My husband is fortunate to be employed with a company that appreciates his talents and experiences. Plus, he likes what he does. We are fortunate to live in a place where we are supported by our family. My sons are close to both sets of grandparents who live within a 12 minute drive. However, two of these worlds (work and family), for our family of four + a cat, are not in the same place.
Since this is our story, I have found a way to identify myself: I am a married – but a single – momma. My husband travels Monday – Friday with some weekends included. We count his travel in weeks, not days. His schedule changes at a drop of a hat. I don’t count him for dinner until he calls to say he is on his way home from the local office. Then I have 12 minutes. And Go. Tacos are a go to dinner.
Before I go any further: My hats are off to all single parents out there. You are amazing. I am in awe. How DO you find balance? No matter your story, loving our kids is the bottom line. Supporting our families is the goal. Through love, laughter and adventure, we find the joy in the day. Some days it is hard. The power of prayer keeps me going.
My husband is scheduled to return tomorrow – he has the goal of being in town to catch our oldest son’s poetry reading at school. He will have been away for three weeks his time. He leaves again Tuesday morning, but it could be come Monday afternoon. He constantly comes and goes. He leaves his laundry at the hotel desk to do (love that a bit!) so we don’t spend our time together doing his wash. My kids ride the emotional roller coaster of daddy coming home and going again. I do to.
24-48 hours before he leaves, the kids get ornery. I get a little distant. It’s like the game faces are coming out. And 24-48 hours before his scheduled return, the questions start – ‘daddy comes home when? Will he be here for dinner?’ and sometimes the behavior changes come in waves of unpredictability that leaves me gasping for air or asking for forgiveness after I am quick to act or speak to my kids. I hate it. But I am aware of it. Maybe it’s getting easier? Maybe.
Spring break gave us a glimpse as to what Daddy does when he travels for work. We went with him, rocked the hotel stay and rental car. We saw where he works, his desk, his responsibilities he explains. We met the hotel staff that he has made a distant family with. The boys and I took over the town and really explored what the area had to offer. Best of all, we had dinner as a family Every Single Night. It was bliss. Not to mention the hotel made my bed, had coffee ready AND made my breakfast each morning. There were a few perks, but come the end of the week, I was ready to be home. I don’t know how he does it. Our bed is comfy! Thankfully the people he surrounds himself with are caring individuals.
Each time he leaves, I put on an invisible
cloak cape, and muscle through it all as best as I can. I feel like I put too many expectations on my oldest and find myself skirting the simple moments with my youngest because I am tired. I am lonely. I just want my family together.
I DO love the time with my kids. I love our conversations in the car on the way to and from school. I LOVE it when they see I need help. I love seeing them mature… but I am SAD my husband misses it. (See my post on Transitions, it will provide a glimpse at how my oldest is growing up too fast.) The transition my sons are going through in general life are expected, however, on the level of maturity and responsibly that comes with this role of a married single momma trying to hold it all together seems to be rushing it.. I’m still not sure how to balance it well.
My goal is for a balanced home life. Happy kids. A healthy marriage (that’s a whole other post in itself!) and a bit of peace in my heart each day. Faith gets me through. I believe I am only given what I can handle, though, I could use a little respite and our family could really grow and thrive with more time together.
Until that time happens, we power through. I do what needs to be done. I seek ways to fill my kids buckets just enough and sometimes I have a glass of wine on a Wednesday. It’s all ok. Looking forward to hanging my cape up for a few hours this weekend, it needs a rest too.
Of course there is another story, so here’s what the mom who travels has to say.