Thursday, October 30, 2008

Daddy Who?

Signs of Fall are slowly appearing here in Portugal. The leaves changed to lighter shades of greens and yellow before turning brown, falling and filling up the sidewalks. The evenings and mornings are very cool. Up until a few days ago, it was still warming up into the 70's. This week, we've required long sleeve shirts as it's stayed in the 60's (I know this seems warm to my Alaska friends - but when it's in the 80's for months on end, 60-degree, windy weather is quite a change for us).

After dropping Olivia off at school each morning, Lila and I either go to a playgroup or she joins me during a physical therapy session (I injured my MCL a few weeks ago running - not sure if it's post-worthy right now). Then, we pick up Olivia and head home for lunch and naps. After dinner, I immediately start a long-bedtime routine. I recently started getting the girls ready for bed at 6:30. I give them my undivided attention (no TV, computer or phone). We read books, have baths (on bath nights) and start the process of going to bed. If I try to put them to bed quickly, I have more outbursts and resistance. So, I've tweaked the bedtime routine and Olivia (I had the biggest problem with her) is going to bed quite nicely now.

Daddy Who?

DH has been working long hours. He sees the girls, briefly, in the mornings for about 3-5 minutes, if he sleeps in. An average work day begins at approximately 6:30am, and ends a 9:30pm. If he has a function to attend, he'll work until 11:00pm or later. Lately, he has worked weekends. The girls do not understand his desire (need) to sleep in on his free weekends. Imagine working 70 or more hours a week, all the while, looking forward to sleeping in on the weekend, only to have your toddlers jump on you at 6:50am, Saturday morning, begging you to play with them.

He's also been away on TDY a lot. In fact, he's leaving for another week tomorrow. His travel and work schedule has begun to grate on the girls and I. Olivia is acting out. She's a daddy's girl and this has been really hard on her. My patience has started to wear thin and so on. If he were deployed, it would be, in some ways, easier, because you develop a different frame of mind. A little bit of dad here and there becomes a tease and all become frustrated.

All that being said, I hate to blog about this because many of my blogger friends have deployed spouses. And, personally, I feel moaning and groaning about my husband's long hours is a bit insensitive. My DH does crawl into bed with me at night and when the going gets really tough, I have to remind myself of that. Many wives are crawling into bed at night, engulfed in loneliness, and hoping that their spouse is safe. They deserve a shout out! I know they have it harder than I do right now!!

We're all hoping his rough schedule lets up soon. However, I'm aware that it may not. So, I'm trying to grin, bear it and figure out new ways of managing and adjusting to it on a day-to-day basis.

Other than that, we've been fairly healthy, so far (Liv is coming down with a cough, as I write). Liv enjoys school and Lila is still as sweet as ever. And, despite DH's crazy schedule, I still wouldn't trade living here for anything!


The Dunns said...

The bedtime routine sounds like such a good idea. Good job!

Please do not abridge your posts on my account! I recently read a blog post about relativity of complaints -- i.e. how can someone justify complaining about their kid's tantrums when some people have lost children; why should someone talk about pregnancy woes when so many women would give anything to get pregnant. She concluded that you cannot compare your life and your experiences to anyone else's and you should not diminish your own personal struggles just b/c someone else may have it "harder" than you. I totally agree!! Your blog is about you, not about anyone else, and I want to hear about everything: your torn MCL, your hard-working husband, everything... in your own unique perspective, not compared to anyone else.

You are right, it is a little easier in some respects with a deployed husband than with a husband home but working such long hours. You still have his laundry to do, his food to prepare, his things to clean, and kids to try to explain his absence to. We have our moment of missing Steve, but at least we can get into a routine here. That being said, I would pick "harder" with Steve here than "easier" with him deployed any day!

Natalie said...

Holly, even some of my friends here have husbands deployed (short ones). And, friends at various duty stations. And, I love it here so much, I feel it condradictory to complain too much about my husband's long hours and TDY.

You're right, a bit. It is my blog and I can say what I want. But, still, life is rarely nearly as tough as it was, at times, when my husband was deployed. I do feel that whining too much about life now isn't good for me, mentally. Matt will deploy in the future and I have to stay tough through all that is thrown at me now in order to be tough enough later...

Strained my MCL in my left leg. Very complicated. Stay tuned for my "I'm a Lemon" post in the near future...

brenda said...

My hubby is home this week and we did nothing, really. I would like to say that we went on an exciting, exotic vacation to let's say, Portugal. But, alas, we did not and that is b/c I am cheap. Anyhow, we are planning a trip to your neck of the woods in the summer...any suggestions for hotels, ect would be awesome!

Angie said...

I felt the same way right after we got here about complaining about Allen's work schedule. I found myself saying "at least he's not deployed" a lot. Allen had a different mind set about it. His thought was no, I'm not deployed, so I shouldn't be working so hard.

I was also thinking along the same lines as Holly. You can always find someone who has it harder than you. In some ways that's a good way to help you "count your blessings," but, at the same time, things can still be tough, even if they aren't the toughest imaginable.

I will say that I had a hard time hearing about husband's working long hours and short deployments during the extension, but I was just so envious of anyone who didn't have to go through the same things we were all going through.

And, Ashlyn actually misses Allen now, not really when he was deployed. So, I am really thankful that Allen isn't deployed now. I guess she would adjust after awhile that Daddy wasn't going to be home for a long time. Oh, this is getting me all upset thinking about deployments. I hate them.