my family and friends and my career. His family wasn't bad but they weren't very understanding and I certainly didn't fit into the small town life style.
We were both in our early 20's with no money one child and another on the way. I remember to this day taking him to his job which was well over 4 hours away to begin his career as an over the road trucker. We get everything he needed from the company and they direct us to the hotel they put all their drivers up in.
Let me tell you. In my whole life I never saw anything like this before. I thought places like this only existed on tv!!!
Concrete walls, the thick smell of smoke and urine, drunks, crack addicts and of course the bane of all truckers wives the "Lot Lizard's".
We have a our 4 year old with us and I am six months pregnant. I kept thinking to my self what have we done. Thank god there was no dead hooker under the bed. Believe me I checked. When I left that night I remember both of us looking at each other with tears in our eyes. I didn't want to leave I didn't want him to do this, but it was done.
So he starts his career as a over the road driver. Back then we didn't a cell phone and pay phones were our only means of communication. So many collect calls caused our phone bill to skyrocket and his pay was not coming like we thought. He was barley making 400 bucks every pay period so comp checks became more and more frequent, so his checks became even smaller. A couple of time I had went with him and saw how hard he was working.
He wouldn't pay a lumper to unload his truck he would do it himself to get that extra "50" bucks (which the company would pay a lumper 200) He would the unload his truck and the have to drive on to his next drop, completley exhausted. I remember one time waking up to him completely slumped over the steering wheel from complete exhaustion. I thought he's going to kill himself.
Our lives become more and more difficult bills are mounting and the kids kept coming. We never got to see each other and when we did we made the most of it LOL!!! Our first son is born and he needs surgery, minor but still. So he switches jobs for better insurance and hopefully better pay. Trust me recruiters will promise you the moon and the sky and home time! HAH we quickly found out how many untrustworthy people there are out in the world.
Our marriage was tested many times stress loneliness, isolation,feelings of resentment. But I just couldn't give up on the man who would work him self to sheer an utter exhaustion. So I continued to wait patiently for him to return home. My weekends with him were very brief and usually consisted of preparing for the next trip out.
I finally snapped I couldn't handle it, I had suffered a miscarriage and lost my grandmother who I loved very much. I had three kids all under the age of 6 and no friends or family close to me. I told him I couldn't do it any more I was overwhelmed. And he changed from an over the road driver for a local job.
It just so happened that the Pilot that he would fuel up at was in need of a tanker driver. Fate seemed to be in our favor. He started his career as a tanker driver delivering fuel. Five years ago he started at Caseys General stores and life has never been better.
He is home everyday has a real weekend off. He isn't forced to carry two log books, they only let him work 12 a day. He was able to be home for the birth of our fourth son. Which if he hadn't the baby and I would have died.
My placenta ruptured and I started bleeding heavily. Our son was life-flighted to the 3 trauma center, and he was found to have a whole in his heart. So 2 open heart surgeries later we have a two year old who runs us both ragged.
We never had a honeymoon, we never got to spend our first five years of marriage together, we had many missed holiday, birthdays, etc.. but in the end we survived it all.
I love my husband more than ever, I love to see him work. I think it is so sexy that he does a manly job. That he knows the meaning of an honest days work, and that he would never dream of trading it for an office job.
Sometimes I think you have got to pay your dues, if you got a good man than stand by him. There are good guys out there even in this field. Because of Brian my husband, I have been able to stay home with my kids and watch them grow, take care of my grandma, and expand my education.
I have seen many women struggle with trying to be a mom and work full time and it is hard. I know, I've been there. So I hope someone reads this and maybe your just starting out your life with your trucker husband, and things seem bad, if you really love each other and respect each other, you will get through it and it will get better.
I have always said " what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger" I stand by it. There is a silver lining, there really is.
Melissa, proud wife of a trucker.