“Enjoy your before take-off beverage, my love!” I called out to my husband as he shuffled out the door on his way to the airport. In the background, the baby was screaming (“screaming” is a gross understatement), the kids were wrestling (seconds away from tears and/or stitches), and the house, which we had just cleaned from top to bottom the day before, was in…well, let’s just say, “disarray.”

It hardly seems fair, right? My husband gets to take clients out to dinner and order in room service while I stay behind because I am the room service, maid service, and concierge service to five little ones who don’t even tip. Yes, he’s jetted off on his fair share of business trips over the years and it’s never easy doing a two-man job solo. But if I may, allow me to share with you a few silver linings you may have missed while contemplating if the flight attendants really do give you the whole can of soda in first class without you even asking for it, or if that’s just a rumor. (He says it’s true. I still can’t wrap my head around it.)

1.) Dinner is easier without him. Way easier. In fact, my grocery bill goes down when there’s not another adult to cook for. My kids are happier with fruit and cheese than say, a stir fry. So make dinner easy on yourself. My husband has been known to catch us off guard when he comes home from a trip and finds us eating scrambled eggs off paper plates. “Oh, did you want dinner-dinner? You mean, you don’t want to eat the kid’s leftovers while standing over the sink with me?”

2.) No one will know the house is a mess. I won’t tell. We do a massive clean up only hours before his ETA. In fact, a couple of years ago I wrote a whole article about this little phenomenon. Click here if you don’t remember.

3.) Project time! My husband has come home to find the master bedroom a new color. He’s come home to find old furniture sanded down and repainted–virtually unrecognizable! (Since I’m no craftsman, my husband is now very hesitant to leave me unsupervised for more than a couple of days…Who knows what I’ll paint next!) But it’s great to have a project going, not only to keep busy, but I can devote myself to it because it’s not taking up our “us time.” For me, it’s writing, photography, or a sewing project. (I only ruin furniture during the summer months.)

4.) A chance for the heart to grow fonder. Love letters, late night phone calls, and Words With Friends competitions make us feel like we’re dating again. And what’s more romantic than picking up the love of your life from the airport? Nothing, that’s what.

5.) When he’s home, he’s homeAnd I can’t wait.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some serious cleaning to do…

Read more by Margaret Anderson at www.jamsandpickles.wordpress.com