Sunday, August 27, 2006

End of Summer Days, Daddy Days

The end of summer has been looming around to say the least. Just as a child dreads the start of school, I have been in denial about these last weeks of August as they quickly approached. I’ve been spoiled, you see. For the past 4 weeks, ever since Hubby took the Bar Exam, I have had him all to myself, and with Sam, of course. There’s been no studying, no books, no mock trials, no drilling him with law details, no going off to work/school, no nothing. It’s been wonderful. We’ve split the work load around the house, attended to Sam together (except, of course, for all things sleep related because clearly only Mommy can do that job), and we’ve spent afternoons at the park, the zoo, or running errands together. It all stops here.

Tomorrow Hubby starts his new job, the one we moved here for, and Sam and I are just the two of us again. We’ve done it before, we can do it again. The bad news is that Hubby’s work day is a lot longer than we realized…a LOT longer than I realized. What I thought was going to be him gone for 9-10 hours including travel is realistically going to be 12-13 hours and that’s if we cut out some of the time away by driving him to the train (we have one car). So now we have problems with dinner together, the problem being that we can’t really do it, not to mention the fact that Hubby will potentially be coming home during Sam’s bedtime. It’s all very stressful and complicated…most of you probably know all about it.

In preparation for what is about to happen, Hubby has been trying to give me a little time to myself, probably because he realized when he informed me of his actual work day that I was on the verge of a tantrum. So I sit here now while he is out with Sam on an errand, and yesterday I got to have a Mommy morning. At first I had no idea what to do with myself. Has that ever happened to you? Your husband says, “Why don’t you go out and have some alone time.” Uh…ok…where do I go? What do I do? What exactly is it that I complain about not having time for? I need advance notice of all potential breaks so that I can make sure I have something legitimate to do. So yesterday I decided to go to this bead place and make myself a necklace. I know, it sounds so lame. And it sort of was. I didn’t really like being by myself all that much and frankly beading is really overwhelming. But I wanted to make something that could withstand Sam’s grip so that I can wear jewelry again, part of the whole “feel better about my appearance stop grubbing it up plan.” Afterwards I went to a coffee shop and had my little chocolate croissant and latte, part of the whole “wonder why I feel fat but continuously sabotage myself by pigging out at every possible moment plan.” Actually the woman was trying to charge me $8.00 for this initially, which confused me until we both realized she thought I’d ordered 2 chocolate croissants…….why would she think I was going to eat 2 chocolate croissants myself? I’ll not go there.

In total I spent about 3 hours away from Sam. That’s pretty much the longest I have ever been away from him since he was born. Well, there’s one exception when I was away for about 5 hours. It made me feel like a lunatic. It felt so wrong and weird. I sort of wanted to just keep on going and not go home for like 10 more hours or something, as though if I went home I’d never get out for that long ever again. That was 8 months ago. It hasn’t happened since. But yesterday, as it is with almost every time I get out on my own, I start to feel odd after about 2 hours. I start to look around and notice that all the other mommies have their kids with them and of course they all look so happy about it. I never see the totally frazzled looking woman with the screaming toddler when I am out on a break. No, they are all smiling and talking to each other, going on a walk in their stroller on a gorgeous day. This is all I saw on my walk to the coffee shop and then back to the car. There just comes a point in that time away where I feel an overwhelming sense of longing. I saw women with their kids and was just flooded with a need to look at Sam. And I knew I just needed to see him for a moment and then I would be able to go out for another 3 hours if that was an option (which it so was not), or I just needed to pick him up and get a “big hug” and then I could go on. That longing for my baby, it takes me full force. I just have to get him and squeeze him and…look at him. Can’t go more than a few hours without getting in at least a look.

So that’s what I need to try and remember as our lives are on the brink of change. That’s what I need to remember when I am that frazzled woman and he is all I’ve looked at for the past 10 hours. I just need to remember this:


Anonymous jaybee4000 said...

Hope the weather is good enough to take advantage of that pool this week before they close it after Labor Day. Great pic of Sam.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Mamma C said...

My husband's job has been like you describe your husband's job for the past few months and it is soooo hard. By the end of the week I am ready to leave Erik in Target for some sweet old lady to take home. Then he smiles at me and I melt. I can't stand to be away from him for very long either.

Love the pic of Sam!

9:31 PM  
Blogger ksl said...

That is a great picture of your boy. I went to a Kenny Chesney concert with my sisiter and had to leave early because I missed my kids. I felt like a huge dork, but what can you do? I need to look into bloglines because I have to push refresh every time I come to your blog or it won't show me the newest post. I keep wondering why you have not posted, but it is always me forgetting to hit refresh! Then I feel like it is too late to make a comment on an old post.

