Target tee, in store (option) and sandals; American Eagle jeans, old (similar); Old Navy bag (similar); Lemons and Lace headband; necklace, old (similar.)
I’ve been on my own with the kids for a little bit while my husband has been away for work, and it has been challenging. And lonely. And a little depressing if I’m being honest. I’ve had many stretches of time over the past six years or so with just myself and the kids and I’m used to it, but it doesn’t really get any easier. I’m always loathe to moan and groan about this though, because I’m aware that there are so many out there that do it alone all the time, as well as other military wives that suffer for a lot longer. And nobody likes a whiner, right? But really, why start being dishonest and pretending things are just fine when they really aren’t, just for the sake of not wanting to appear weak or ungrateful?
One thing that tends to override all other feelings while managing things on my own is having to be the good AND the bad cop in our house. You see, in our house we tend to switch off those roles. One of us is the stricter one at times, while the other is a bit softer, and so on. It’s never the same person and it’s not even something we talk about, but it works. I think kids need a parent in the house to turn to and be coddled, and they need strictness and order. Luckily neither of us always has to be the “mean” one, we both get to be, just not at the same time.
Growing up I had a dad that was (and is) a total softie, and I loved that about him! He was fun and came home and night and got to be the one who let us have more ice cream and stay up late. I adored him, and it didn’t really dawn on me until much later that this must have been hard on my mom to always have to be the enforcer.
I find myself now being the bad cop most of the time, with little time left to be the good one, and this is hard. My children are those that push boundaries and limits, yet crave sameness and routine. They push for more, yet need order and a mom that does what SHE knows they need best. Every task, every moment, all the little rituals of our life are enforced by me. And it’s relentlessly tiring. And often joyless.
In my heart I am a good cop, and I’m softer hearted than I thought I would be as a mom. I let them push boundaries and I don’t always follow through when I should. I miss the chance to be the softer one, to not always have to enforce. To have someone come home at night and be my helper, my team mate in this family we’ve built. Sometimes the days stretch into themselves and there seems to be little to make them go faster, so we stay busy. We have friends who make us laugh and neighbors who help the clock go just a bit faster. It helps quiet the loneliness inside.
Until then, I put a smile on my face. I kiss my children when they wake up to another day, and we take it from there.