In less than three months, Jeff will be off to basic training for 10 weeks. That's the longest we've EVER been apart. We were apart for four weeks once- not talking- when we broke up in 2004, but other than that we haven't been apart for more than a week or two at a time. Even when I was living in Missoula going to school and Jeff was working at the paper in Helena!
Part of me doesn't flinch when I think about Jeff being gone that long...that sentence sounds wrong...so let me explain. Since we've been married, Jeff's been working the night shift. He works 3:30 p.m. to midnight and sometimes he can't come home for a break he's so busy. So esssentially from 3:30 pm on, I'm on my own. On Saturdays, during football season, I have Caderyn by myself from 11:00 a.m. until sometimes one in the morning. I've gained more resepct for the single parents out there because this little boy is BUSY!
I take care of Caderyn, do activities, make dinner, clean and do the whole bedtime routine. When I think about doing this on my own, I know I can do it. I know my house will be a little bit cleaner when he's gone, the grocery bill a little less and the house VERY empty for ten weeks.
But then we had an episode like last night where Caderyn must have gagged on something and barfed up what looked like two days worth of food and drink. It just kept coming and coming. I tried to block the puke stream with my body which kind of worked. The whole front of me from my neck to my toes were covered (I have witnesses), but then it got all over the couch and carpet too. I was lucky enough to have a friend over who watched Caderyn after I stripped him and plopped him in the tub so I could change and start to cleaning up the puke. The whole time I was cleaning I just kept thinking I'm going to be alone for ten weeks, doing stuff like this all on my own. That makes me a little nervous.
I think Jeff and mine's biggest argument is helping around the house. He doesn't help all that much and I'm sure he gets super annoyed with me asking him to do stuff. But if I didn't ask, it would never get done. Sometimes I wish the work ethic I see Jeff using in his job followed him home, sure he gets paid money there for what he does, but don't you think the payment at home is so much better? Homemade dinners (which I would make more if there were less work to do around the house), love from a wife, little boy and little dog, snuggles and *cough* those other snuggles. But I digress. When Jeff does help out around the house he does a great job. He empties the trash which I hate doing. He irons which I refuse to do (that's why they have the wrinkle control on the dryer). He does the yardwork and shovels the snow. He gets up at 3:00 a.m. and changes Caderyn's diaper. He goes down into the scary "basement" under our house to get my decorations- as it is now- I'm planning on carting them all into our storage unit because I refuse to go down there alone. He remembers to let Lucy in at night when I've fallen asleep on the couch. He's my snuggle blanket and probably the reason I have no problem falling asleep. He's very cuddly and warm. He spends time with Caderyn on Sundays so I can go into work and get ahead or meet with my study group or run errands.
As I cleaned up clumps of vomit last night, these thoughts began to fill my head and I began to have my first anxiety feelings about him being gone.
I know I'll have lots of help. We have a great baby-sitter who comes 3-4 times a week so I can workout and run errands. Jeff's parents live SO close and my parents are just a quick plane flight away. We have lots of friends here in Helena and it feels SO good to say that! We're also going to be switching daycare and going into full-time care when Jeff's gone. I'm very excited about our decision to switch to an in-home care daycare and hopefully it will help Caderyn develop better social skills better and be less sick.
But I also work a very full-time job that's not very forgiving and have made the decision to go back to school- granted its only one/two classes at a time, but still...
There are errands to be run and upkeep on the house that needs to be done on a routine basis. All of the bills will have to be paid and there will be doctors visits and late, panicked calls from my work and...snow. Did I mention he'll be gone during the coldest part of the year in Montana.
Jeff's very excited about this next step in his life and I 100 percent support him and know that this will be such a good move for our family, but my heart starts to flutter just a little faster when I think about all of the responsibility that will be hefted on my shoulders.
All I can say is LORD GIVE ME STRENGTH.