Thursday, September 20, 2012

I was a single mom......38 days later

     My husband is a firefighter. This summer he has been gone far more than he has been home. The fire season started for him the first week of June. He started his normal shift and a fire broke out. He was gone for 2 weeks. He came home and started some projects. Then he was gone for 21 days. He came home started working on the projects he had started. Then he left for 38 days. To say it's been a rough summer would be an understatement. My children got used to having him around all winter long. He was Mr.Mom while I was working full time. I would come home after a 12 hour shift and be completely fried. Micah would do it all, dinner, bath time, bed time. He didn't always do the best job. And most times he was not happy about doing it. But he did what he could. Having daddy around is something we all took for granted. Being a mommy 24/7 is really hard. But doing it alone is so much harder than mom's are given credit for.

This summer gave me an appreciation for single moms.

     I forgot to put the garbage out 2 weeks in a row. I finally had to call them and ask for a courtesy pick up. I forgot to water the lawn, it's now yellow. During the last 2 weeks of Micah being gone Fish started to lose it. To say that a 6 year old is losing it...not a joke. When she was finally potty trained she rarely had an accident. The last time was when she was 3 and a half. Until the week before Micah came home. She was emotional and weepy. It felt like every day she was escalating just a little. Finally the Friday before Micah came home she wet the bed. She woke up screaming and embarrassed. It took me hours to get her to calm down. My girls share a bedroom so her cries woke up my Butterfly and then there were 2 crying babies. Moosey has been sick so he woke up too coughing and exhausted. It was a horrible horrible night. The next morning I was supposed to be running the Mud Blast. Yup I have not mentioned it. There haven't been any pictures of me covered in mud, arms raised in victory. No excited posts counting down to the big day. It didn't happen. I broke my toe the week before. But I could have taped it and hobbled in pain. I didn't train like I wanted to. But I've done several events where I didn't train and still survived. The hardest part for me was my Fish.

      When I decided to sign up for the Mud Blast my husband put in for the day off. He wanted to support me and said he'd take care of the kids and take Fish to her soccer game. We didn't know it would be picture day too. But he was on a fire so that plan went right out the window. I knew I couldn't pull it off and I felt guilty. I felt like I would be letting anyone who reads this down. I felt like I was letting my friend down who had convinced me to sign up. She said a few times that I was making excuses and was going to flake out. So I tried to figure out how I could find someone to watch my 2 smaller kids and someone to take Fish to her pictures at 8am and then stay for her game. I would also need these people to keep my children until I returned...whenever that would be. My in laws are older and help me out a lot during the week with pick ups and drop offs. My mom was sick and has been in a lot of pain. I was so worried that my friend would be upset with me. I didn't want to let her down. But I realized I would be letting down the wrong person...Fish. She was having the roughest time with Micah being gone. She was crying every night for daddy. How could I tell her I wouldn't be there when she took her picture for soccer and I would miss her game. What kind of message would I be sending my kid? Ultimately, my fun is second to my child's happiness. She needed me more than I needed to do the race. I'm sad that I missed the Mud Blast. I think it would have been fun to fall flat on my face. I don't know if my friend is upset with me. I haven't heard from her since before the race. But I was needed some where else.

    Micah came home the next day. 

The flowers Micah brought me

    He surprised me at my kitchen door with flowers. It was like the string holding it all togther was cut. I started crying as soon as I saw him. The last couple weeks had been brutal with kids waking up every night, Fish being emotional, breaking my freakin toe. The mixture of relief and exhaustion was like a wave. With that wave came sickness. Apparently my body was waiting for him to come home to get sick and I took Moosey with me. Our days together wasn't fun and exciting like I had planned in the 38 days he was gone. But just having my whole family under one roof was more than enough. My toe is mending but still hurts, my cough is on the way out. I have new goals for myself. But I haven't forgotten my original most important goal. To be a happy MOM.

Fish posing before her 8am photo shoot