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Friday, October 3, 2014

Travelin' Man (part II)

I can not tell you how much your words of advice, support, and just plain ol' cyber hugs meant to me yesterday.  Y'all showered me with an outpouring of advice via comments and private messages. Several of you just gave me a cyber shoulder to rest on, or encouragement that it won't be this way forever, or very practical ways to deal with this busy and sometimes lonely season.
Thank you.
I mean really really THANK YOU!
I read through many of those messages that night after all the kiddos were in bed, the kitchen was finally clean and the house was quiet, (and admittedly again the next morning 'cause they were that good) and I wept a bit to know that I was not alone.  I don't think I had even admitted it to myself how much it was bothering me that he's gone so much and what that does to a mama of 7 and the rigmarole of parenting solo more than usual.  Let's just say 1) it wasn't pretty and 2) it was okay to be honest with myself and let it out.
And in a strange way, y'all were there with me with an outstretched glass of wine, a cyber shoulder to cry on, and a prayer.  This cyber blog world is an odd thing isn't it?!  But you were there in spirit and got me through it.
Thank you so much for that!

I read every single one of the emails, personal messages, Facebook posts and blog comments, and (Well I was really humbled because you actually read my silly ol' blog!) I came to the conclusion that I have the smartest and most supportive readers around!  I heard you say some great stuff and honestly, it's starting to make a difference already.

What I heard from this fabulous group of women is that we are all busy.  Some seasons are even busier than others.  And some women are busier than others.  I should not complain one bit with what some of you told me you are going through.  Raising children with a husband deployed.  Raising special needs children while a husband travels.  Raising someone else's children in the midst of it all. So it's worth saying again... some women are busier than others.  And some seasons are even busier than others.

I heard you say to keep it simple while my husband travels.  Keep the meals fast and easy.  Use a crock pot.  Eat breakfast for dinner.  Make a big casserole for a couple meals.  Keep a predictable routine especially for the busy times, like the getting-everyone-off-to-school routine and clean-the-kitchen-after-dinner routine.  Eliminate the extra and don't feel pressure to do more, bigger, better...   You didn't say it, but I heard myself say to get off my butt and do the hard stuff, because with that comes the biggest rewards!

I heard you say that an ounce of prep before the fact is worth a pound or work when it's crunch time.  So I'm being more intentional about meal planning and grocery shopping, and prepping breakfast, lunch, dinner and a even snack the evening before.  Now for me all this prepping really just means having a plan for tomorrow's meals, and getting out the recipe, pots, dry and canned ingredients... So the following day there is less thinking.  And honestly so far this less-thinking thing has made a difference!

 I heard you remind me, from first hand experience, that the men in our lives are none too happy about being away from us and their children any more than we are to have them gone.  In the midst of all this meal prepping and car pooling, I often forget to consider his perspective.   He's working his booty off missing us at the same time.  (Still what I wouldn't give for a night away in a hotel room!  Grass is always greener on the other side I suppose.  And it's about time I start appreciating my own grass!)

I heard you say that supporting your man when he comes home, rather than giving him the whole sob story, looking for sympathy and expecting him to bound into action to solve the problem by doing dishes and fixing the car immediately is going to make things even worse.  I shouldn't forget about his jet lag and my promoting an environment of stress, nagging and guilt isn't fair to my man either.

I heard you say that it's okay to get the bigger kids to help out.  And I'm kinda lucky in that area cause they really already are.  They totally get the whole thing that mama sets the mood of the house and are willing to jump in with both feet to help clean the kitchen and get the little ones in bed when asked.  In turn some extra Starbucks are in order.  I'm okay with that too.

I heard you say that it's so so important to not let this season of crazy busy become a permanent way of life.  And that unless we're intentional about it, it's so easy to let "busy" consume us until we do think it's normal!  A season is okay,  but we must be deliberate to have a slower deliberate life with no plans occasionally and times to get bored and go slow.  How will we recognize the ordinary miracles if we're zooming by them so fast we forget to notice them?

I heard you say some pretty awesome things.  Thank you, friends, for all the wonderful advice and sweet words of encouragement!  They have been taken to heart and many are already being put into action!

On behalf of the Crazy 9 household, thank you!

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