It’s not really ideal to have your spouse out of the country for 20 days but at least it’s not 2 or 20 months… some spouses have it much harder with those they love in the military (or in heaven).
Not at all to belittle Simon, but having him gone isn’t too much different than my normal days. Monday through Friday, I work and come home and then he’s at work – the person not working has the kids (except the two days they are in daycare). After work I single-parent it through to bedtime. Right now, the rough times are mornings and weekends. I am NOT a morning person so Simon usually buffers my early risers since he is most definitely a morning person. And the weekends – those large stretches of time when it is just me solely responsible for two wild and crazy guys. It’s a bit exhausting. But overall, it’s a manageable time (not to say I won’t be cashing in on a couple 100% guilt-free weekends away come this fall).
And while it is manageable, my brain cannot handle really anything more than work and the kids at the moment, which means there is a chance I will almost run out of gas (the warning light had been on a good 20 miles before I noticed it and the display said 8 miles to empty when I pulled in to the gas station – whoops). This is not like me since it’s not like Simon fills up the gas tanks normally (not like my parents – my mom hasn’t filled up a car in decades, the cars are my dad’s domain) but this is indicative of where my head is at. Also indicative is how I was all prepared to drop Liam off at his daycare sleepover, only to get there and see everything closed up and note on the calendar – that I could see from the locked door – that the sleepover was the next week.
But I see the light at the end of the tunnel now that we are week away from Simon coming home (happy day) and I’m feeling a bit more breathing room. So I can take a few minutes to share the following (which are hopefully taken in the same manner in which they are meant – not complain-y, but completely sarcastically observational – my own personal M.O.)…
I 100% do NOT appreciate the following things that have happened in the last two weeks to make life a bit more interesting (i.e., I’m about to complain a wee bit, skip down to the next section for the silver lining part of this post):
- Liam puking in the van on the road into the airport when we were dropping Simon off; then again at home two hours later – I was afraid this might be a warning shot for the next 20 days.
- George puking on Jack’s bed (and my not finding it until the next morning); on my bed at some point while I was sleeping and on the couch and floor another night (also see: in my hands – twice – I’m still washing them).
- Jack coming out to the living room yesterday morning and when I looked at his face I was horrified to notice that it (along with his arms) was covered in dried blood. His sheets shared a similar fate (this has happened before because he likes to shove his little thumb up his nose) so back to the laundry again.
- Food poisoning or stomach flu which caused me to hang out in bed or in the bathroom for 12 hours while my saintly friend, Sarah, watch my boys and brought them home for bedtime.
- Liam waking up at 2 a.m. one night and requiring me to make three trips to check on him before he would just come upstairs and go back to bed with me.
- Ants taking over our kitchen – they are getting in somewhere and driving me batty – also driving me batty is how Jack screams every time he sees one – as if it was going to gnaw his leg off.
- Anytime we get on video Skype with Simon, the boys go a little bit crazy and cannot control themselves so I spend the conversation wrangling them with a stern voice and the Volcan death grip.
- A 14-time difference with Australia which means that phone calls take thought to work out when they would be good to make (but at least I can text him an unlimited number of times). Simon often calls in the morning first thing and I am usually awake but when I am not (and I should be), I answer the phone with a very bright and cheery voice to give the appearance that I am AWAKE, not sleeping, nope. One morning the phone woke me out of a DEEP slumber and I put on my peppy voice and answered with a “Hi, honey!” And then I looked at the clock and noted it was 3:25 AM and, after asking if anything was wrong, promptly switched to angry wife voice and inquired as to why he was calling me at 3:25 IN THE MORNING!? We spoke again 3 hours later, I was much nicer. [He fell asleep and woke up when it was dark so he thought it was late enough there to be a good time to call – but it was just stormy.]
- We have been having near 100-degree days with heat and humidity (which Simon loves) nearly the whole time he has been gone while he is in Australia where it is cold and he has to wear jeans and sweatshirts (which I love). [On the plus side, ridiculous heat with no rain means the lawn doesn’t grow so I don’t have to figure out how I’m going to get it mowed while Simon is gone. *BONUS*]
The things I do appreciate:
- The fact that Simon got a chance to go (despite everything else, I can honestly say, without bitterness or contempt, that I am glad he is there)
- That he will bring me back some Cadbury chocolate
- That he and his siblings are getting family time as adults
- While not related to Simon being gone, I SUPER appreciate Jack being potty trained
- That my parents are hosting me and the boys for the weekend coming up – a 3-to-2 adult-to-child ratio is so much better than 1-to-2!
- My awesome support system – really – there are not words for how much I love and appreciate the people in our lives that love us by watching our kids, hanging out with me, going to the beach with us, sitting with me in church, praying for us, sending us cards and flowers, texting daily to check in on me, leaving messages on FB, emailing sweet words and prayers, bringing food and coffee, providing playdates (and it should be said, beer) and company. It takes a village and it (honestly) makes me proud of myself for asking for help instead of being too proud to admit when I’m anticipating a struggle – because you don’t get a prize for doing it alone. Friendship is a gift; being able to help others and being the recipient of that help is an even greater gift. So thanks for giving freely and generously.