Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Logistics of Madness

I've been downplaying our upcoming deployment by reminding myself that my children are older. They don't need me for everything anymore. I'm not breastfeeding, they can both walk, they can tell me what they want (which is a blessing and a curse), and diapers have long left my Amazon Mom subscribe and save list. The season of carrying babies, pushing a stroller, lifting, feeding, rocking to sleep for hours, up for 2 am nursing sessions, rinse and repeat has passed. Deployment will be easier. We have a new chapter now. One of school days, extracurricular activities, religious education, and... nevermind...

Parenthood doesn't get easier. It just changes. It is this crazy changing, morphing, challenging, fun journey that never quite gets easy. Just different. And so while this deployment won't be defined by diapers and naps, it will have it's own unique set of challenges and trials.

As I've been trying to piece the puzzle of my life for next school year together I am starting to have palpitations. And anger. And bemusement. How the hell is Kate supposed to dance twice a week, have soccer, go to her Catholic preparation classes, do homework, and have fun with her friends. And oh yea, I've got two kids. So poor second child gets nothing? So I sign him up for something and all of a sudden I feel like a failure because I've become that mom that overschedules her 4 and 6 year olds. No, I've overscheduled myself. I'll be doing this solo. Oh yea, I'm supposed to cook dinner and bath them and read books every day too. I'm already exhausted and I haven't completed one single day of this possible schedule.

I'll have more me time. Last time, I had not one hour to myself during the week unless I paid a sitter $12/hour. I did that once per week so I could occasionally run an errand alone or go to a doctor's appointment or just stare into a cup of coffee and drink it while it was hot. They weren't even preschool age yet. Connor was a chubby baby who couldn't crawl when John left - and walked only a month after he returned. Kate turned 2 a few months after he left. Those of you who read my blog back then know that many days I survived by the skin of my teeth. And wine. And some great friends who sometimes drove long distances to hold a baby while I took a shower longer than 5 minutes.

This time, I will have a first grader and a TKer (California lingo for PK kids whose birthdays just miss the Kindergarten deadline). They will both be at school M-F for about 6 hours. That is HUGE! I'll have time to run errands, keep the house from looking like a tornado blew through, and exercise.

But it is everything else that is giving me anxiety. How will I make sure it all gets done? And honestly, the other thing that's been weighing on me is that I feel really lonely already. In a perfect world, I do believe it takes two people to parent. Obviously it isn't that way for everyone. Women put on their big girl panties every day and make it happen for their kids. I will too. But as I stare at all of these screens to register my kids for various things, I want to look across the room and ask "hey, could you take Kate to soccer on Wednesdays at 5:30 while I make dinner?" or "Would you like to coach Connor's flag football team?" Normal, everyday parenting discussions. But that chair across the room is empty and will be empty for the better part of the next year. He's feeling awkward because while he isn't totally checked out on the things going on at home, he doesn't feel like his opinion really matters since it's up to me. All of it is on me.

And so while he's flying long days, debriefing at midnight, and tired the next day it is pretty hard for me to convince him that my worries over church vs. dance vs. soccer are important. But they're important to me. And also, in the midst of all of this caring for others (which is the name of parenthood, I get it), I wonder if I'll lose myself in all of this. Will he return to a shell of his wife because I spend the next 10 months literally living in my snazzy minivan going from point A to B to C?

Just things on my mind lately. Not sure how I'm going to deal with the gridlock I'm facing. If you have any words of wisdom, leave it in the comments.

Hi, I'm Jill!

Hi, I'm Jill!
Extrovert. Mom of two. Wife of a cute Naval Aviator. Lover of wine. When I'm not chasing my two kids around town you will find me writing, taking too many photos, and researching the ten future areas the Navy could potentially (but probably won't) PCS us. We are fish out of water, landlocked at 7,000 feet. For now.

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