Thursday, July 01, 2010

When the Spouse is Away

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post from March 16, 2008.  This wasn't the case this past week, though we did take a small road trip, when H left on a work trip but more often than not there is more freedom in our schedule and we enjoy it as long as there are no anxiety issues about Daddy being gone.

Man, there is a lot of freedom!

I kid. Well, not really. My husband recently left for a work trip that will take him away from us for about three weeks. As a former military spouse I've learned that during this time I need to stay busy. Now a mother with an active two year old I realize just how wide open our schedule has become when we don't have those "Daddy Breaks" in our days. Yet, there is also a certain freedom. The freedom to not have dinner at the same time each night or to be able to up and leave in the evening and not worry that ones spouse might want to stay home and have a family night in. The ability to spend the night taking up the whole bed or curling my hair while I listen to NPR and let my ex-foliating face mask sink in leaves me positively drunk with freedom.

I realized a few other things too. My inner anal retentive neat freak takes a vacation. Suddenly, I don't care if the milk sits out on the counter for more than 2.5 seconds after use. Mail piles up, there isn't a carnivorous dish to be devoured and bedtimes are way lax. Pajama time lasts all day and play dates go on forever. The laundry monster takes over a large portion of my bedroom floor and toys are helter skelter in every room. When there is no one to come home to at night my daughter and I are in a constant state of play.

The television sees nary a second of EhSpehn, that's ESPN to you non-watchers, and it is all documentaries, the BBC, viewings of Lipstick Jungle, Medium and all other sorts of craptastic television that usually causes my spouse to go running from the room screaming that if he "watches one more second of this show his eyes and ears will bleed!"

I load up my work schedule and there is never a scheduling issue, eat ravioli out of a can, peruse the aisles of Target after 5 p.m. and my nails while normally ignored have the highest attention paid to them. That includes the toes. My pits? They forget what a razor looks like. While I am indulging left and right in vices and evening glasses of wine after bedtime my daughter is indulged too. The play dates (to keep me sane) are more frequent, the playground and park ventures become habit and meals consist of her favorite food groups: fruit, cheese, cheese, cookie. Breakfast for dinner? It's thrice a week.

By the time my husband comes home weary from his trip we are worn out from all our "let's keep busy and forget Daddy is gone" adventures. It is a welcome relief to get back into our routine and add some structure into our days too. However, it is during these times that I not only take a break from being so focused on getting things done and the drudgery that the everyday can be, but I often find myself being more creative with myself and having more fun with my daughter. These times alone give us the chance to be silly and fun on an unconstrained time frame and I cherish it.

I cherish the ability to eat a pound of cheese in one sitting two nights in a row followed by a heaping bowl of popcorn accompanied by simultaneous Newsweek reading and House of Eliott watching too.


Linda said...

My husband travels quite a bit, in fact, he's gone this whole week. With spring break, we've also had to fill up our schedule with LOTS of activities. My favorite is playdates that turn into dinner. Then the kids come home exhausted, don't fight me on bedtime and then it's all about me for the evening. But, like you, we are very anxious for his return a week later as I'm exhausted in planning.

Reply March 16, 2008 at 10:06 AM TechSavvyMama said...

My husband was gone all week so I know what you mean. It is a nice break in the routine to have dinner when the kids and I are ready instead of having to wait for Daddy to come home. I spend most of my evenings when he's gone catching up on TV shows, my growing stack of magazines, and blogging. However, now that he's back, we certainly missed him and am glad to be back to our routine.

1 comment:

  1. It makes me chuckle that you watch MEDIUM.


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