It has been just about a week since Mike left for pre-deployment training and I have to say that overall, it hasn't been too bad.
Honestly, I thought it would be a lot harder to be away from Mike that it has been, at least for me, mentally and emotionally. Maybe it's because I have decided to lower my expectations of myself. Or maybe it's because I decided that I needed to step up, rise to the challenge and all that. I am, after all, a military spouse. Either way, so far this first week has been fairly good. Great even. Not to say we haven't had hiccups. We have. For right now though, I am feeling pretty good about things. I sincerely hope that it stays this way in the coming months.
When we took Mike to the airport, the kids were actually pretty excited about Daddy getting to fly on an airplane and I don't think that they realized until bedtime that flying on an airplane meant that Daddy was leaving for a little while. Bedtime was a sad affair, but they went to bed without a fight, as usual. Little Man did have a nightmare that night (he has then often) and he was crying for Daddy, so it took about twice as long to console him, but he went back to sleep eventually.
When I was pulling away from the airport, the tears started to come, but I swallowed them back to cry later because I want to be strong, especially for the kids. So I put on my big-girl panties and drove home and we got into our routine.
Little Man, who is 3, is having the hardest time missing Daddy. He has woken up anywhere from once to several times during each night asking for a kiss from Daddy, and he when he gets an owie, instead of his usual 30 seconds of crying and then off he goes to play, he's actually had a pretty good cry, all the while asking for Daddy. It's pretty sad. The worst though was when we Skyped with Mike towards the beginning of the week and Little Man just sat in front of the computer crying "I want Daddy! I want Daddy!" over and over until I just turned the Skype off. Poor Mike; he looked like he felt awful about it, but what could he do?
After that paragraph, you're probably thinking, "How can you call that great?". Well, there were a lot of other things that I consider positives. I kept up with the housework, and even scrubbed down a bathroom (and I mean deep-cleaning, scrub down floor to almost ceiling (I can't reach the ceiling, even standing on the toilet)), we weren't late anywhere, I didn't lose my temper with the kids (that would be the big victory for me), we didn't watch TV every night, Little Man started pre-school at the base CDC this week (2 days a week), Little Man and Flower started Spring semester Science Camp at Explora, I read a really great book (more on that later), AND I started an online class with UCO - that's right - I'm going back to school! And so far, I'm not behind. I have a few more pages of the chapter left to read and a quiz to take and I have 2 days left to do it. And we had 4 appointments this week and I made it to all of them. And PWOC spring studies started back up and so far I am caught up on the homework. And I finished season 4 of Downton Abbey this week too.
Really, I have no idea where I found the time for all of that, but I did. And I'm feeling pretty good. Lord willing every week will be like this one. I even had a friend over for dinner this week, whose husband was also TDY, and we had a great time. Over all, I'd say it was a really good balance of work, study, rest and play. And I was even in bed by 2230 every night!
So, we're one week into this whole deployment year. Mike won't be gone for a year, but the year of 2014 is basically going to consist of pre-deployment training, the actual deployment and then re-integration when he gets back. So when 2015 gets here, I think (hope hope hope hope) that we'll back to our normal lives. However, it's the military, so who knows?
I will say that my goal for this whole thing is to not just survive, but to thrive. For me, thriving means not being in constant survival mode. Doing more than survival mode, pretty much what this week looked like. That might be a typical week for you, but it usually isn't for me. And it's my attitude about it that has really made the week good. I really need to put on my big-girl-I-can-do-this panties more often! I like it! :)
Until next time, which will probably be a post about a total wreck of week, because after this week, I'll probably have jinxed myself, but anyway, until next time! :)
P.S. If you've gone though a deployment of any length of time with small children, I'd love to hear what you have to say about staying sane and thriving! :D Thanks!