My husband’s been away for training since the end of January, and while having him gone for work is nothing new, this time it’s hitting me a little differently.
I think I’m struggling a little more this time, because I know what’s coming in the near future, and I’m focusing on that rather than the present. Either way, the days are long—very, very long, and I’m actively praying that the year ahead will actually be short. Is that horrible to say? I just want to be on the other side of it already.
Like I said above, deployments and TDYs (essentially a military “business” trip that can last anywhere from a day to 364 days depending on how they classify it) are nothing new in our household. Last night I tried to count how many deployments we’ve been through together and I think the answer is five, going on six. Some deployments were “only” two months long, while our longest one to date was a little over seven months.
TDYs, on the other hand; I literally have no idea how many of those we’ve done. On average, he’s away about 3-4 months a year if we tried to add it all up.
But this current TDY he’s on (and the upcoming deployment) is different. The kids are older and more aware of how much they miss their dad (and they let me know often…very, very often), my patience is thinner, my dreams and personal desires to do “me” things are bigger, and I’m hyper aware of what’s to come.
I’ve been treating our very long, “bad” days with sorrow and pity, because I feel like they are foreshadowing the next year of my life. I swear lately we have more days where I’m on my last nerve, and my short fuse is coming out on my kids by yelling and being short with them. And I don’t like it.
It doesn’t help that we haven’t been on our normal schedule for the last two and a half weeks (sickness that will never leave our house, a small trip, no school, etc.), and we’ve been around each other almost 24/7, which is enough to let anyone go crazy. In fact, I’m almost certain this is what’s causing my frustration.
As a mom…as a woman with goals, dreams, plans, wants, and desires, it’s hard to put yourself on the back burner day in and day out, and it leads to a burnout. I’m all for delegating and taking the load off of myself, but when you have sick kids you’re kinda their main squeeze; handing them off to a daycare, sitter, or school is a pretty much a no-no, so that’s just one extra reason why the pressure’s been building lately.
I realize this post is sounding very down in the dumps, and I can assure you we’ve had some smiles despite the gloomy picture I’m painting here. I just wanted to lay it out there that not every day is a smiling happy day at Disneyland.
And even though my answer to the “I don’t know how you do it,” comment will always remain the same: ‘Because I have to.” It doesn’t make it any easier on those very long, long days.
But I do have faith the sun will shine again (seriously, San Diego…enough with this rain and all the sickness it’s brought to our little community).
I know that with the right mind set, talking to people about it, talking to my kids about it, and with a different outlook on my current situation, I can embrace this short season I’m in, because it won’t last forever. Once our family is back on the healthy train again, we’ll be able to get back to our normal routine.
Until then, I’m learning to smile through the tears.