Single Parenting

Today marks the longest space of time that Jason and I have spent apart in our 17 year marriage.  Before this, the longest was last spring when Jason went to England, Bahrain and Egypt for work.  That time he was gone for 16 days.  Today marks 17 days.  And we have another 12 days before he’s coming home for a short two-day weekend.

Going into this I knew it would be hard.  I use military families as my inspiration.  If they can do it for a year and a half, I can do it for four months.  I feel weak and whiny saying this, but it’s really hard and I’m truly not cut out for it.  There is a reason that the Lord intended families to have a mother and a father.  I knew that before, but boy, do I have a testimony of it now.

Confession time:  I have been a really cruddy mother these past 17 days.  My temper is short, I yell a lot, and I’ve actually seen red a couple of times.  I speak to my children in a way that I would never speak to another human being because anyone else would order a padded wagon to come pick me up and take me away.  Luckily, my children don’t yet know the number to the padded truck hotline, but it’s probably just a matter of time before they figure it out.

I’m used to having a husband who, ala Superman, swoops in when I start getting frazzled and saves the day.  He knows when I’ve had it and I need a little Time Out.

Husbands as good for other things as well, as I’m coming to appreciate.  They’re good for back tickles, taking out the garbage, and long talks in bed.  Mine is also very good at computer tech support.  He is so good at tech support that I literally have no idea how to even download music onto my IPod.  Nor can I change the ink cartridge on the printer or look up our checking balance on the internet.  I can see I have now crossed the line on my confession and readers are probably beginning to think I’m somewhat dim-witted, so I’ll stop now.

After my father passed away, my mother started saying all the time, “Make sure you give that husband of yours a hug every time you get the chance!”  Well Mom, you’re right.  I haven’t hugged my husband nearly enough and I wish I could give him a big hug right now.

I also wish I had a longer temper and a shorter fuse with my kids.  I wish I were one of those mothers who only spoke to her kids with a sweet, angel voice and only said loving and positive things; but unfortunately, I’m not.

I’m trying, but I have a long way to go.

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3 comments

  1. Melissa Birkeland · September 7, 2010

    I feel for you, Erin! You need to pray, a lot, and then take more time for yourself than you think is appropriate. That’s how I keep sane. It’s not selfish, it’s for the good of the family. You can do it because you are Superwoman:)

  2. Denise Welcker · September 7, 2010

    Erin I am so glad to hear that you are human. Sometimes when Rob was working A LOT especially nights, it would get so hard after dealing with a classroom full of kids all day and then dealing with whiny kids at home, I would find myself doing the same thing with the girls. It makes you feel like the worst mother ever, but just know that you are normal and your kids will still think you are the greatest thing. In my book anyone that can do what you are doing is a superwoman. If you ever need anything please let me know. I can do dinners, tend kids, bring treats etc. Also take lots of time for you. You can do this remember you are not alone.

  3. Jen · September 30, 2010

    Erin,
    I just found your blog and wanted to let you know that you are SO not alone. We are also an FS family and moved back to the VA area in June…my husband then left for a year long UT in B’dad on 27 July…it has been over 10 weeks since we have seen him and will be another 3.5 before he is home for his first R&R.

    I have felt the same way as you many a day and just wanted to reassure you that you should not stress. It is a difficult time and, trust me, the padded wagon will be at my house first:-) Good luck and thinking of you!

    ~Jen

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