The reality of parenting when your husband is working away for an extended period of time.
It's something I don't really touch on too often. Not to keep up any kind of false pretenses but really to protect myself. If I tend to think on it too much, it makes things a whole lot tougher to deal with than they already are.
There are no two ways about it, it's a tough gig. You start a family and you create a life together, there is a certain way that it runs. Then you take a pretty big piece of the puzzle away and nothing seems to fit together right.
It gets hard. Some days and nights have been much worse than others, and have ended with me sitting on the floor in the hallway outside the kids bedrooms sobbing my heart out in complete and utter frustruation. Or there are the days where for no apparent reason I am missing Todd more, well you can guarantee those are the days that the kids decided to mount either a joint strike against me or turn into opposition forces with me trying to be peacekeeper. It can be lonely, damn lonely. Even when you are with other people, they aren't your mate, your partner in crime, your love.
Some days I shout, yell and want to scream at the top of my lungs. Other days I want to simply crawl under the covers and bawl my eyes out. Some days I wish I could trade places with him and be off experiencing the world, not stuck at home raising the kids, with the mundane chores and routine.
Mia and Ryan have been so good really, when you take into account how much they are missing their Daddy. Mia has been wonderful, she always tells me she doesn't want to cry and get upset because she doesn't want to upset me or Ryan. She remembers from when we were apart last time that eventually it ends and we get back to being our family unit. Ryan doesn't remember. He was only two when Todd was away for training, so this time round has been very confusing for him. He seems most concerned that he's not coming back. It's heartbreaking. Add to that the fact that he has no real concept of time and it can be a bit volatile. But he is trying his best.
Skype truly is a marvel, talking on the phone is one thing. For the kids (and me too) being able to see his face everyday makes it so much easier. Okay sometimes it makes me miss him more because I can see and hear him but can't touch him. But thats a trade off I'm willing to make.
When we were living apart for close to a year when Todd was training, it was the toughest and hardest time ever for me. It has actually turned out to be a good thing, because it has made this time around so much easier to handle. I know what I am capable of. I know that the time will pass and before I know it he will be back home and we will have slipped into out regular lives again. I know that it is only temporary.
And it has taught me not to ring Todd in a crazy mess upset and crying. It does no good for either of us. It just makes things harder and causes more tension and frustration I know that Todd finds it hard enough being away from me, his two babies and our growing new little man, without having to be worried that I'm not coping or am a right hot mess.
I have made a point not to cry on Skype or on the phone. I skim over the bad days, just simply say it was a bad day or the kids played up. I don't go into details or say that I cried in the shower because my heart aches for him.
Why am I sharing all of this now?
Because he is going to be home in under two weeks. And I feel like the weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I know that the hardest part is over and that the rest is the excitement and planning for his homecoming. And because I have now shared all of this with Todd.
He reads my blog and if I had shared it any sooner I know it probably would have played on his mind and the last thing in the world I have wanted to do is taint his time. Because while he is working darn hard he is also experiencing life, and he worked so so hard to earn this opportunity. He deserves to be able to make the most of it.
After all we have a lifetime to experience everything else together.