Friday, August 31, 2012

A Gift of Quiet

Our job as moms and wives can lead us to a Domestically Frantic life.  We work 24 hours a day 7 days a week and there is no pay, well no monetary pay. We get paid in hugs and kisses, humorous anecdotes, and the woo hoo's when you put pancakes on the table for supper.  As a military wife there are many times that our family is separated and I take on the tedious task of single parenthood.  Deployments are tough for everyone and if you're not careful there are days that you can become angry at your spouse.  Thoughts can become distorted thinking that they are having a great time without you, getting to see new places, trying new cuisine, and sleeping in until they want.  These are the sleep deprived, not enough coffee thoughts that can hit you.  Then you get a little coffee, a half a shower  (I say half because someone always needs something, you have to answer at least 10 questions and dress a Barbie doll while in there), and a little breakfast and your mind starts to clear.  You know that none of these things are happening, in fact your spouse is working 6-7 days a week, 12 hour shifts and possibly sleeping in less than perfect conditions.  Then guilt inevitably sets in and the next time you hear their voice or you get a (constantly dropped) computer conversation you want to apologize.  Its a roller coaster ride but one we knowingly take on when we say "I do".

There are many scenarios you think of when your spouse returns to regain your sanity; pedicures, checking into a hotel to get back lost sleep or mini vacations just for yourself.  Truth is the minute you see their face and their arms are wrapped tightly around you, all thoughts of alone time is gone.  The only place that you want to be is next to them (usually fighting for position from your children).  Days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months trying to recover lost time and then before you know it they are leaving again and you have done nothing to regain your sanity.  My husband has been home 8 months now and we have been holding our breaths that he may not have to deploy this time.  He is last on the list to be tagged for his band and we still have a few months before we can breathe a sigh of relief. 

In these 8 months I have done absolutely nothing for myself or my sanity.  He returned home in January and just getting through the rest of the school year was all I could think of.  Then, its summer.
I don't need to tell you that the summer months can add a level of insanity to our lives as moms.  Vacations, finding activities to ward off the "I'm bored" comments and keeping the TV from running non stop and turning our children's brains to total mush can be exhausting.  Our summer has encompassed all these things and with that my husband has noticed that I could use a little time to myself. Usually I take an afternoon and find a coffee shop and a book store and spend a little "me time" away.  But not this time.  My husband suggested that he take the girls and make a trip to see his dad and step mom for this last weekend before school starts.  HUH?!  I didn't know what to think. I can count on one hand how many times I have been separated from the girls and its definitely less than five.  This is a tough decision for me.  As much as I need and want some time to myself the thought of missing out on what they are doing is almost painful for me. I needed to think about it.  So I considered all the things that I get to experience with the girls when he is so far away and that made the decision very easy.  So, with an apology to my in-laws that I would not be coming, my husband and daughters hopped in the car and headed to the beach.  My in-laws live at Holden Beach, North Carolina and my girls LOVE the beach! Of course what child doesn't have a blast at their Maw Maw and Paw Paw's house!  I have received various text's that let me know that they were going to the beach for awhile, heading out to get pizza and the cute pictures sent to me that Paw Paw bought them ice cream at 8pm.  It makes me smile that they are making memories with their grandparents. That is something no one can replace. 

Even though I am surrounded by a lot of uncomfortable quiet, I am comforted that they are being loved to pieces.  So, I will pour myself another glass of wine, dive into my pizza (it is pizza night after all) and pick out my next reading adventure knowing that my children will return safe, happy and extremely loved and I will be a better mom for having this time to myself. 

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