And how have I handled it? Well, pretty well, I think. Like I said, it's gone by fast for me. When we started out on this deployment, I looked at my children and realized that if I wished this time gone, they would be nine months older, so I made a point to enjoy them every minute I could.
I also credit my upbringing and bloodline. From my mother, I inherit my introversion and my ability to be a homebody. As a child, I was six and seven years younger than my two brothers. I was also wierd. I spent much of my childhood playing by myself, outside and with my pets. Being alone does not bother me. From my father, I inherit. . . how do I put this? . . . being a chief. And by that, I mean I like to be in charge. I also learned from both my parents independence and handyman skills.
So I've done okay, I think. I haven't lost my temper too many times, although I haven't gotten a lot done, either. I've adjusted to having the kids around all the time. The first couple months of the deployment, I absolutely got the kids in bed by 7:30pm, give or take. I NEEDED that time at night to refresh myself. Now I'm much more relaxed about bedtime. Our nighttime routine has absolutely changed, too, which was a huge adjustment at first. I used to leave all my kids in their room with Daddy's Songs and they would fall asleep. Once Marshall learned to crawl out of his crib, though, I had to teach him to stay in bed, so I started reading to them until he falls asleep. Now I can tolerate my kids much later than I usedtocould. Part of it is that it's easier to let them stay up late until they're tired and easy to put to bed than it is to try putting them to bed earlier and spend two hours doing it. Did that make sense?
Having a fourth baby has been a bit of an adjustment. Those first few weeks, Rhoda had a rough time. She was a great eater, but she gulped down air, so I spent more time burping her than feeding her, and she would SCREAM. Ouch. But by the time she hit four or five weeks old, that pretty well faded, and now she's just a delightful baby! I spoil her as much as I can. The kids give her quite a bit of attention, too. I wish I could hold her all day and stare into her eyes, but I can't. I do carry her around in my wrap, though. We both love that.
And homeschooling through all of this? Well, some days we don't get to it, but the days we do are really fun. And of course there are days we barely scratch by. Liesl is trying to read more and more, and Mira, too, is learning to read-- with her there is definitely no vision problem.
One of my methods of coping is to just not think about stuff. I try to keep my not-thinking limited to things regarding Jay, but sometimes it bleeds into other things like meal-planning and social skills. I don't think about how much I miss him or what I miss. If it does come to mind, I push it away. The initial pain of him leaving was deadly sharp. I couldn't function if I felt that degree of pain every day. So I made sure to live my life and enjoy my time with my kids. I didn't forget about him, of course, but I made it a point not to miss him.
But now it's coming to an end, I've allowed myself to look forward to his homecoming. There will be an adjustment when he gets back, but I believe that life will get better. It will be so nice to have a male presence in the home-- one who has honorably kept his covenants and who brings with him the Priesthood power. It will be nice to have warm hands to hold. And it will be nice to kiss again, too.
And now for some random pictures.
|We have fun together.|
|I love her soft face.|
|15 weeks old|
|Having some one-on-one time with Daddy. |
This is her new haircut after she cut a chunk of hair for probably the 20th time.