Wow! Tomorrow will be the 1 month mark since David left. Where has the time gone? In a way it feels like it has been much longer, but when I realized it was already a month, it kind of blew my mind! The boys and I have made quite a few changes and adjustments and we are actually doing pretty good. The first couple weeks were hard. Not just missing him, but it seemed like everything that could go wrong pretty much did. However, things seem to be going a lot better now and if I do encounter a "crisis" I don't feel as intimidated anymore. I really am gaining a lot of my independence back. I am handling everything including the finances, which is something I have not done since David and I moved in together. As much as I have always opposed the traditional view of what a marriage "should" be, it seems like we really fell into those habits anyways when we got married. David handled all of the practical stuff; working, finances, the yard work, basically all things "manly". I love my husband, but one thing that this deployment is teaching me is that I have lost a lot of myself in this marriage. I look at the person I was before we got married and who I am now, and the person I was then definitely wouldn't recognize me now. Don't get me wrong, that is good in some ways, but in other ways I realize that I have held myself back a lot by trying to live up to this image of what a wife and mother should do. I forgot that it is ok to do things for me. In fact, it is better for everyone when I do.
I think I have lived a lot of the last 4 years or so on autopilot. We fell into a routine and I just kind of went through the motions. Gaining this independence back has been so liberating in so many ways. I realize that by doing something for myself, like taking a time out and going to the gym 3 evenings a week instead of taking my kids to the park that day or doing dishes and laundry, doesn't make me any less of a wife and mother. If anything, it makes me better. I feel better and I am taking steps to keep myself healthy so that I can be there for my kids and I relieve a ton of pent up stress in the process! Again, I feel the need to reiterate, none of this means that I am saying my husband, marriage, or children are holding me back. That is not the case. I am the one that has been holding myself back because when I became a wife and mother, I felt like I had to spend all of my time and energy focusing on being those things. And as much as I hate this deployment, I don't think anything would have changed without it. And I am interested to see how my newfound independence fits in when my husband returns and I have to go back to being half of a marriage and half of a parenting team. I am really hoping to find ways to maintain my individuality, but still be able to dedicate the same focus to my kids and husband. In fact, I would love for him to be part of the new things I am doing, such as the working out, and the new way I am managing the finances, and definitely THE CLEANING AND DIAPERING!!!! LOL! He can DEFINITELY be part of that whenever he would like! LOL!
The one obstacle I am really dealing with is the housework. I am seriously considering bringing in a housekeeper, even if it is just once a month to do a deep clean and I just maintain it throughout the month. But it seems like with everything else going on, there is no time for housework, and when there is time I don't have the energy. I am hypersensitive to caffeine and energy drinks since I was pregnant with Aiden, so yes, I could drink an energy drink and that would help me get the energy to clean the house, but then I won't be able to sleep at night (as if I am sleeping much as it is) and I need the sleep way more than I need a clean house at this point! I dont get an hour or two at the end of the night for quiet time like some people do. By the time I get Austin to sleep, which is still really late because his schedule is all off from his nightmares, I am so exhausted that I pretty much fall down and pass out wherever I land, then I wake up when the kids do. I have tried waking up earlier, but then I am exhausted all day and pretty much useless, and grouchy to top it off. Since having kids, I have never had a spotless house, but it's so overwhelming right now. And it's not even that it is THAT messy or anything, this house is just so much bigger than any house we have had before and it is a lot of upkeep. On days that I do dedicate to cleaning, it still takes me about 6 hours and that is just for the downstairs! We are only upstairs to sleep so that doesn't require much work. I am just worried about how my husband would react if I told him I was thinking about hiring someone. Again, I love my husband to death, but he doesn't understand how much work goes into taking care of two toddlers, especially when I am on my own and don't have much in the way of breaks. Yes, I have a sitter over several times a week so that I can workout or do photo shoots, but that is not exactly relaxing time or downtime or whatever. And it does get very overwhelming doing everything alone. He sees it as I am home all day so I have plenty of time to do everything that I need to do. Having plenty of time is one thing, doing everything I already do and having the energy to clean on top of all of it is a whole other story! LOL! So I would definitely be open to thoughts or suggestions on this matter. This is the one thing that really has me down and stressed out. I see my house and I feel like it is a huge sign of my incompetence flashing right in my face. Yes, I have just given a million reasons why it is not done, and they are all legitimate reasons, but I still feel like I should be able to do it all and the fact that I can't makes me feel, like I said, pretty incompetent. So that is the one ongoing struggle I have really dealt with since David left and honestly that is a problem I was dealing with before David even left. Anyways, enough of my vent session on that note! LOL!
A couple days ago was definitely the hardest day since David left. I got a voicemail from his Mother and I knew right away that something was wrong. His great Aunt is either 94 or 96 and has had several close calls. There have been times that we have gotten calls telling us not to expect her to make it through the night. So, naturally, I assumed that she had passed away. But instead, I learned that his grandmother, who was 81, passed away unexpectedly. The first thought that went through my head was his poor mother and what she must be going through, then the next thought was realizing that I was going to have to tell him. He has had a very stressful week. I could tell how bad it was because he was snapping at me for everything that I said, and he would make little snide comments about the situation that had him upset, but he was so angry about it he wouldn't even tell me what it was because he didn't want to talk about it. I eventually found out what it was, but those circumstances made it even harder to tell him. Thankfully, he took it pretty well. He was not very close with her and hasn't spent much time with her since he was a kid, but he was very concerned about his mother, understandably. But thankfully she seems to be handling everything as well as can be expected. I am worried that once all the work is done of making arrangements and she gets back home that it will hit her hard then. It's times like this that make it so hard to be so far away from family. David couldn't have gotten back, but if we were closer I could have at least gone to see her and taken the boys, and maybe time with them would have helped cheer her up. But our thoughts are definitely with her through this time.
Anyways, my babysitter will be here any minute so that I can go to the gym, so I am going to get off of here. And I know I said last time that I was going to try to start writing more often, then I didn't do it, but this time I really will! LOL! Especially now that I realize there are people that are actually reading it!
Highlight of the Day: The boys and I went and got milkshakes at Burger King and took them to the beach and just sat there watching the waves :) The only thing that could have made it more perfect is if their Daddy had been there with us!