My 17 month old did not sleep well, and as I mentioned, my 4-year-old son was up by 6:30am on most mornings.
From the moment I get out of bed, it is move-move-move, until bedtime. Tonight I hit the wall. Single parenting is tough.
I feel that I have no right to complain. My husband is not even gone for long. Two friends have had babies while their husbands were deployed, yet I am challenged by a little 6 week separation.
The children now keep me moving almost every moment of the day. The two little stinkers rise up early in the morning and go to bed later than the other kids we know. It’s just who they are, how they are, but it has been tougher than I ever thought.
I figured since we survived a 12 month deployment a few years ago that any future separation would be easy. No sweat. Hardly worth the concern. Wrong.
When your husband travels for work, you don’t have to single parent in the one-income sense of the term. Any of us who have gone through any separation from our spouse, we know that there is a certain burden that we carry.
When only one parent is home to get the kids up in the morning, take care of the activities during the day, and tuck them in at night-alone it is a unique challenge. You can’t plan for it.
We have all hit the wall. Every last nerve is shot, every ounce of patience has been used up… and…yet…we keep going.
We wake up to clean up vomit, change a diaper, or take a child’s temperature. We manage productivity on little rest or time alone.
When my husband called for our daily chat I told him I was spent. My fuel tanks were empty.
He must have known, because right after I said, “Hello?” he asked, “What’s wrong?”
It amazes me, how hearing his voice can immediately calm me down and lift me up.
Yes, my son was asking me a ton of questions in the background while I was trying to talk. Yes, I was still worn out after the conversation was over. But I was mentally renewed.
I remembered why I signed on to follow him on this military journey. It may be his service, but it is mine as well. I serve by being the constant and steady one keeping the home running, keeping bills paid and children fed.
He signed the contract, but I serve alongside…without knowing where we will live next, what schools our children will attend in their youth, how we will travel to the next family event living so far away.
The unknowns are on a list longer than I can keep track.
While rocking my daughter the same evening, I looked down at her sweet, sleepy face, and shed a few tears. Tears of recognition that the only thing I KNOW is that we will have more days like today: more separations, more single-parenting days for me to tackle.
I don’t know when or for how long, but all I can do is give all I have to serve alongside my husband in the roll that only I can fill.
I know that he appreciates all that I tackle when he is not home. He has said to me that he couldn’t do it. I know I couldn’t take on what he does either.
I couldn’t give up my perks.
I get to stare into the sweet little faces of our children each night.
Yeah, I get some dirty work, but I get the special moments too.
I know after a very exhausting day that I can and I will wake up early when those little feet pad in to my room far earlier than I am comfortable.
I will be the one who is here for them and for my husband, because despite all the unknowns in our lives in this unique lifestyle, we KNOW we have each other.
How do you and your husband stay connected even while you are home so many hours caring for the kids on your own?