Hats off to all of the single parents out there. I only have to do it temporarily and only every few months. However, when I do it, I am exhausted! Most nights after the kids are in bed, I find myself face down on my bed trying to find the willpower to get up from my 2 minute "let's sit down and rest" so I can finish putting away the dinner dishes, feed the cats, lock up the house, prepare everything for the activities for the next day, and pop up in a moment's notice when one of my doodlebugs startles in the middle of the night and needs me. There doesn't seem to be a down time.
Hubby is working on a big project that will take him in and out of town over the next few months. The thing with his job is sometimes he doesn't know when he's headed out and I'll find out a few days ahead of time with an, "Oh, Babe, I gotta travel in a few days and it will be for x amount of time." We did really well last February. We knew it was happening, we knew he'd be gone for a while, and I used all my "waiting" time to prep myself mentally and emotionally. With the help of technology and lots of "Face Time" thanks to last year's anniversary presents of iphones for each of us, the kids and I were able to see Hubby often enough to make things easier.
This time around has been a little tougher. I think that the timing isn't the greatest (but when is it ever great?). The beginning of the school year, the beginning of new extracurriculars, and new schedules have made this season's traveling a bit harder. We weren't set in our school routine when Hubby had to start traveling, so Boogie has been taking it especially hard. My heart broke a little when I overheard him tell Hubby, "I tried to fall asleep in your bed when Mommy was downstairs. I even tried to sleep on your side of the bed, but it didn't help. I still missed you a lot, so I went back to my own bed." The little kids seems to be doing okay with it. Buggy knows that this is just the way it goes and keeps telling Daddy to "have a good time and I miss you!" and Mr. Bananas goes with the flow because he doesn't know any better. But, man, my Boogie Monster is having a rough time. He's super bouncy. He's antagonizing his sister more than usual and having a harder time following directions.
Me? I'm more exhausted than ever. I'm keeping busy by training for next month's running festival. Running let's me forget how tough it can be sometimes. I think I'm also trying to run myself into exhaustion so that I'll sleep better at night, but that's not working. Not getting enough sleep coupled with intense work outs are leaving me drained and a little cranky. Not a good combo.
But day by day and week by week we'll get by. We're settling into school routines and by the end of the week each of the kids will be scheduled into their extracurriculars. Buggy and Bananas are taking gymnastics this Fall and Boogie is signed up for soccer. Gymnastics started last week and soccer will begin this Saturday. I think regular classes/practices will keep us busy and we'll settle into an overall life routine for the school year.
I'm very grateful for the offers of help from various friends. However, I think my strategy will be to hold on tight and keep on runnin'. Oh, and prayers for patience. Lots and lots of patience!
And just as it says in Proverbs 31, her husband has confidence in her (I just wish I had a little more in myself)...she works with eager hands (well mostly eager)... she gets up while it's still night (did I actually ever fall asleep???)...she sets about her work vigorously (keeping busy is my motto)...her arms are strong for the task (and for lots of hugs for my sweet kids who need a little more TLC)...
Here's to praying for a little less discombobulation and a little more strength and patience.