Guest Blog: Me, Myself, and I
Blogger Biography: I am a native Texan and a stay-at-home mom for my two rambunctious preschoolers (four and two). My family and I are in the beginning stages of our Army adventure, establishing roots at our first duty station, and getting ready to wrap up our first deployment. I am (mostly) loving the Army lifestyle and ready to see what lies on the road ahead!
I have jumped on the blogging bandwagon as of late, and have been blogging my brains out with hopes of making sense of my crazy life during my family’s first deployment. I always love reading the entries from the usual team of the Military One Source Blog Brigade (and secretly wish I had their job) and from time to time, I click on the “Blog Call” page, just to check it out and see if inspiration strikes me. Some of the recent topics were “things to avoid on payday” (the Commissary) and “summer activities for kids” (child care…ha!). But the last one was “loving being alone.”
I laughed when I read that. This close to the end of a deployment, being alone is not something you love…it is more like a curse that you want ended. But true to my nature, I felt the pull to look for the good that exists in every situation. And as miserable as I am being alone at this very moment, I realize that there are a lot of positive things that have come out of these last nine or so months. In fact, if you’ll let me, I will offer you a positive thing for every negative thing I’ve encountered regarding my aloneness.
I miss my Soldier: At nighttime. After the kids went to bed, we always took the opportunity to put on a grownup show, snuggle on the couch, and just do nothing.
I love being alone because: I am most productive at night. Who knew?! It is amazing the amount of things I can crank out in a two-hour period; both the “have to’s” and the “want to’s.” I have finished so many projects on my own “honey-do list” just by having the opportunity to let myself do it. This deployment has been a blessing for me, because it has forced me to take the “me time” I had been putting off for so long.
I miss my Soldier: At suppertime. I cannot tell you how excited I will be when that man comes home and I feel a reason to make something a little more posh than a bologna sandwich and fishy crackers.
I love being alone because: When you don’t make an involved supper, you don’t have to do an involved amount of dishes. (Score!)
I miss my Soldier: When something breaks. I scored a super-cute handyman. Before if something broke, it was hardly a concern. Now it is a full on reason to panic.
I love being alone because: I am slowly but surely building up my superwoman status. It may take me ten times as long to fix it as it would for my husband, but I always find a way to get it done.
I miss my Soldier: When the house is a wreck. I am a stay-at-home mom, and the majority of the household chores usually fell on me. But my husband was not a slacker either. Yard work, trash work, diaper pail work, doggie duty, and general dirty work were always in his general list of assignments. You never realize how glorious it is to have another person helping with the house chores until you have to do them all by yourself.
I love being alone because: Sorry darling, but you were just as messy as the children ever were. Laundry has been cut in half. There is no longer a chronic, muddy boot trail leading from entryway of our home to the bedroom. The reduction in dishes has already been discussed. And the “field ring” around the bathtub has all but disappeared.
I miss my Soldier: On date night. I miss our chance to be grownups and reconnect. I miss having a reason to get a little bit dolled up and get out of the house. And I miss the opportunity to talk to an adult. (Seriously, you have no idea how much I miss it!)
I love being alone because: I have rediscovered “girl’s night.” Before my husband deployed, I always had a guilt complex about leaving the babies with him to go out with my friends. Being a wife and a mother is my favorite thing in the world (and my greatest responsibility at that), but I have really loved being able to get back in touch with the girl underneath those titles…and to rebuild my semi-neglected friendships.
I miss my Soldier: When the kids are sick…or have gone crazy. I don’t know what it is about a daddy, but he is his children’s favorite playmate while still being their strongest source of discipline. Dads are truly irreplaceable in that sense. And having two parents for two children really leveled out the playing field in our favor!
I love being alone because: I cannot put a price on the quality time I have been able to have with my children. I have gained confidence in my abilities as a mother. And I have loved watching how awesome my husband is at staying connected to his children, even from a half a world away. Being apart has made me appreciate how wonderful our family is together.
I miss my Soldier: When important decisions need to be made. I fully admit that I am a bit indecisive at times. My husband was always my voice of reason when there was a difficult choice.
I love being alone because: I have been able to call the shots and we are still in the game! I am far more capable of accomplishing things than I ever gave myself credit for. Everything I was worried I might not be able to handle beforehand I have met head on and have overcome. It is a spectacular feeling to be able to help carry a family through a deployment. And I think I shall toot my own horn for it now. Toot toot! 🙂
Do I miss my Soldier? Absolutely, and I have every single day. He is my very best friend and I cannot have him back with me soon enough. I miss him in the bad times, because I wish I had his help and his shoulder to cry on. And I miss him in the good times, because I wish he was here to share joyous moments with me and the kids. And promise not to tell him, but I am pretty sure I am missing his muddy boot prints too. But it turns out that while I was missing him, my relationship with myself has been growing all the while. (Silver lining is a beautiful thing, isn’t it?!)