Book Review: Holding Down the Fort

(I’ve never done a book review for this site before so beware, what is below is something new and hopefully not boring!)

My mom is about the most thoughtful person on the planet.  Now that her 3 daughters are grown and out on their own she has found ways to continue to mother us through staying connected with the little things in life.  For me, she is always thinking about my situation of being a Chefs Widow and about my kids (of course, I do have her ONLY grandson so, you know 😉  She always sends encouraging words, articles and most recently this book “just because”.

This is the best “just because” gift I’ve received in a long time!  Titled “Holding Down the Fort: Help and Encouragement for Wives Whose Husbands Travel” it pretty much fits the bill of my current existence.  Now Chef is exactly that, a Chef but he is an over the road chef so he is gone 4-6 days at a time with 48hours off in between trips. Chef loves what he does and although he misses us greatly, I would never ask him to leave a job he is so passionate about.

The Draw: Obviously for me the draw is that I am the mom plus a whole slew of other things for many days at a time ALONE!  I needed to hear that there are other people that choose this lifestyle and that they, their marriage and their kids SURVIVE!

The Details: This is a great way to write a book.  It is a collection of interviews with both the traveling dad and the mom left behind about how they do it and why they do it.  These are not make you feel warm and fuzzy interviews, these are real life, every day, sometimes hard to even read, interviews.  At the end of the chapter the points for the traveler, the person staying home and the church/community are all nicely put in a bulleted list.

The Downside: There are chapters that will not apply to YOUR situation.  I have small kids so reading about life with teenagers doesn’t hit close to home.  My husband chooses to travel for a career versus the chapter on husbands who are simply workaholics.  There is even a chapter on moms who choose to travel!  However, even though not every word spoke to MY situation it was good insight into what other wives might be feeling and needing on their journey with a traveling spouse.

The “Do”: I really base a books value on what my personal response is at the end.  What do I want to “DO” now that I have this new nugget of knowledge.  For me I realized that I

  • Must find a mom or two in a similar situation to me and really make an effort to bond with them, we need each other.  We each need someone outside of our spouse that can understand where we are coming from.
  • I do live a life that is somewhat foreign to those around me.  This thought never really occurred to me as I’ve lived like this for awhile and just accept it as normal.  I have to remember that it IS NOT like this for everyone.
  • God has to continue to be the center of our family for this to work long term.  Not that I ever doubted it but the testimony of others is strong.

So, even if you are not the wife of a traveling spouse but have a spouse that leaves you “widowed” I would highly suggest picking up this book.  It has great insights on how to connect with your spouse, your kids and how to find time to be you in the midst of the madness.

Happy Reading!

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: Holding Down the Fort

  1. Rach–

    This is great and I can so relate to what you have shared. There are many of us that “have gone before you” and definitely have survived and seen God work mightily in our lives and circumstances when things seemed “out of control”. I know you will receive that blessing as well. You are doing a great job.

    Much love,

    A.L.

  2. I want to borrow this book…I can’t believe I’ve not heard of it before now!
    You and I need to start a group together! Seriously, we should brainstorm ideas of how to meet other moms in our situation. How great would it be to have a base group of other moms that are holding down the fort Mon-Fri to call on when you need a shoulder, an extra set of hands or a break!
    Lets figure something out!
    LOVES!

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