Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turn Around

We had about two weeks to transition to our new lifestyle.  They were busy weeks filled with lots of trips to his new job (a bit over an hour away) and trying to prepare our kids for the fact that Daddy wouldn't be home much.

Finally, that first week came, Daddy left with a big blue duffle bag and our preschooler started asking questions.  Both kids kept drifting to the door just before dinner time, hoping to see Daddy’s distinct orange truck coming down the street.  Bedtime was a disaster, which had always been Daddy’s domain.  Even though we mastered Skype and things were going better, two days later I packed up the kids and went to visit my husband.  We stayed for two days.  When my husband go home Friday evening, just a few short hours after us, he immediately set the house to rights and slipped back into his normal role of primary caregiver for the kids.

The second week went a little smoother, but we still went to visit.  We only stayed one night this time, but only because Daddy got a surprise couple of days off and we all got to come home together.  Those few extra days came with a price tag though: for the first time we didn’t know how long he’d be home.  What we did know was that when he left again, we likely wouldn’t see him for weeks. 
Daddy ended up being home for four whole days.  When he left again on Tuesday, we were told to expect this trip to be about six weeks.  We were nervous but ready.  It was so much harder than we ever thought it would be.  I chalked up the first week to an “adjustment period.”  The second week I was just miserable.  I rarely got out of bed before 11 or 12 except to feed and change the kids.  We flaked on all sorts of appointments.  Dishes and laundry piled up and at some point I realized that my kids were pretty much living on cereal and PB&J.  I was eating even less.  By the third week I was crying myself to sleep……at 3 or 4AM.  

Miracle of miracles, the job ended early and my husband came home that weekend.  I think I was happier to see him than I was after his year-long deployment to Iraq!

He was home for the weekend which happened to include his best friend’s birthday party, something I’d been desperately hoping he’d be able to attend since he hadn't seen her in a very long time.  He went back to work on Monday and put in a surprise 20+ hour day.  He got the next three off and put in a short day on Friday.  It was nice to have him home, but it didn't help the fact that I wasn't growing into the role of WAHM.  I’m one of those lucky women that have a husband that does everything.

That weekend I reached an emotional and mental milestone.  I knew I wasn't happy in my new role, but now I recognized the underlying reason for that unhappiness: I had no goals.

I had been making to-do lists, but I had not motivation to actually get them done.  I had hit a wall with my business and it was not longer fulfilling and I could not see myself in it long-term.  After a long and heart-felt conversation with my husband and some awesome brainstorm with my closest online friends, I had a plan!  This plan started with an exit strategy for my business and switching my focus from WAHM to simply being a successful SAHM.

I spent the rest of that evening cleaning and organizing my desk and gathering some tools to help me stay focused.  A clean desk seems like such a simple thing but it’s amazing how productive you can be when faced with that nice clean surface and no distracting mess.

I did a lot of writing that night: journaling, lists, you name it.  I read a few articles on motivation, discipline, and habit-training.  While they didn't make me an expert, or impart the deep hidden key to unlock all that magic, they did give me a new outlook.  I had goals and I was ready to face the new week with a different attitude and maybe just a few ideas.

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