The Pilot Widow's Club

Welcome to The Pilot Widow's Club
September 11, 2007 at 11:30 AM
Thanks for checking out our club. Feel free to share your story and a picture. And tell us what the best and hardest thing about being a pilot's wife.

For me, I love that my husband can be home for long stretches, thus allowing us to be able to spend large amounts of time together. But at the same time, he's away for long stretches, and it's sending me over the edge.

I'm still trying to figure out a good routine, particularly when he comes home. It's great when he's away, but when he comes back, it seems like all hell breaks loose and bedtimes, mealtimes, and everything else go wacky!


  • HyphenMama
    September 12, 2007 at 9:04 AM
    My husband has been flying since he was 16.  That's 19 years.  He's an amazing, conscientious pilot.  Our daughter (almost 4) loves to fly with him.  He takes every opportunity to take her places, even if it's just to go have lunch in another city.  Our son (13 months) has never flown, purely because we haven't organized ourselves enough to get him up in a plane yet.

    My husband left his aerial surveying job for an airline job when my daughter was 8 weeks old and went to ground school for 2 months.  It was extremely difficult, since ground school was a few hours away, and he only came home a few weekends.  Even when he was home, he was buried in studying. I was a new mom who had just left my career to be with my daughter.  I was a fish out of water and lonely.  None of my friends have children, the only support I had while he was gone was my husband's parents who live here in town.

    That was almost 4 years ago. He has stayed with the same small airline because it offers him a schedule that he wouldn't have seniority to hold at a major, and he's domiciled in the city we live.  He works nights (stand ups/high speeds) and is home with us during the day.  I have to say that at this point (our situation could change at any time) I'm extremely blessed.  He only works day shifts occasionally, and those months are the worst!  We are forced to live rather frugally, since the pay isn't great and I no longer work. 

    There are so many things that I love and hate about his career.  Here are just a few:

    What I love:
    • he's home during the day.  My kids don't know anything besides having 2 parents home with them every day.  He's able to go to preschool functions,  go to swim lessons, etc.
    • when people ask me what my husband does, I don't have to say  Port-A-Potty Specialist. No offence to that career choice, just not one I'm fond of.  I get to ride his shirttails, I sound like a decent, educated human being when I say "Pilot".
    • someday we'll actually get to use the flight benefits. I'm not holding my breath, but I'm sure it'll be in the next 5 years or so.
    • he has a Cessna 210 for his own utilization; he's able to fly whenever he feels like it and that's great for our kids.
    What I hate:
    • he's gone 4-5 nights a week.   That's dinner, baths, bedtime and *ahem* marital relations
    • the wages!  It doesn't bode well when the McDonald's employees in Concourse A are making more than the Captain of the airplane you're flying on.  And they probably have better health insurance, too!  9/11 had a devastating affect on this industry's salaries.
    • he sleeps overnight in hotels...and sometimes his FO is a female. Of course they have different rooms, but you know what they say. (my husband's friend gave me "The Pilot's Wife" to read on my honeymoon. Yes! Just exactly what I needed to read!) Of course I trust him, but somehow that sparkly wedding band just makes him all the more attractive to the rest of the female population.  Add the uniform and heck, even I think he's hot. 
    • since the nighttime routine is usually mine, when he is home, I find myself questioning what he's doing. Is he doing it right? Why is he making her cry? When he's not home, she's allowed to do that, now he's stopping her.  It's hard to project a united front when I really want to question his authority and if he's doing everything to my standards. 
    I find myself trying to make light of most things.  If I can find humor in the fact that my husband is gone during the hours that many husbands are home, helping and bonding with the family, then I just might get through it.  Again, I know I'm blessed. So I know if I find things to be overwhelming, I cannot imagine what other women feel.  Much of me wants my husband to make more money, but to do that he would be gone all but 10 days a month.  I'm not sure I'm that strong of a woman/mother.  At least not when the kids are so young. 

    Here is what I find ironic. My husband is home most days and STILL I have yet to join a yoga class, gym (who can afford that?) or do much for myself besides a lunch or coffee date occasionally? What is wrong with me?

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