Ok, so I have totally been slacking on the blog posts! Exactly 2 weeks have gone by since David left...again. It's kind of hard to describe how things feel right now. It hasn't been as hard as I thought, and that makes me wonder why. Other friends I know who's spouses are deployed, or have been in the past tell me all about how hard its going to be, and they cry/cried a lot, and here I am, I haven't cried hardly at all. I was a mess at the airport, but have been fine since then, aside from a song or thought or something that might make me tear up a little bit. I know that I love my husband, so I don't understand why it's not harder. I know, I know, everyone deals with things in their own ways. Trust me, I have heard that one a million times, but it doesn't make me feel any better. I feel like my lack of emotion about it all says something bad about me or our marriage or something. We have gone through a lot in our marriage, but we have overcome it and we have come out on top of every bad situation we have found ourselves in, and at the end of all of it, we have stayed together. And it is because we love each other. Not out of some sense of duty or responsibility or anything like that. Its because our love and our marriage is worth fighting for. So in every situation, we have always put our marriage first. So, if our love is worth fighting that hard for, why am I not crying every day because he isn't here?
In a way, I think a big part of it is that there is a lot less pressure on me in one way. It's a toss up, in a way. One one hand, yes, there is a lot more stress because I am doing everything on my own (including killing the icky bugs), but on the other hand, it is a little less stressful to because I don't have to live my life to someone else's standards. I don't have someone commenting on the fact that I decide to eat a pizza for dinner instead of a healthy alternative, or that I let the kids eat something messy for dinner, or walk around eating their snack instead of making them sit at the table. But at the same time, I also don't have someone to put my arms around while I fall asleep at night, or someone to cook dinner for, or someone to come home from a long day of work and change a diaper just to give me a break. Of course, I wish he was here, and maybe if I wasn't go go go all the time, it would hit me a little harder.
Our sleep schedule is DEFINITELY a mess since he left. Austins night terrors were keeping us up all night so we have been sleeping til sometime between 11 and 1 lately. Now Aiden is getting SIX teeth in all at once, so he is up all night. I don't know how to turn it around because now that it is just me, I can't be up with them until 5, then turn around and get up at 8 to turn the schedule around, make THEM get up, and have them be that overly tired, and still function to actually take care of them. So it has turned into a vicious cycle. One of these days when I don't have anything going on, I think that I will just let the go to bed late, as normal, but I will stay up and wake them up a few hours earlier than normal, then let them nap a few hours later (which they aren't even napping on this schedule we are on now) so that they aren't stressed from being too tired. Let them sleep for about an hour, get them back up, take them to the park or something and get them good and worn out, then we all try to go to bed at 8 or 9. Because when I am up with them til 5 it is too hard for me to wake up before 11 or so. So I am going to have to just stay up. It is way easier to stay up, than to force myself to get up...lol. But it will have to be on a day when I don't have anything going on, so that my lack of sleep doesn't interfere with anything...lol. Other than that, I just don't know what else to do. But this schedule is hard on all of us. We dont even go to playgroup anymore because it is too hard to wake up at 8 or 9. I mean, I guess technically it doesn't really matter when they are sleeping as long as they are getting the sleep. But I don't like always missing playgroup, and when 9 or 10 rolls around and they are still running around screaming, my nerves are pretty shot because it's night time, and I want them winding down so that I can start relaxing.
I guess the hardest part of all of this is that there is just no down time for me. So if they are up til 5, I end up awake til 6, but to get an hour of quiet time to myself. I used to put them up at 8, then I could stay up til 9 or 10 for my quiet time to relax, then go to bed, and we would all wake up nice and refreshed the next morning :)
Their sleep schedule being off is also throwing off the eating schedule. We are eating breakfast sometime between 11 and 1 which means "lunch" is actually at dinner time. Its all a mess...lol.
