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The Wife of a Traveling Salesman

Original post made by Jennifer Fogliani, Whisman Station, on Feb 12, 2012

When I first met my husband, I thought it was exciting that he traveled for work. During his trips to Europe, Asia and across the US, we exchanged sweet nothings over texts and late night phone calls.

After we got married and had kids, his traveling became far less romantic and much more inconvenient. My husband and I make a great team, and the weeks that he travels, it's like I'm playing in a championship game without the MVP.

A few weeks ago we had our third child, Emily. We just transitioned from a man-on-man defense to zone. So when my husband told me on Sunday that he had to travel for work, I almost passed out. The thought of a whole week playing 3 against me seemed like impossible odds.

"Not another trip!" My daughter, Josie, exclaimed when my husband told us at dinner that he'd be leaving the next day.

"Can I come?" My son, Owen, asked enthusiastically.

"You sure this isn't something you could handle over video conferencing?" I pleaded while I rocked a fussy Emily to sleep. But I already knew the answer.

Despite the fact that we live in the epicenter of technological advances, nothing has been able to replace the face-to-face meeting. Once or twice a month, my husband has to travel for work. He's always sad to leave us but happy that there's work to be done.

One of the unexpected perks about moving to Mountain View has been meeting so many other moms whose husbands also travel for work. We bond over shared experiences and help support each other the weeks that our husbands are gone.

You can spot a mom whose husband is traveling from a mile away. Her hair is disheveled. Her outfit mismatched. Her coffee cup filled to the brim. And even though she's overwhelmed in every possible way, she's smiling and calm because she knows that her kids are relying on her, and only her, to keep it all together.

Having a husband who travels does have its benefits. After I put the kids to bed, I can plop down in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal and watch as many reality TV shows as I want. TWhe kids can't go running to dad and create controversy when I say no. And the joy I get from watching my kids throw the door open and sprint across the lawn into their dad's arms after a long week apart makes the struggles of the week alone seem worthwhile.

Things were certainly different this week while my husband traveled and I took care of our 3 kids. Neither my husband nor I had the time to send sweet text messages or the energy for late night phone calls.

But even after 7 years and 3 kids it's good to know that absence can still make the heart grow fonder. This trip, more than ever before, I realized just how much my husband does to support me every day and how much I miss him when he's gone.

Comments (10)

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Posted by Local Army Wife
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 13, 2012 at 7:09 am

Now try having your husband being away in a war zone for a year, coming back a changed man, and then going back two years later for another year.

You should seriously stop complaining.

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 13, 2012 at 7:48 am

@ Army Wife

You are definitely right - what you and other army spouses have to deal with is much harder than what I went through last week. For me, at the time, it seems overwhelming and that's what I was sharing. Thanks for adding your perspective.

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Posted by Belle
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Feb 14, 2012 at 5:07 pm

I also have a husband who travels for work. Is there any kind of Mom's Group for families with traveling dads?

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 14, 2012 at 6:46 pm

@ Belle - I haven't heard of a mother's group like that - but it's a great idea. I tend to meet moms with husbands who travel at the park, usually in the afternoons when we are trying to pass the time before the insanity of dinner routine begins. :) I have met a few Eagle Park near downtown.

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Posted by Steph
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2012 at 12:21 pm

I agree with Local Army Wife - could you please stop complaining in each column you write? This has nothing to do with Mountain View. I would love if the Voice could get a Mom who gets out and about in Mountain View - writing about the things to do here with kids. There are so many wonderful activities and places to go.

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 21, 2012 at 1:15 pm

@ Steph

I have written several blogs about the different things I have done out and about in Mountain View. I agree - there is so much to do and its a great place for families.

Since I just had a baby and with all the cold weather, I haven't been able to get out as much. Hopefully that will change soon. For now, I am a mom living in Mountain View and I know many other moms in Mountain View who relate to my blog and the stories I share. I'm sorry that's not the case for you.

What may sound like complaining to you is just me describing my life as I see it. I am extremely happy with my life. I'm a realist and very open to sharing things as I see and feel them in my blog.

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Posted by Steph
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

I have no doubt you are a realist - which is why you aren't afraid to blog about what is on your mind. I just question why the Voice has hired you to rant/complain about being a Mother when you could be doing more service for our community by letting other parents know about programs/community events. I think that would benefit more families instead of reading a random blog about motherhood/complaining about your husband traveling, children running crazy in stores, meltdowns when your family is dining. As a Mother of 3 myself, I understand life is crazy, but I would love to see much more coverage of community events/less whining. Hopefully you can open your front door today and enjoy the warm weather. It's actually been quite lovely this Winter.

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Posted by Jennifer Fogliani
a resident of Whisman Station
on Feb 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm


In the 6 months since I have been posting to Town Square I have written about many community events and places in and around Mountain View, including Theater in the Park, the Farmer's Market, Rancho San Antonio and Deer Hollow, the parks in Mountain View, the recreation classes offered through the city, the Santa Clara County Fair, the Fireman's Breakfast and many other experiences we've had since moving here. You're right, the weather is great today and for the rest of this week so hopefully I can get out and share an adventure for next week's blog.

If you have any other ideas of places my family and I can explore, I'd love to hear your suggestions. Also, anyone can post a topic on Town Square so feel to share your experiences and adventures there if you'd like.

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Posted by April
a resident of another community
on Jan 1, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Wow the ppl living in mountain view sound really mean. Ive never in my life seen so many ppl take time out of their days to write negative feedbalck on a blog. These blogs have the same content as anything else in the world made for entertainment value: intro, problem, overcoming positive outlook. Over half of this particular article is the benefits of hubby being gone, absense making the heart grow fonder and how nice it is to be in a town w other women w traveling husbands- i think the ppl COMMENTING on this are the negative nancys. And the army wife just needs to stop thinking that everyone elses problems and lives are irrelevant compared to hers. Thats like someone whos had cancer rolling their eyes at someone who has Crohns. Its heartless and unnecessary and i think it makes army families look like they wallow around looking down on other ppl who dont have it as 'hard' as they do. I really relate to ur blog. Im pregnant w my third w a 18 month old and a three yr old and i do it mostly on my own bc hubby works at night and sleeps during the day. I enjoy finding humour in all the insanity, i would go crazy if i didnt! Idk where this obsession w 'no complaining' came into play in our society. Things that ppl complain about are relatable- its a connecting point for us. And it is esp beneifical if it ends w a positive note so we can ALL feel good about it in the end:) i think you should really consider going outside of (ur extremely stern and unreceptive) community blog and branching out into your own blog. These ppl want to hear about a bunch of boring stuff it sounds like- what new maple tree went up in what park and whats in season at the farmers market. At least UR on the computer making money rather than hypocritically telling ppl to 'open ur front door and enjoy the lovely winter' Boy these ppl are on their high horses.

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Posted by mv_mom
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jan 28, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Hey, y'all. Stop complaining. Nobody is making you read this blog. Parenting is really hard any way you slice it, especially with kids under three. Personally, I like her writing style, and I think she's reflective rather than whiny. And honestly, as another parent, I really like to hear about someone else's child melting down in a store; it makes me feel better when mine does it.

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