“OK guys, time for bed!” My girls scrambled up from the couch and ran down the hallway towards their rooms. After tucking each of them in and giving them kisses, I walked out into the hallway and stood in between their bedrooms, and began to say our bedtime prayers.
As I stood there and nursed the baby, the girls started calling out song requests. I swayed back and forth in the hallway until that baby fell asleep and the girls stopped calling out for me. My back ached as I laid the baby down in his crib.
All the little people were finally asleep.
I walked out of the nursery and glanced around at the rest of the house; toys everywhere, unfolded laundry spilling out of the baskets, dishes in the sink, an overflowing trash can, and an empty refrigerator. It was the end of the day and I flopped onto the couch, almost in tears. It was another week that Daddy was gone for work, and another day for this lonely mama to choose to push on. So onto the floor I sat and began to fold the piles of laundry.
I don’t know about you, but when my husband is gone for work I struggle. I miss the break he gives me at the end of the day from the kids, the help with bedtime, the voice that my children listen to better than mine, and I just miss my best friend. I hate that I have to say “no” to fun things because I know how hard it will be to do them with the kids by myself.
Even more, I hate the feeling that my kids will miss out because Mommy just can’t do it all. And Mommy becomes not very fun.
I get exhausted from trying to do all of my things while also trying to do all of his things-there are just so many dang things! But on the days when I feel the most defeated by my double-to-do list and lack of being a fun mom, something happens…
This mama chooses to push on.
We go on a crazy adventure to the grocery store and end our trip with suckers, bubble gum, and a full fridge.
We go to the park and stay a little bit longer than we normally do; and Mommy even goes down the slide!
We make cards to give to Daddy when he comes home and the kids miss him a little less that night.
We have a laundry folding party on the floor while we watch Mickey Mouse and munch on popcorn.
And if I’m really lucky, I take extra time with each of my kids at bedtime, and we end the day with cuddles and not crying.
And when I lay in bed late at night and listen to his voice on the other end of the phone, I feel the cold space in the bed next to me, knowing that he misses us just as much as we miss him. It’s hard on all of us, and sometimes I forget that “us” includes my husband.
But since I’m the one here at home, I push through the hard with the kids and we come out on the other side; taking it one day at a time, finding joy in the simple and living for the moment when he comes walking through that door. And if I’m being really honest, my kids don’t really miss out on all the things that I think they are being deprived of. Because I’m giving them the best of me while I’m missing him. And a mother’s love covers a whole lot that the kids don’t even realize they miss.
When Daddy is gone, we feel the void of our main guy; the man that makes our family whole. And while it’s hard for this Mama to parent solo, it makes me all the more grateful for how hard my husband, our Daddy, works so that I can have the opportunity to be a push on Mama.