“Let’s start at the very beginning”
I see a lot of questions posted to various social media pages about how people make family life and line life work together. Does he tramp? Alone or do you all go? Do you live in a trailer? How about kids? Or is he home with a utility? What about home with a contractor? Linelife is a real life “Pick Your Adventure” journey.
I’m going to share with you, in a couple parts, what we did. All the way from the beginning. We are not perfect and we’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. Also, my life isn’t your life and what works for my family might not work for yours. But hopefully from reading our story you might get at the very least some entertainment, and perhaps some ideas to a problem you might be facing. Or the comfort of knowing someone else has been there. Spoiler, I didn’t do what you’re doing until I had been a linewife for a few years. I didn’t find blogs or other lineladies who knew what we were dealing with. I had my mom, and she’s The Best, but I should have found some other friends who were still in the trenches of it, too. So right now, let me applaud you for reaching out and connecting!
To start, let me introduce myself. Hi, I’m Meg. My LM and I have been married for nine years and we have three adorable little loves. And we weren’t always in the trade. Well, that’s not quite right. I was. See, I grew up a LM’s daughter. And niece. And granddaughter. And great-niece. (I told you we were going from the beginning.) My family, four kids at the time, lived in a little travel trailer until I was about 6. Then we got a house and a home base if you will. My dad would go on jobs alone if it was four months or shorter, but any longer that and we all went with him. That’s how I spent my 9th birthday snorkeling on Maui. That’s also how my dad wasn’t there when my little sister was born and I cried in the closet because I missed him so much.
When my LM and I were expecting our first child, and still had a few boxes to unpack from purchasing our first home, a groundman position opened up with a contractor in the area. After discussing this career change together and with our parents and not a little time spent in prayer we decided to take the job. About 9 or so months after that he was accepted into the southwest line constructors apprenticeship. Things were going really well and he was home every night with weekends off.
But the spring of 2014 brought our first out of town assignment and he was going to be working 2 hours away. We tried to find an apartment, but each one wanted at least 30 days notice and a one year lease. We knew we couldn’t pull that off; we barely had 72 hours notice about this move. After spending a night with a friend of a friend we came to the unfortunate realization that we would have to be apart. Y’all, I wasn’t happy about this. I didn’t have a car and I was 4 months pregnant with our second baby. More than that, I wanted to be with my husband! But we were blinded by the speed of this shift and we decided I’d stay home during the week and he’d come home for the weekends. My brother and his wife moved in with me to help keep me company and this was our reality for several months. I went up to visit him for a few days once and I surprised him for our anniversary with an unexpected dinner date. We’d count down the days until Friday and my one year old son and I would stand in the driveway and try not to cry every Sunday evening. I’d get rides to the grocery store. I’d call him each night. I continued to serve and teach a class to teenagers at our church. I read and read about early labor signs because I knew I had to give him two hours to get home from the time I called him and then 45 mins to the hospital from our house. In short I was #linewifestrong and I made it work.
It was then, just a few weeks from delivery, that we got some very stressful news. Stuart was going to be moved to Oklahoma and wouldn’t be home on the weekends anymore. And he would miss the birth of our daughter.
To be continued…