Anyways, all that aside, I have had a couple of photo shoots, and I have a newborn shoot tomorrow, which I am really looking forward to, since I just got all of my new studio equipment, except one backdrop I am still waiting on. So that has been going well. I have also started going to the gym. My babysitter (who is AMAZING and a total Godsend!) is going to come over 3 times a week so I can go to the gym. That has helped immensely. I stopped going after I moved in with David. The gym was kind of a controversial subject for us, so I just didn't go. But I had forgotten how much I loved it. I have always been a very athletic person, and just the 2 times I have gone to the gym this week have already undone 4 years of feeling like crap because I wasn't working out! So that is a habit I will definitely not be giving up again!
I think part of the reason that this deployment has been less hard on me that some people is that in a way it has given me my independence back. I have come to rely on David way too much. He always drives when we go places, so I don't pay attention to where they are, so I don't know how to get anywhere, so I don't go anywhere without him. He handles things like vehicle registration and base stickers and all that, so I never bothered finding out what I needed to do because he always handled it. If I wanted to schedule a photo shoot, I had to check his schedule before I could set it up so that we didn't have conflicting appointments. Now I am doing everything for myself again. I'm not depending or relying on anyone. I am thinking for myself and doing things for myself again. I have never liked relying on people or just taking a back seat and letting them take the controls, but it was a routine that we fell into pretty early in our married life, and I guess I just never really thought to question it.
Don't get me wrong, none of that makes me glad that he is gone. I miss him like crazy and I am counting down the days until he comes home, but I think that this deployment is going to be a real eye opener, for me at least, as to what things might need to be done differently in the future. This deployment is a reality and nothing I am going to do is going to change the fact that he isn't here, so I might as well put a positive spin on it and use this time as an opportunity to rediscover myself; to remind myself that, yes, I am a half of a whole, but I am still a whole person by myself as well. Being half of that whole does not totally define me. I am still an individual with thoughts and needs. I have spent so long playing the role of wife and mother, that I forgot about the things that made me who I am as an individual. And I firmly believe that in order to really contribute to a marriage, you have to be happy with yourself, and I haven't been for a long time. And a big part of that was when I gave up working out. I had 2 kids, and yes, I was really underweight before I had them, and based on my BMI, I am the perfect weight now, but that doesn't change the fact that when I look in the mirror, I don't see what I want to see. A diet would be pointless because I don't need to lose weight, I need to tone the muscles again to get back to the figure I want. Going back to the gym will give me that back. I think that when I start working these things out for myself, and finding out how to get a good balance between being a wife and a mother, but still being an individual, it will make a huge difference not only in my own life, but in my marriage, and as a parent as well.
I have always looked at single mothers with so much respect and wondered how they could do it. And this time I have been taking care of the kids by myself has given me that much more respect for them. But I have always felt like it is something that I could never do. And already this experience has shown me that if it ever came down to it, I could do it. Not that I ever have ANY intention of having to, whatsoever. My husband better live a long life and be here to watch those kids grow up, but it is just good to know that I am a good enough parent that no matter what life throws at us, I will always be able to take care of my kids and put them first. When this deployment came up, my first thought was "Why on earth did we decide to reenlist?" because when this enlistment is up, he will have been in for 11 years. It would be completely asinine to get out after you have already passed the halfway point, which means this will not be the last separation that we deal with, and probably not the longest one either. But I see now that that is ok. No matter what happens, I can take care of my kids, even if I have to do it on my own, and we will all be fine. When this deployment came up, I didn't think I would be able to do it alone. I thought that a month in I would be looking at plane tickets to go home but here we are doing fine, aside from a few minor issues like the sleep pattern. So maybe it has been easier on me because what I was envisioning and fearing was so much worse than the reality of the situation.
Anyways, thanks for bearing with me while I play shrink for myself...lol. I don't know why, but when I can't work something out in my head, if I just sit down and write it out, I seem to find the answer I am looking for, in some ways. And since I was so late on a new blog post, I figured why not let everyone else have some insight into the mind of Jessica! LOL! After all, like I said at the beginning of this blog, in a way it is meant to be a diary of sorts....except a diary that you post on the internet for the whole world to read and comment on! LOL!
Well, on that note, I am going to close for the night! The highlight of my day was definitely the great workout I got! I am going to try to get back to doing this daily, so hopefully I will have more to share tomorrow night! Maybe something a little less introspective (and long)....LOL!