Travel has taken its toll on our relationship as well as on our daughter. I feel for those of you who have to hold down the fort while your spouse is away, often times for weeks on end. It's a tough job and I'm so thankful that this past work trip Chris took was the last one.
Jane and I went and picked Chris up at the airport. We were very excited to have him home.
I struggle with so much while Chris is away. It's physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting having to take on the role of both parents. My heart goes out to those single moms and dads out there, having to make every meal, deal with every tantrum, clean every mess, change every diaper. There is no time to take a moment to yourself and decompress.
Luckily, I have friends and family nearby to help out when it's needed. But I'm so stubborn and have this thought in my head that I as a mom can't ask for help. I feel as though I'm a failure as a parent if I need help. I have conceded twice. I stayed with Chris's parent's while he was away for three weeks and stayed with my parents when he was away for a month. Other times I prefer to stay home and not ask for help even though I know I would be less tires, less stressed and happier if I would just get a little help now and then.
Jane also has a tough time while he is away. Now that she's a little older she gets fussy and asks for him even when he's at work for the day. When he's gone days on end she is really fussy and asks for Dada all the time and balls her eyes out until he Skype or FaceTimes us and says hi to her.
There have been a few times where nothing I could do would stop her from crying but him calling and saying hello instantly stopped the tears. She totally thrives off of him being home. She adores him and its hard when he's gone.
It's not only rough on Jane and I but it's tough on Chris as well. He misses so much while he's away becuase she changes so quickly. Week to week she develops a new trait or learns something new. From her first words, first snow, first trip. And lets be honest, I have tried to not introduce anything new to her while he's been away but somethings she learns something new all on her own and I can't stop the snow from falling. It's easy to slip into our daily routine when he's away and forget that he is missing so much. For us it's just our day to day, visiting the aquarium, going for walks, hanging out with friends, drinking hot chocolate. I forget that everything we do is new to Jane. There aren't many things that aren't new. She isn't even two yet! So I need to consciously remember to leave some things for us to do with Chris as well.
Sometimes it's difficult to transition back to life when he's home. Particularly when he has been gone for a number of weeks or over a month. We get used to him not being around, though we rely on him for so much when he's here, it feels strange to have to get used to him being back. I find myself doing one of two things, I either continue like he is still gone by not asking for anything and then get frustrated and run down or I do the opposite and take advantage of the fact that he is finally home and ask way to much of him because I've been so run down.
What is nice about him being away is the time we spend together when he gets home is all the more special. He gets extra snuggles and kisses from Jane and we get to chat and share stories about all that has happened while we were apart. It feels so good to be back together again and have the other person around.