Life away from my family
I have driven away from my family for a couple of years now. My wife is a wonderful woman and I respect her so much for what she does while I am away. I think that is what makes it work for us,
I respect her for the hard work she does at home with the kids, and she respects me for the time I spend away working long days. It took a while finding my spouse, we were both in our early 30s when we met and married, so there is a level of maturity and trust that we have for each other that makes it possible.
Don't get me wrong, we have our moments of insecurity. Success in our relationship has a lot to do with how we handle those moments. Communication is the biggest key.
My wife knows that while I am driving, I do not use the cell phone. She also knows that when I stop for lunch, dinner, or am at a shipper or receiver, I will call her every chance I get. I joke around and call it my noon check in call or my 5 o'clock check in call.
The internet is also a great resource, we use windows live to video chat, and skype as well. This way my kids can also get in on the conversation, plus they love seeing daddy sitting in his truck or at a table in the truck stop restaurant.
I never go to bed at night without calling her to say goodnight to her and the kids. Some mornings I even get to talk to the kids before they go off to school. It isn't easy, believe me there are nights that I miss my family very much, and there have been times that my wife calls me because on of my kids is missing daddy and has to hear my voice.
Of course, as most married men know, you have to sweeten the deal every once in a while. I sometimes send her a fruit bouquet from our local fruit shop, which is her favorite.
I also send postcards and greeting cards to her and the kids. We have a giant US map hanging in our dining room. My kids mark the map with the city that I sent the postcards from, so it has been a great learning tool for them as far as Geography.
My 5 year old has known how to identify most of the lower 48 by their shape since he was 4. For my oldest daughter, I have bought key chains from all 48 states and 3 Canadian provinces.
Now, we are working on snow-globes, which will take much longer to accumulate. Plus, since she is over 10 years old, she has come with me every summer for 2 weeks since I started driving. In all of this, I guess the biggest piece of advice I can give is, talk to your family as often as possible, let them know you are only a phone call away. Finally, when you go home for the weekend, spend time with them.
I have, or I should say had a lot of friends before I started driving. Now, I have a select few that have stuck with me, because they know when I come home, I spend it with my wife and kids. Good luck to those of you coming into the driving profession.
This has been the most personally rewarding job I have ever had, not to mention, the most fun. Just always remember, family is first!