The day before Hurricane Sandy was scheduled to hit the East Coast, my husband left for what was supposed to be a two day business trip, and ended up being…well…9 days. It was bad enough that he had to leave, but even worse that it coincided with what was rumored to be the worst storm to hit the East Coast in quite some time. Call me a wimp but I don’t like storms. Actually, I detest them, so I especially don’t like being home alone with the kids during one. It took everything I had to not sneak myself and the kids into his luggage. But alas, I had to put on my brave face for the kids. Thank God our area wasn’t affected by the storm — no loss of power or flooding. I’d like to think that He heard my cries … I mean, prayers (*wink*).
To say it was a challenge to keep up with a schedule for a 1, 3, & 5-year-old would be a gross understatement. So when my husband walked through that door on day 9, a familiar Destiny Child song came to mind (*que “Survivor” music*).
But there is always a lesson (or two…or 9) to be learned with any challenge, so here are a few of mine:
1. Thank God for Steve Jobs (RIP) and the invention of FaceTime!
There was something about being able to see my husband’s face when I talked to him that made me feel like he really wasn’t far away. There was a different kind of connection that made me feel like we were teenagers again.
2. I’m one lucky mom.
Even though they can be a bit of a handful, they are just as much a bunch of goofballs and they make me laugh myself silly. If I had to pick kids to get stranded with, I would definitely pick my own.
3. I’m an even luckier wife.
I hear so many stories of people that are married but might as well be single when it comes to parenting. Call me spoiled, but my husband is very hands-on with the kids, so I definitely feel it when he’s not around.
4. I’m not a supermom or superwoman…just a mom in charge (*wink*).
If I didn’t have the support of my family and friends, I might’ve crumbled under pressure. I know there are millions of single moms out there that do it on their own every day. So while I’m flattered to have been given these titles, I just felt like I was doing what was in my job description. When your co-worker calls out sick, you just have to step up to the plate and get the work done.
5. The kids are not any less messy, loud or disobedient when daddy is gone.
Nope, they have no sympathy for mommy. In fact, I think they took advantage of the situation.
6. The laundry will pile up and so will the dishes…but it’s ok.
I’m definitely not a neat freak. But I do get a bit…um…stressed when there is chaos and things get out of place. So I learned that I could either stay up all night cleaning and doing laundry, or get some sleep so I could try and keep up with the kids. Final score: Sleep = 2; Laundry = 0.
7. Learning to say “no” is that much easier.
When you’re a one woman show, you definitely learn how to pick and choose where to exert your energy. So picking dinner at home over a Chuck-E-Cheese birthday party is a no brainer.
8. God doesn’t make mistakes.
Not that I doubted this before, but I surely believe it even more now. God knows that my mental state depended on my husband being by my side for this journey of parenthood.
9. Husband & wife make a great team.
I learned that even though I managed to keep the house together and keep the kids fed, my husband and I make one awesome team. I can’t imagine going at it on my own, and am so thankful that I don’t have to! At least until the next trip anyway…
Sometimes it takes a short separation from your spouse to appreciate just how much they mean to you and just how blessed you are to have a partner in marriage. Take some time to reflect on your marriage today and then let us know why you appreciate your spouse.