No one has died, so I win….

There are days when I feel like I have this motherhood-wifehood-lifehood thing down without my husband being home. He has been gone 11 days. It’s odd I don’t have the hours figured out on this one yet. There are days when I feel superawesomebadass, and I know that I can do this. Those are the days when we all get along, and the hills are alive with the sounds of music and joy. Those are the days when I put them to bed and miss them as they sleep, even though they are only a door away. Those are the days when I just break down at how cute they are, and there is more laughter than frustration, more giggles than screams, and more happiness than anything else. And then…there are days like the last few…

I don’t believe that three people should spend as much time together without Xanax as I have spent with my kids. I mean, really. Eleven days of being the primary parent. Eleven days of being the disciplinarian. Eleven days of being the only one that they really want to be with, even when I have to have someone else keep them for a few hours so I can work. It is because we have spent a ridiculous amount of time together that I find myself wanting to be anyone but who I am sometimes. Those are the times I want to book myself a one way ticket to North Dakota just to feel my husband’s arms around me, and for him to tell me that I am doing a great job. I am strong, I know this. But the last few days have really shown me that I am not a superhuman. I can do a lot of things, but I cannot do everything. And I am realizing this more and more.

My heart aches daily when my girls say things like, “Daddy misses all the fun stuff, doesn’t he?” and, “When is Daddy coming home?” My heart aches when Ellery asks me if we can Skype him while he is sleeping, and “why not?” when I tell her no, we can’t. I don’t have all the answers they need. I do now that, yes, Daddy does miss fun stuff right now. And no, I don’t know when Daddy gets to come home. I wish I knew. I think I would feel better if I just…knew. If I had any idea when this ride would be over. If I had any clue when they would be done on this job, I wouldn’t be so stressed out. I have considered going to my OB this week and getting an Rx for some anti-anxiety meds, but I can’t afford to be a zombie mommy, as much relief as that would give me. And I don’t think my kids are acting out because of anything I can control; I know they aren’t. They miss their daddy. And so do I. But I don’t get the option of throwing fits, screaming, crying… I am 31 years old. I have to smile and pretend that my heart doesn’t ache a bit more everyday he is gone…

The other night, though, I had a moment with my four year old that I won’t forget. She would not stay in bed. No matter what I said, she would not sleep. First she pretended her ear hurt. And then she said she was thirsty. Had to pee. Whatever. Finally, after a little less than an hour of this dance, I made her sit down and tell me what was really going on. She just … lost her shit. In front of me. She cried harder than she had in days. And I realized, she just now was processing this whole thing. I had been so preoccupied trying to remain upbeat and keep some semblance of normal life, and she was struggling. She blurted out that she missed her daddy, and I couldn’t help it, I cried. With her in my arms. We cried together. She needed me to meet her there, to meet her in her grief, and to stop being so damn strong. I was allowed to be weak, and she could be weak with me. And we talked as I rocked her and stroked her hair. And we laughed through our tears, and she went to bed. And that was it. She slept peacefully. THAT night, I missed her so much while she was gone. We were able to just be real with each other there, for that short time, and grief was okay. It was in those moments I realized that this situation is not one I want them to remember. I want this all to be a distant memory in six months or so, and not our reality. I want them to remember Skyping Daddy, and laughing with Daddy, and being silly with Daddy, even though we are separated by so many miles…. I don’t want them to remember how sad it made them. Or how much they missed him. And I want them to remember that he did it because he loves them. He loves our family. And he is doing this, though it is hard on him also, because he doesn’t have an option. He doesn’t get a choice. He gets this deal… and this isn’t fun. But it isn’t forever…

I have to remember that I can’t beat myself up when I get frustrated. I am on the edge of losing my shit in any seven second period for much of the day. I can’t feel bad about myself when I am sad. I am pregnant. And I am a hormonal mess (hello, everything makes me cry anymore, and I can’t even begin to allow anyone to hug me… I may just break down on the spot). And I have to remember that everyday that I keep my kids safe, happy, healthy, and alive that is a day I win. I win those days. I win because I can smile while ready to lose my mind, I can giggle while the girls are screaming at each other, and I can hold my head high in those moments they just love all over each other. However, I am far from perfect. I yell more than I’d like to. I get frustrated more than I care to. And I want to give up more than I care to admit. But those moments when I hear, “Mommy, Ellery happy. Ellery happy Mommy is here. I love you, Mommy” that I know I am not fucking up too much. It is when Caelan just looks at me, sighs and smiles, and wraps her arms around me that I know I am doing okay. And in those brief, fleeting whispers of togetherness, I know that they know that I need to hear those words, feel those hugs, and I know they need to hear them and feel them as well. Those whispers speak so much louder than the yelling ever will… And I am thankful for those moments. I am thankful for my children. And I am, oddly, thankful for this crazy time to be able to show my girls that they can handle anything life hands them, even if it isn’t pretty and easy, even if it sucks to the core for everyone involved…and we can do anything together much better than we can do it apart.

sometimes-you-win-sometimes-you-learnI refuse to lose; I never ever lose…But, I will always and everyday learn…

And how does this make you feel?

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