It feels like the end of this deployment is dragging. I am so ready this to be over and for my husband to be home. Deployments with kids are a whole different ball game. Busy and isolating at the same time. Before kids I worked and filled up my schedule with work and lots of girls nights with friends. And when the deployment was over life picked up where it left off. Sure the hubby may have needed a few days to relax and reintegrate but I went about my life as usual and it was no big deal.
With the end of this deployment approaching I'm getting nervous and anxious. The hubs left before G turned 1 years old. Sure he was only back in Nc for a course but he was still gone for 4 months. Then he came home for two weeks when she was 16 months and left. He will come home to a full blown toddler. When he asks about her he asks if shesays much, or if her legs are still chunky and the size clothes she is wearing. It makes me sad because he has missed so much of her life. She is talking, and walking up a storm. Long gone is the baby he left behind and in her place is a tall, skinny, independent toddler
And E. The hubs was luckily home for the birth but left when E was two days old. He came home when E was a month and left 2 weeks after that. He will come home much older baby. He missed E's newborn stage, the first time E found his hand and started sucking, the first time he rolled over. All of the first's he missed of his son. It's heartbreaking
Most days I don't stop and think about what my husband goes through. Sure I know deployments are hard but when I'm caught up in sick babies and running the house at home it's hard to not be jealous that he has more free time than I do! All I can envision when he gets home is help around the house and the occasional break for me but I've never stopped and really thought about what it will be like for him to come home.
At church tonight my small group was discussing this very topic. All us military wives were talking about how hard it is to relinquish control to our husbands when they got home. How hard it was to change our daily routine to re-accomodate our spouses and how we expect them to walk in the door immediately and start helping around the house and picking up the slack on things they haven't been able to do since they've been gone. We also moaned and groaned about how our husbands will probably just sit and play video games leaving us to still care for the kids with the added mess of their laundry and shit everywhere while they nagged us about letting them relax since they've been off in a war zone for months.
One woman stood up and told us to stop and put ourself in our husbands shoes. She stated that she is active duty and deploys frequently. That it is her husband who stays home with the kids. And that every time she leaves she knows it will be hard to come home. For not only do we change when our spouses are away, they change as well. They leave families and friends whose lives continue like normal when they are gone. They come home to memories and events missed and a new family routine in place that doesn't involve them. She said its devastating to come home to children who barely remember you, or who are afraid to come by you since they've sensed you've changed. She explained to us about sleepless nights spent sitting in her darkened living room where she felt utterly alone and she told us that after they come home we still need to be strong. We need to be the rock of our families and let our husbands adjust. No matter how much we want to nag them to take out the garbage or to spend time as a family. We need to let them breath. She also brought up the fact that it is not about us as wives anymore. It is more about the kids and it is important to let the kids bond with their dad and vice versa.
I was instantly humbled after hearing this woman talk. How many times does my husband call and I complain about my day. How many times do I tell him that he has no idea what to expect, how different life is with 2 kid's under 2. How many times do I email him about how I can't wait until he's home so I can take a shower, or read a book uninterrupted. And how many times do I stop and think about what it will be like to come home to 2 kids that don't know you. Never. I am so consumed with my own stresses and anxiety that I deal with during deployments that I never stop and think about his.
And the woman is right. It's not about me anymore. It's about the kids. So if my husband wants to sit and play video games I'm not going to worry about it. As long as he isn't doing it when the kids are awake. And for all the piles of laundry and crap that will clutter our house I will let it go because as long as my husband is bonding with our kids, that is all that matters. And although it may be weeks before I get my nice long shower I will smile just listening to my daughter call out Daddy and to have my husband respond to her where weeks before she was met with silence