Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Home Again

Hubby dearest came home tonight. I love him dearly, but I have become rather accustomed to not sharing the remote, setting my own bed-time, not having anyone talk to me when I'm working on the computer and not having anyone snore in my ear all night.

He did mow the yard, which was on my schedule for tomorrow morning. So I was very appreciative of that.

But now I have one more person asking, "What do we have to eat? Eww. Is that all?"

I have another two loads of laundry. I have someone following behind me saying, "What are your plans for the day?" (Which translated means: "Are you going to do anything today of any redeeming value? Or are you just going to sit on the computer all day?")

I have someone else parenting the kids. "I told them they could watch television until 10:30. What's the big deal? It's summer."

I have someone else wanting to touch me and talk to me and pull on me...

When hubby leaves out of town, I have a huge void. My evenings had centered around him. Dinner was served when he was available and with what he wanted. We watched the movies he wanted to watch at night. I had virtually no personal decisions to make, because hubby either made them on his own, or asked for only my consultation before making a decision.

I hate trying to sleep when he's gone. I usually stay up until I'm cross-eyed and fall into bed half asleep, just to keep from lying in an empty bed.

I have a hard time being the only parent when he's gone. There's no one to be my team mate and show a united front. There's no one to be bad cop while I'm good cop, and vice versa. And by the end of the day, I have a hard time with anything other than complete silence and stillness. He's not there to buffer the kids from pawing me, whining and begging to sleep with me.

But after three weeks, I have gotten a little bit of a routine going for myself. I can swing the garbage out on the way to putting the kids in the car, let the dog back inside, throw the dishes in the dishwasher, and roll. Our usually divided chores are all on me, and I get them done.

I also feel less guilty about shutting down the house when he's gone. I feel I've worked really hard, and so have the kids, and we need some quiet time. I take the phone off the hook, put a sign on the door, and we snuggle and watch television.

When hubby's home, he makes me feel like I'm wasting time by sitting around- unless it's a television show he wants to watch, when he wants to watch it. He makes announcements as he stomps through the den: "I've done a load of laundry. The dishes are done. I'm considering building an addition onto the house by hand using only sticks and leaves I've scavenged from the outlying forest." (OK- I DID exaggerate the last one. But you know what I mean...)

I know lots of families have a parent (or two) that travels. I know lots of spouses feel the same way I do. And while it's nice to know I'm not too terribly crazy, it doesn't make me feel less guilty for wanting him home when he should be working, and working when he finally comes back home.

You would think after all these years we could have already achieved some kind of balance. And yet, every trip is a fresh reminder of what I miss when he's gone, and what I give up when he's back.

I would be completely surprised if he didn't feel sort of the same way. When he travels I'm sure he misses me and the kids. But when he's home, I would bet his mind wanders back to the paid dinners out, the quiet, solitary hotel rooms, and being in control of his own agenda, without reporting to anyone.

I know hubby. And I know he would deny any such thing. But I also know him well enough to know it's true.

So tonight we start the couple's dance once again, re-learning each other and re-learning the steps. We'll just about be dancing well- in time to the music, with grace and skill- when it will be time for him to leave the dance floor again.

Right now, I'm going to go get some sleep. Tomorrow I will be so glad he's here. But tonight, I just want quiet time to myself, and I want to sleep...

1 comment:

ThePrincessMommy said...

I am SO Totally with you on this . . .