Well, Nate is still gone, and we have been a hot mess over here. I am trying to hold it all together, but most days I just feel like a complete failure. Because although I may make it through each day, I feel like I made many, many compromises to do so. For example, there are no healthy homemade dinners while Nate’s gone. It’s sandwich meat and cheese and crackers at best, and McDonald’s at worst. When you’re negotiating how many days a week your kids can have chicken nuggets, you know your standards have fallen. I am consistently asking myself how much I can get away with, rather than what I can do better.
How long can I let the dog poop sit on the side yard before it’s just a health hazard. How many weeks can I skip bringing the trash cans to the curb before they are just too full that I can’t even fit another bag in there. How long can I make this most recent Costco trip last so that hopefully I don’t have to make another trip until Nate get’s home. I’ll supplement Bobo’s dinner with some table scraps so that maybe I can stretch this bag of dog food until Nate get’s home. I won’t wash the kids’ sheets until someone wets the bed. When the dog throws up on the turf in our front yard, I give myself permission to drag a piece of furniture over it, rather than clean it up. This is how I’m making it through each day.
Needless to say, my previous standards are out the window, and I’m setting up a whole new rulebook to follow. This is how military wives deal. And we get together and compare notes, and ultimately we make each other feel better about these sacrifices in our quality of parenting, because we have to. If I tell a non military parent that I don’t really limit screen time for my kids, that, in fact, I pretty much leave the Disney channel on all day long in hopes that it will distract my kids enough so that I can take a shower more than twice a week, I get judgement. I will never admit to anyone how many times a week I am willing to feed my kids fast food while Nate’s gone, because I don’t even want to admit it to myself. How about the fact that instead of giving Summerly a nap during the day, we will just power through, and I will put her down two hours early instead. That means she’s in bed by 4p.m. every day, which is a complete embarrasment to admit to anyone. But it’s a necessity for my sanity because by that time every day, I feel like I’m about to scream or cry or both if I don’t get a chance to sit down and rest.
That’s just the ways I might cheat through each day. That doesn’t even begin to cover how I might deal with the constant stream of unexpected issues. For example, Maverick is an, “Emotional pooper,” in his doctor’s words. He has apparently decided that he will not go poop while Nate’s gone. Try as I might to encourage him and bribe him, this little man is holding it in. When I let the doctor know that Dad will be home in a few weeks and that that should fix the problem, she sternly tells me that if I don’t get this under control ASAP, I will be taking him to the ER in two days to be manually, and painfully evacuated, and also this could cause long term damage to his colon. Bad mom. So here I am giving him multiple doses of Miralax every day, Ducolax once a week, and throw in an enema every now and then. So my almost four-year-old son who was finally potty trained, is now basically shitting water in a diaper every day because he is in distress about his dad being gone. And I have to let him regress in potty training, wear a diaper, and do a lot more laundry and baths.
Speaking of baths, he will poop almost every bath probably because it relaxes his muscles. This is a problem when the whole point of the bath in the first place was to get him clean. Not to mention usually Summerly is in there with him. So I have to be very quick about scooping them out right away when this happens, dry them and clothe them, and then use an excessive amount of bleach to clean the tub and bath toys…EVERY bath. And I just have to be okay with this for now because he is sad, and it’s all our fault.
Meanwhile, I am getting to the point where the belly is completely in the way. The belly is sore and achey all day long from growing. And that’s why I feel like I want to cry at the end of the day, because I just hurt. This is not my kids’ fault that mommy is tired and cranky that Dad’s gone, but they are getting the crap end of the stick. But here’s the thing, I love you two more than the whole world, and although I may lower my standard of care while Dad’s gone, I will never stop loving you and taking care of you. You can count on me whether Daddy is home or not, and you can count on the fact that when he does come home, balance will be restored. So just be patient a little longer little ones, and it will all be okay again.