October 18, 2011

Yes, I Can Handle It

Sunday night as my husband was packing up for a trip to Los Angeles to start work on his Dad's next book, he was answering my questions in a way that suggested I was going to whither up and fall apart without him here for a few days.

Not entirely the case (no matter how much he wants to believe that is the truth).

I was asking him questions so that for the next 3 days I had an understanding of his morning and daily drop off routine as I know it can often be challenging and I am rarely around for it as I am off to work before either of them are up. That's all. I'm pretty lucky because despite the discord having a child has brought to our marriage, we are a solid parenting team. We are split down the middle 50/50 when it comes to parenting duties so when it comes time for one of us to go out of town, there are certainly some moments of panic not to mention having to readjust the work schedule. Worst of all when it comes to one of us traveling is shaking up our preschoolers regimented routine. He is used to daddy in the morning. NOT mommy. I had to answer a barrage of questions ranging from "Why isn't daddy home?" to why Daddy's car is in the garage but he's not actually home? Seriously. Try and explain that to a 3 year old. I dare you. Thankfully, because of his regular morning routine with daddy, it was seamless. I set the "alarm" to about 5 minutes before we had to leave so he knew when the alarm on the stove went off that it was time to go to school. Regardless, I will still have that anxiety about something going awry as my schedule is insanely tight when I have to entirely take over the parenting duties.

The rest is pretty typical in the evening. Dinner, games, Facetime w/ daddy (god I love technology) and maybe a movie if we miraculously have enough time... Before we know it, two hours has flown by and it is time to get into jammies and start the bedtime routine. Having only a couple hours in the evening is insanely unfair and the thing I hate most about being a working mom. It never seems like enough time.

After the boy is finally sleeping, there is work. The dishes will need to be washed, the counters and table wiped down, a workout if I can bring myself to it and some attention for the poor neglected dog. The rest of the night becomes a worry fest. What if something happens to the house? To the dog? What if I don't wake up and Jack needs me? No matter how hard I try to relax and remind myself that things are still normal despite being down one parent, I still can't sleep. So for the two nights this week that my husband is gone, I will be a walking zombie. Coffee will become my best friend. I dream of Wednesday night when my husband will return home and I can finally let go of my worries and will likely sleep like the dead.

It's not that I can't handle it. I can handle it just fine. But handling it doesn't make it any less exhausting. Handling it doesn't make the worries disappear. Handling it doesn't mean I will sleep well.

I am not writing this to make my husband feel guilty for going away. We are both deserving of our time away and I would never take that time away from him, especially from a project he is so passionate about. It is good to be able to step away from the day to day challenges that parenting gives. Good to step away from your spouse and give yourselves the chance to miss each other and remind you not to take each other for granted.

We are lucky that we are such a good team but when the team is down one of those vital players, the going isn't easy. And, now that a couple days have gone by? I actually kind of miss the guy.

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