Today I went to work, then delivered KidA to an oral surgery appointment, shopped for cold foods after her appointment, dropped her off at home with directions for KidC and KidI to nurse her while I went back to pick up pain medication at the pharmacy that was conveniently closed when we left the dental offices.
I then revised the Chore Chart, which rotates about every quarter so the kids aren’t always doing the same chores for too long, then I pulled some weeds and raked around the house. Finally, I rallied KidC and KidI (with a surprisingly quiet tone) to help me remove all the furniture off the enclosed patio deck so we could sweep it and dry out the outdoor rug and pillows that endured the weekend winds and rain.
I feel accomplished on these kinds of days. I also feel alone. The DH is at the firehouse so these days happen regularly because his shift is 24-hours at a time.
I will feel alone and then I feel badly for feeling that way because so many military families do not even have the luxury of knowing their spouse or partner will be coming home the next day. So many single parents do the same thing, day in and day out. I also feel guilty for feeling that way because so often as I was growing up did I pride myself on my independence and ability to “go it alone” or “do it myself.” (I really painted myself into a corner on that one.)
It takes a little bit of effort to draw myself out of dwelling on the predicament. Really, I know whining helps no one. I know that I am fortunate to have the kids generally willing to help when I need it. I teach my children that feelings are always valid. People feel angry, discouraged, cheated, proud, exuberant, and comical. What counts is the actions you take, not how you feel.
So although I feel left alone to do so much of tasks, I remember to be thankful I have loving children. I remember to appreciate living in a nice home with a patio deck.
I know that alone is my choosing but I acknowledge the feeling… Then I focus on what needs to be done. The linen closet always needs to be straightened. A friend always needs a quick text to say “hi”. The kids could always get a hug.