12 February 2013

a change

When Harlow was three weeks old, Dan took a trip to DC for a week.  I woke up the morning he was leaving in tears.  I was sad.  He had been home with us for Christmas for the last few weeks and all of the extra help with the girls was going to be missed.  It is also worth mentioning that I was scared I wouldn't be able to take care of both of them on my own.  At least not with my sanity in tact.

Actually since the baby was born I have done a lot of crying.  We struggled with infertility for several years and pregnancy is not exactly easy for me, so the probability of this being our last baby is fairly high.  Every time I look at her I think this might be the last time we have a baby who is X number of days old.  Then I start to cry because I feel bad that instead of enjoying it I am busy crying.  Not to mention how lucky am I that I get to be here for every single one of those days when there are going to be many of the baby milestones and moments Dan will miss out on while he is deployed, which causes me to cry even more.  That train of thought then leads to thinking about Dan being gone and how much I will miss him, how hard it is going to be for Mabes, and how in the world am I going to be able to parent both girls at the same time by myself for such a long period of time?  How am I going to be able to provide everything that they both need all of the time and take care of the house and the cars and the yard and my photography business and the rest of life?  Usually by that point I am just so sad and overwhelmed I don't want to talk to anyone or do anything.  I want to crawl into bed and wake up when it is 2014.  Welcome to postpartum depression and life gearing up for a deployment.

That same Sunday Dan left to go to DC I took the girls and went to church.  During the sermon there was a quote from Maya Angelou that was projected behind the preacher.  It said, "If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude."

That quote slapped me right between the eyes.  I needed to change my attitude.

I might have lost my second set of parenting hands the week Dan was in DC and will again when the deployment comes, but I still have an extra set of hands that is more than willing to help out.  They might only be the size of a five-year-old's but they are eager and willing.  They can do things like open the blinds in the morning and grab the phone when it is ringing and I am feeding the baby.  These hands set the dinner table every night and love to run the little vacuum in the kitchen.  They can rock their sister's car seat when she is crying in the car.  Or help stir the pasta on Spaghetti night.

I am not going to be alone during this deployment.  I have two little girls who are great at cuddling and laughing and enjoying life and bringing me more joy than I thought possible.  I have parents and a sister who are ready, willing and able to help in any way that they can.  Even if the only thing that they can do in that moment is to sit there while I cry on the phone or  to talk some sense into me when I beg them to let me ship the kids to them via FedEx overnight.

(I kid about that last part.)


I have awesome friends who have become like an extended family who I know will be there to help support me in any way that they can.  Some of these friends are going to be right there with me raising their babies, taking care of their houses and trying to keep it together while their spouse is gone.

My husband is a great guy who doesn't want to leave.  He has to leave.  It is his job.  One he does to make the world we live in better, safer.  A job that gives us a steady paycheck and security.  One that allows him to provide for his family.  I need to make sure that I remind myself of this often over the coming months when I become frustrated and angry that he isn't here.  I also know that I am one of the lucky ones who has a husband who will do his best to call home or Skype every day.  A husband who is loves his family and is vested and interested in being as involved and connected with us as he can be while physically being oceans away.

Yes, I believe it is time to change my attitude.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Jess. And if you trust me, I would LOVE to come visit for a few days and lend my helping hands and friendship to you! xo


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