Jan 9, 2010

It's Really Not That Bad...

I'll go out on a limb and confess that I really don't like the Cat Daddy's current work gig. I mean, I'm fine with most of it. What he does is fine; missileering doesn't bother me. Other than the wind, I like Cheyenne pretty well. I really like the people we're meeting and the friendships we're building.

The part that I don't like is the being gone 6-8 times per month. There are even some months where he's only gone 5 nights per month. In theory it's really not that bad. In practice it drains me. Some days are better than others of course, and there are some where he gets home and I am cheerful, and peppy, and rarin' to go. More often though, he comes home and I have a bit of a blank stare and can't seem to comprise a coherent thought.

I feel like I should be able to handle the overnights better than I do. Among people who have spouses that go out to the field, I actually have it pretty good. There are some whose spouses are out in the field for three nights at a time, or more. And then of course those with the deployed spouses...4 months, 6 months, a year, or more. And then those who are single parents all the time. In the big scheme of things my 5-8 individual nights a month isn't bad at all.

But somehow creating perspective based on quantity doesn't make me feel better. And then I feel worse for not feeling better. And then I feel really really bad, because it feels like I'm the only one who can't seem to get with it and just feel better.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, though. That's why I insist on continuing to be honest about the hard parts. Not to be difficult. Not to complain. Not to feel sorry for myself, or to try to get other people to feel sorry for me. Mostly I do it because the thing that helps the most (other than immediate & complete relief from all things painful, difficult, or otherwise uncomfortable) is knowing that I'm not alone.

When I have taken the risk of this honesty there are those who have said things like "suck it up," "I have it harder so stop fussing," "Someone, somewhere has it harder, so stop fussing," "It's not so bad," and so on. But along the way there have also been those who have said things like "It is/was hard for me too," or "I'm there right now too," which sound an awful lot like "You're not alone." From there it's a very short trip to "You'll make it through," "It will get better," and "I'm here with you."

Which really does help...


jacs said...

The whole reason we married them was because we liked having them around, right? :)

Add kids into the mix and having all the other responsibilities that go with them being gone plus staying home all day with little to no break and no family support nearby...hey, it IS hard!!! I AM right there with you. Whether they are gone one night or a year+ doesn't matter. It sucks.

I remember when Chris was gone for four months when our eldest was an infant. After he came home, a close friend's husband was considering joining up and she was freaking out a bit because they had never been apart. When I tried to offer support and tell her I knew she could do it, she responded with, 'yeah, but you only had one child, I have two'.


I can't stand when people play the 'I have it so much harder than you' game. Lets just support each other. If you need anything...child care, adult conversation, etc...you've got it. :)

P.S. You are a rock star!

linda t said...

I can't imagine... well, I sorta can. Randy was gone a lot while our kids were growing up... on concert tours and such. And that was before cell phones and we'd maybe talk a couple times in two weeks. Looking back, that really sucked. But as the kids got older, it was actually fun. We'd have breakfast for supper... and play all day, with forts everywhere. But when the kids were your kids age... not so much. Rather lonely.
So I feel for you Kerri.

Skerrib said...

And you, Stina are also a rock star! I'm a big fan of supporting each other without comparisons...so much better than shooting each other in the foot.

Linda, I thought of you when I wrote this because yes, you have been there. Thanks for your encouragements along the way...a year or so ago you said something really simple like "I've been there, don't worry, it will get better." It was a huge help to me.

prochaskas said...

If it were me, I think I would feel the same way. Because it's not regular -- just a night here and there wreaks havoc for a short time but often -- there's no getting used to it.

Smiller said...

Hey, I have that blank stare when Kevin gets home after just a regular work day! And come bed time, I am ALL DONE children.

Wish I could come over and hang with you and let our kids create mayhem together.

Don't forget, having a high-emoter baby ups the wear and tear on the mama--that part will get better, or at least different, over time. In the meantime, I'm all for secret stockpiles of chocolate. ;)

revbex said...

Hey Kerri!
I feel for you - my hubby is called away suddenly, with no warning, at midnight or noon, several times on any given month; with no idea when he'll be able to call or come back. The worst was when he was called to officiate a funeral in a village in Ukraine. He was gone for four days with no word; I was very young and stuck in a city where I didn't speak the language. I did not leave the house for the whole time, scared I'd miss him if he called.

It doesn't matter how long they're gone, or how often. All that matters is that they are - the part of you that is part of them is somewhere else; that makes literally everything more difficult. And especially with kids! When Pastor T is away, it's movies and chicken nuggets because I simply can't think too straight without him there, or not knowing where he is.

Hang in there Kerri - keep praying and it will get better someday. This too shall pass.

love you much!

AprilJ said...

OK, so I'm behind in blogging.. obviously, I feel your pain. Here's a funny/sad story.. in Bible study last week, someone was saying something about military wives and their "sacrifices". Another lady says this: "Well, it was your choice to marry into the military. For me, ..blah, blah, blah." Insert screeching breaks/record/whatever. It's a unique walk that we walk, married to the Air Force... I married Clayton and he was a nurse, the AF stuff came later... I didn't plan on being a single mom as often as I am but I'm plodding along with you up here in AK. Someone always has it worse, for sure, but it's our reality and sometimes it's hard! (is this as rambling and random as it feels?? we're a week into a month long TDY around here)

Judi said...

Hey, Kerri I really appreciate this post. Thanks for the honesty about the process of being honest, and the risks, results, and blessings. Thanks, Judi