With a partner in the military, I’m often left to parent on my own while my husband is out to sea. Our schedule is quite unpredictable and we usually don’t know when Daddy will be back. I’ll admit there are times I just. can’t. even. The baby didn’t sleep well, we are late for play group, I haven’t showered (because WHEN), and I just feel like crumpling on the floor and crying my heart out. Solo parenting ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.
If your partner goes on frequent business trips or is in the military, there are some ways you can make things just a little easier on you and your family.
Before my husband leaves, I make sure to have a day to myself. I head out and get everything done I need to like grocery shopping. Running out of essentials like toilet paper or laundry detergent while my husband is away is my biggest fear since having a baby. I usually will head to the gym to clear my head and prepare myself for what’s to come.
The sacrifice my husband makes for our family is huge. He’s out there without the two of us, bobbing around in the ocean getting sea-sick, I’m sure. He’s up all night working, sleeping in a tiny bunk bed, and eating food he probably doesn’t want to eat. I make a point of thanking him daily for what he does for us and the sacrifice he makes.
When we were childless, I was awfully selfish and felt sorry for myself when he sailed. I cried, I pouted, and I stomped my feet. But now that the baby is in our world, I have to be strong for him. Half of his world is gone out of his life for an unknown amount of time. His world is essentially turned upside down. I can’t afford to be a mess, for his sake.
I’ve got this. I can do this. I’m the strength behind the uniform. I need to stay positive for my family. I like to send my husband emails telling him all I’ve accomplished without him being there. Instead of jealous he is proud that even though I’m going it alone, I’m still keeping it together and keeping our family and the household going.
I always remind myself it could be a whole lot worse. There are plenty of families where mommy or daddy is gone for months and months at a time. That doesn’t make it easier for our family but it definitely keeps us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Each day that goes by means we are that much closer to being reunited!
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