I've been reading some comments on "wife of pilot" blogs. I have to say, that I consider myself lucky that A hasn't wanted to go to the airlines. He has always preferred to fly small 135 airlines or freight haulers, where he is home every night. To him, it's just a job. He goes in the morning and I see him again in the evening. The only times in his career that he has been away from home is when he had to go away for training or he got weathered out somewhere. There have been a few times when we lived in Juneau the first time, where he had to go to Ketchikan for a week or two to cover a vacation for the pilot stationed there at the time. That has basically been it.
We've talked about him working for a larger company, on a "2 week on-2 week off" schedule, with our home being in Juneau (because I would have to hurt him if he made me move again...). I like to think that I would be OK with that, but without actually having that experience, I don't know for sure what I would do or how I would feel. It has to be really frustrating for wives out there who's husbands are gone for long stretches. Knowing my husband the way I do, I know that if he was gone for 2 weeks at a time, he wouldn't want to do anything when he got back. If we had kids, he wouldn't want to spend that much time with them to give me a break. He probably would, but he would do it grudgingly. Right now, we don't have kids, so I wouldn't have to worry about that, but still...
That's not to say that what he does now is without it's risks. He flies in an area that is pretty scary on weather days, and he does it every day. Now, I know and trust the skills that he has developed as a pilot. I know that if anything is within his power, he will make it home at night. But, there is always the risk that something could go wrong, outside of his control. That is the main thing that I worry about, when I allow myself to worry.
I am pretty thankful to him for the particular path his career has taken. He might not make the big bucks that the captains for the majors do, but I do get to see him every night. So I guess that I am one of the lucky ones.