It’s amazing how easy it is to fall into a rutt and become totally bogged down with everyday life and the routine of the mundane. It’s even more crazy when my hubby is away and our little family unit just becomes this well oiled machine.
Now don’t get me wrong, I completely and utterly love my husband and having him work from home and be in our lives. But I can’t begin to explain the change in our lives when he’s gone. It’s either one really “well” oiled machine and I’m relieved or it goes really “bad” oiled machine and I can’t wait for him to get back. I guess we’re having one of the “well” oiled machine times without him.
Ok, so let me explain what I mean. Our little family unit works where mom and dad chat at the beginning, middle and end of every week to make sure that our calendars align and that we’re aware of each other’s ins and outs with our home activities. If dad is needing to record and needs a quiet house, then Mom and kids go to the library or plan a specific outing. If mom has organized a play date to come over, then Dad plans to do admin or have coffee dates that day…… and so on. (I hope you get the picture)
So there’s a lot of communication needed. So here comes the machine part. You see, raising and managing 3 dependent human beings isn’t a walk in the park as there are different levels of intelligence, emotions, hormones (this one is putting its toes in the door at the moment) and physical energies. All of which have to be nurtured and grown to become a decent human adult. All schedules have to align and all needs need to be seen to physically, spiritually and mentally.
So when Hubby is away, I click into military mode and make sure that everything is over planned so that I don’t lose my mind without the security blanket of, “they’re yours, take them before I completely lose my mind!” I’m it, and there’s no tag team possibility.
So like this week, we are in a slick zone of everything is going well. Attitudes have been normal, if not mellow. Fighting has been on the lower level and all around play and cooperation has been 80-90% perfect. I owe this to the over planned attitude I went into this time of “single parenting” (by the way, I honestly don’t know how you single parents do this-much respect!)
I also owe it to the fact that there’s one less schedule to worry about. It’s amazing that when just one ball is taken or if the juggling ring-life is so much simpler. But I’m saying this all because the week is going really well so far.
What about the “bad” oiled machine times. I’d like to use the metaphor of a car that has been filled up oil and as much as it’s working and doing what it needs to do – there are oil stains everywhere because there’s damage to the cars engine somewhere and you can feel, hear and sense that at any moment – it could fall apart and completely breakdown.
Those times when Hubby is away, then I just want to crawl into the corner and cry me a river of self pity tears. These are the times when the fighting never stops and every one is literally hating each other. I have been shouting my head off and feel like no one is listening. This is when I look at my kids and I can literally see that their live tanks are empty and the only person that can fill them is dad – no matter how hard I try to do what he does.
The light at the end of the tunnel is 4-5 days away and I don’t know how I’m going to make it. I have honestly hated these times when he’s away – but! I have learned a great deal from them and that’s why this time it’s a smooth machine and we are sailing through this “dad is away” stint.
So, as I watched my kids chat to their father “old school” on the telephone, I loved the fact that they were all smiling, happy and not emotional about him being away.
How have you coped without a spouse or support system around? Are you getting better at it or are you still in the “bad” oiled machine state. Let me know what you’ve learned, leave a comment on my blog – I’d love to learn from you.