Monday, October 12, 2009

how we handle it

I read a post by DAR tonight about how she handled her husbands recent deployment and it got me thinking about how we handle flyboy's job around here.

He's off flying tomorrow so while I was getting the boys in their jammies tonight I gave them a heads up that daddy was not just going to work tomorrow but that he had to fly and that flying means that he wont be home for a couple nights. A little while back I hesitated to bring up that he was going away, they were young enough that they didn't really get it when I would try to forewarn them and usually it just brought about more trouble via a great emotional breakdown.

Now they get it, and in the spirit of adapting to ones environment when I told them that daddy was going away for a few days it just brought about a conversation between dash 1 and dash 2 about whether daddy works for money or toys.

Dash-1 thinks that daddy works to earn money for toys, dash 2 takes this to mean that daddy works for toys.

I thought about how I've handled his absence in the past, how I've gingerly avoided things and tried to side step and dance around things....hell why am I talking in the past tense here, I just did it tonight.

Friday was supposed to be a field trip to a local children's theatre but I needed flyboy to be here to either take dash 1 or to stay home with the other two chuckle heads (no one under three is permitted and well that's the age of most of my entourage). At the last minute he had to go fly, after all this is his job, and now dash-1 is going to miss the field trip.

Sidenote cause I know there are people reading this thinking, man she needs a sitter- its not that easy, we do have babysitters however they are in high school and their mom, a dear friend who has bailed us out A LOT, works and especially with a newborn its hard to find good babysitters.

So tonight I found myself avoiding the field trip discussion and instead building up what we were going to do on Friday, which some may think is perhaps tantamount to bribing since I picked his favorite activity, bowling, as a substitute. And I might have promised happy meals too.

Its a hard balance. I try to do special little things here and there when dad's away, but then at the same time, since well, he's away a lot, it can't be a constant party. This is after all our life and well life doesn't consist of ever flowing happy meals.

What DAR was saying in her post that I often think about in relation to my kids is that, you get through it the best you can, in the way that you need to for you.

Do I feed my kids fast food perhaps a bit more then I should? Are there nights that we all lay in bed together to stay up till 8 watching Diego? Have I promised donuts to make the day that daddy goes away on a long trip a little better? Have I gone so far as to take the kids home to my parents in MD so that dash-1 can go fishing with grandpa because he missed yet another field trip?

The short answer.... yes to all the above.

In the flyboy house we've handled things the best we could. Would flyboy and I perhaps be different parents if we were in a different situation? Probably, but I've come to the understanding that accepting that we might be different if the situation were different doesn't mean that we're doing such a bad job.

One of the biggest lessons that the military has taught me is to just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. How you handle those steps is up to you, just so long as one foot goes in front of the other.

And ps. happy meals do help, dare I go so far to say that they should play a role in peace in the middle east.

16 comments:

  1. I personally feel all peace negotiations would go a lot further if they began with Target shopping sprees and lunch at McDonald's.

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  2. You are sooo right. You don't want your boys to feel like their missing out or being cheated out of something. They are, their dad, but they don't need to feel like that all the time, you know? So you do special things with them. It's better than focusing on what they don't get to do.

    Not that the Captain really understands but there is stuff around the house that I never used to let her touch (the wiimote, piles of clothes in the dryer, the laptop), I am totally sliding on if it helps me get what I need done during the day.

    I don't think stuff like this is bad parenting. I think it's CREATIVE parenting. How could that be bad?

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  3. I'm really glad we don't have kids yet, and that we didn't during my husband's first deployment.

    Putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving... I couldn't have said it better! That sums it up!

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  4. If LT stays active duty, and I'm doing the "kids during deployment" thing at some point, expect me to read your archives heavily. :)

    I have said it before, and I'll say it again, but I am in awe of what you do as a mom to keep things going despite your crazy military life. You've got the right attitude about it, but if you ever get that "bad mom" feeling, just watch an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras. :-p

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  5. I plan on coming back to this post after the next one comes along and the hubs leaves shortly after. Hopefully it will help me laugh and breath.

    Bowling and happy meals sounds a whole heck of a lot more fun than that other field trip. Have fun!

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  6. The Happy Meal should recieve a Noble Peace Prize!!

    Thanks for making me feel like a better mother when my husband is gone. I feel guilty for eating out more (even though they live for that), having to do extra special things to make up for Daddy missing out on something, and so on.

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  7. My mantra is "whatever works!" Sometimes that means more fast food when dad is gone. Or more TV. or whatever.
    Besides, you are seriously outnumbered, girlfriend. Don't feel bad for doing whatever works for you and your little Dashes!

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  8. Ah, I love your post. I think it is one of those things that you do what you have to do in certain situations. It is so much work sometimes and when you let something slide, it can be a reward for not only the kids, but for Momma too. Sometimes I get tired of feeling like "the bad guy" all the time. Hubs shows up and is the hero all the time. (ha, he is and all, but sometimes Mommas like to be too!) A little blur in the rule line is just what is called for sometimes!

    I say you are awesome!

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  9. I agree about how difficult it is to find a decent sitter. I have horror stories of sitters with my kids, so I've pretty much given up on that... lol.

    And I have never been thru a deployment. The longest my husband has been gone is 8 months for bct and ait but the kids handled that pretty well, and I did the same thing, slightly spoiled them. Sometimes you just need to.

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  10. Stinks Madeline has school that day bc i'm coming later on in the day i would have loved to watch the little boys. Sorry he cant go but bowling will be better anyway

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  11. These last four months have been spent making sure my kids feel happy and loved and that they are making wonderful memories.

    Phew.

    What we military wives do is what we have to do. It takes courage and determination. And lots of creative thinking. But, we do it like nobody else can!

    Happy meals will be forgotten but the feeling of having had a wonderful childhood... that is what you are creating! And very well, I might add :)

    -Andrea

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  12. Sorry I've been slacking. Hope everything is going well.
    Miss you lots.
    Call me if you need to vent.

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  13. "One of the biggest lessons that the military has taught me is to just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. How you handle those steps is up to you, just so long as one foot goes in front of the other."

    -- SO true. Great post.

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  14. Sigh. It's sad, but so true, that you just have to adapt to what the military throws at you. And a lot of that means letting go the stuff some people think is required for good parenting. As a mom who has fallen asleep on the couch while her kid played on the floor because I just could *not* keep my eyes open and there was no one to call, I'm right there with you.

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