How many people can say one of their close childhood friends are in a band; a SUCCESSFUL band at that?! I’m lucky enough to have her examples in my life of going after your dreams while being a wife and a parent, which is not easy to balance, as many of us know!
Because of the frequent traveling between the two of them, she has learned what helps to keep their marriage fresh through the distance and gives great advice on how they have managed that. I’m excited to have you read a little into her life as a wife, mother, and a band member of The National Parks.
My husband Michael and I have been married about 3 1/2 years now. We were high school sweethearts and have been dating each other since we were 16. Even though that may seem like a long time to know each other, we are still learning new things every day and striving to keep our marriage strong and the biggest priority in our lives.
We have a 2-year-old boy named Will who is the biggest blessing to us and brings us so much happiness! That alone is an experience that has been extremely hard but has brought us closer together when we let it. We just bought a house and are trying to juggle being parents, homeowners, spouses, employees, friends, family members and everything else!
Mike and I travel a lot in our marriage, and it’s usually separate from each other which keeps things pretty interesting. Mike is a sourcing manager for his company with factories that are based in Asia. He uses his Chinese when he travels there for around 1-2 weeks at a time, about every 2 months. I am a singer/keyboardist in a national touring band (The National Parks) and we go on tour every other month for around 2 weeks at a time all over the country. Sometimes Mike and I are gone the same time, sometimes we are gone at separate times, and on occasion, we overlap by only 1 or 2 days, so it ends up being almost 4 weeks without seeing each other. This has been a huge opportunity and challenge for us to stay close during these hard times.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder
A few things that we do to keep close to each other is making sure to FaceTime/Skype at least once a day, when possible. Sometimes, when we have different time zones, this is a lot harder to do, since I am usually going to bed when he is waking up, but when we set a time in advance when we think it can happen, it helps to keep us both up-to-date and at the front of each other’s minds.
Another little thing we do is we both keep small notes of big or exciting things that are happening on our trips that we want to make sure we tell the other person about later. Or even just small, funny things that we would normally tell the other person if they were there. It helps us stay close and not feel like we are missing out on so much of the other person’s life.
One thing I find important is to try and make the time we do have together really special. If there is a day or two before one of our big trips, I usually get ready and packed, and get all my errands finished, so that I can spend a day or two with just him and our family. I try to plan something special that we don’t always do so that we have a fresh and fun/happy memory to lean on for when we all won’t see each other for so long. These things don’t have to be super expensive, but more just time to be together. Sometimes we go to the lake, or try something Will has never done before, just so we have that memory really fresh. When I have extra time beforehand, I sometimes write a few notes or letters for Mike to read while I’m gone every few days or so. It’s a little more exciting than just an email or a text, and it’s a fun little game to help make the time go by faster.
Although these times seem to be long and hard on our marriage, we are always grateful and feel so much closer when we get back together. It’s a crazy life we live but I wouldn’t change it at all! These times apart help us to realize what the other does for us and helps us not take each other for granted. It’s a blessing in disguise. If you make the most of the moment that you are in and give it your 100%, time apart really can help to bring you closer together.
Hope this helps some of you out there! And good luck keeping your marriage fresh!