You may have noticed that I’ve written less this month than usual. Something which is maybe odd considering I just got a bunch of time back now that Macbeth is over. Well, let’s just say I’m holding out hope that April Showers bring May flowers…
It’s been a rough month so far. The single most challenging thing has been due to one of the changes I talked about the beginning of this month: my husband got a new job. This job requires him to be out of town for weeks when we hadn’t been apart for more than 36 hours since our baby was born. And to put it bluntly: it’s sucked. I’ve felt pretty miserable. But I’ve also learned a ton during this rough time of change:
*Single parenting, whether for a short or long period of time, is infinitely harder than co-parenting. It’s amazing the difference one hour out of the house alone makes in my ability to re-charge and be a better parent the next day, to feel good about myself, to set the tone for healthy positive choices. I have made it a point to get out of the house with my son while my husband is gone but nothing replaces alone time to sip coffee or blog in a bookstore or go to a yoga class.
*I have a beautiful community that I can rely on in times of trouble. Throughout this month I have had support in the forms of phone calls, dinner invitations, encouraging texts, offers of childcare, and even a beautiful bouquet of flowers delivered to my door. My friends and family near and far rock, and most of the time I just need to get better at saying yes to the help that is being offered instead of beating myself up for needing it or taking it.
*Insomnia is the worst. After almost 4 years of marriage (May 12th here we come!!), I have forgotten how to sleep alone. That probably sounds really co-dependent but I’ve always been a bit of an insomniac and not having someone to encourage me to try and sleep on the bad nights or calm me if I have a nightmare or wake up to a weird noise or even just be there to keep me warm (I’m told this is a female thing…) helps so much… especially because sleep begets sleep and it only took a few nights to spiral downward to nosleepathon crazy town. I slept more with a newborn than I have this past month.
*Perspective isn’t the fix-all I’d like it to be. I tried really hard to look at the bright side or to look at how much worse it would be if hubby was deployed for three months like some of my friends or how hard it must be for people who don’t have a co-parent ever but that did not help the situation. It just made me feel like a crappy person for not being able to hold it together when others have it so much worse. I’m not saying that being negative helps anything. Clearly it doesn’t. But acting like everything is fine or telling yourself it should be just doesn’t help me.
*We might be doing OK at this parenting thing. Yes, little guy got a lot more clingy when dad was suddenly disappearing for long periods of time and sometimes ending a FaceTime conversation meant tantrum central… but overall he’s a resilient kid. He’s happy and sociable and fell right back into his normal self when dad came back each weekend so far. And when we look at him it’s easier to make the sacrifices and challenges feel a little more worth it.
There’s more… but I’m still processing and that’s long enough for a blog post. for the most part I’m just really looking forward to this challenge ENDING and getting time with my wonderful husband again. In the meantime I’m continuing to try and shake up our day to day plans that aren’t working and looking forward to May when this particular part of change will (HOPEFULLY!) be over..