Ms. Manners: Do You Get The Home Time Blues?

Hometime-Blues

By A.H. Bosley

Being home can be just as, if not more, stressful than being out on the road.

Some company drivers only get 3, maybe 4 days off after being out on the road for 28 days or more. You have some owner operator’s or lease operator’s that can’t afford to be home more than a couple of days.

This is all totally unacceptable.

For those of you who don’t drive for a living think of how you feel after visiting friends or family members for a few weeks, in their homes – never really able to relax. It’s not your kitchen, it’s not you bed, and certainly not your bathroom.

You get home and you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. You have to clean the car, do all that laundry, and all you really want to do is take a nice hot shower in your own bathroom, where you don’t have to make sure you have all your shower stuff with you. You can shower in comfort, door-open so it’s not all humid, and all your stuff is right where you put it – and where it shall remain. – Then sit in your recliner or favorite couch and turn on AND CONTROL your T.V.

You can fix anything you want in your kitchen where the refrigerator isn’t the size of a cooler and you have an actual stove and oven. Those that stay out more than a day or so know exactly what I’m talking about.

Since I have been on both sides of this scenario, maybe this can help your loved ones understand how you feel when getting home. I like to be left alone, as in: No demands the first day I’m at home. I just ramble around the house in some comfortable clothes. I don’t want to eat out, go for a ride, or entertain anyone. I don’t want to make decisions for anyone or be responsible for anything. I have been on the job away from home and camping in a tin box for 28 days. I just want to enjoy my house, my stuff, and in my space. Whether I’m mowing the grass or laying on the couch – it has nothing to do with how I feel for my family and friends. I just need to decompress.

Sometimes this takes more than a day.

I have also have been on the other side of the coin – being at home all the time. No one there to help with anything as the honey-do list grows. Responsible for making all those calls, for the appointments, repairs, scheduling, planning, deciding, cleaning, handling all the day-to-day humdrum. Then for those that have children there is the discipline, homework, ballgames, the list is never-ending. All you can think about is: “When is he coming home?” and “What/where are we going to go?” – Which is the total opposite of what he has planned. Thus, the family feud begins.

The life of a trucker or a truckers wife is a hard life, a very different life, with different pressure and responsibilities than most couples have to deal with. There is very little family time and it is the hardest to deal with. The person who stays home has everything heaped-up on his/her shoulders and the one on the road is feeling detached at times, never being able to go to the children’s games, plays, award ceremonies, etc.

– Maybe feeling like he/she is just a paycheck that passes through.

RESPECT each other and try to give and to understand each other’s roles. There are always two sides to every story, neither one more important than the other – but it only works when both halves come together as a whole.

That is why trucking is a way of life not just a profession.