9:50 PM  
Blogger GranolaGirl12 said...

What a beautiful picture.... That smile will make your day! My heart aches for you... I wish I could reach through the screen and give you a big "you're not alone" hug. Have you thought about joining a women's bible study? A lot of time they have free childcare, and it's a great way to really get to know other mothers. I'll keep you and Sam in my prayers for his sleeping and your companionship.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9 (English Standard Version)

10:19 PM  
Blogger Nikkie said...

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who can't go three hours with out seeing my kid! Boo's daddy has been taking him out for errends so I can get used to not being around him for the up coming school year. Around hour 2 like you I start to really miss him.

It was like that too when he'd be driving me insane and I'd leave him with his daddy for a walk or go to an LLL meeting too.

I never see those frazzled moms either and I'm starting to think that sometimes I'm the only frazzled mom at the mall!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Mama D said...

Wow, he is seriously gorgeous.

My husband's work day is not that long so I feel for you. I hope that everything goes well and that you both get into your groove soon.

If you ever need an ear, just drop me a line!

10:48 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

Sam is so very sweet, his smile just melts ya!
I hope you have a fairly smooth transition with your husbands work schedule, you are an obviously awesome mama and I am sure you will handle it well. And I have been know to order two chocolate croissants (I actually just ate two chocolate puddings and I am considering eating a mars bar that I tucked away for a rainy day :)
I just read the privacy post below and I think it is a hard issue. I use our full names, but we live in an area that I feel protects us in a way (on the island). Maybe that is naiive, but I make sure to look at my stats and I don't have a very large fan base (mostly my family and friends and a couple bloggers I have come to know). But I do worry about it from time to time.

11:57 PM  
Blogger Valarie said...

Good luck with that new schedule. At least you will have the car during the day. We're a one car family too and it was so hard when my husband worked away from home. Also, remember that it's working toward a better situation- not like he's off to do 13 hour days in a factory for the next 40 years. You'll get through this and will be stronger for it.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous abc momma said...

Does he know how long he will have to work the 13-hour days? It's easier for me to get through something like that if I know there's an end. Also, you might consider adjusting your schedule to have breakfast as your family meal time. (Our neighbors had lunch as their family time when their 4 children were ages 5 and under.) Sam could go to bed earlier, and you could have some down time for yourself before hubby comes home. This is, of course, if all the planets are aligned just right.

3:44 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

What amazing photo!

My hubby is also starting a new job where they will expect him to work on another degree (on top of the masters he is currently working on). So we are going to see a lot less of him too. I am not looking forward to that at all.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Seriously, I am going through the SAME THING! It's tough, but we will survive. Onward!

6:01 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Wow, those are really long days. I can't imagine how I would feel. Maybe once Sam starts backtalking, it will be easier to leave him. I had problems leaving until they each turned three. Then the sassing started.

6:14 PM  
Blogger LynAnne said...

Such a sweet photo! I'll be sending lots of postive thoughts your way that things go smoothly for you!

7:21 PM  
Blogger scraphappymama said...

Good luck with the long work days. I feel for you. My husband used to work in public accounting and somedays didn't get home until 2 am and then left the next day at 6 am. Crazy!!!

Also, LOVED the pic of Sam. He is adorable!!!

10:13 PM  
Blogger Mamacita Tina said...

Lately my husband has been working 15 hour days. He leaves just as the kids are waking and gets home and they're already asleep. I've been going crazy. One thing I found that helps my sanity, is to get out of the house and find places where moms take their kids to play. It's too hot for us to go to a park, so we hit the indoor mall playground, the library, McDonald's. Just have to get out and find some adult conversation. Good luck.

1:01 AM  
Blogger kate said...

oh beth. i thought i had it bad! my husband has been off of work for about 5 weeks (he's a teacher, but works in july) and he went back to work yesterday for meetings. he was only gone 3 hours, but it felt like all day! today is his first day being gone all. damm. day. it's way hard!

i like, you (surprise, surprise) had the hubby saying things like, "go have some time to yourself." yeah. i forget what that means. i have NO IDEA how to do it. it's like i'm dysfunctional. and i guess it doesn't matter that much cause i ain't gonna get it much.

i feel for you. your husband's work schedule is intense! any babysitter possibilities to get you a bit of a break?

8:57 AM  
Blogger sari said...

My husband had surgery at the beginning of July and was off most of the month. Even though he was recovering, we all got used to being home together and it was really nice! Almost like a vacation except nobody left the house or took a shower, ha ha ha.

No seriously, it is hard when you get back into your routine. Hopefully your husband will be able to go in later or come home earlier some days to make up for the long hours.

It's funny that you can find someone you identify with so much on the internet but not that lives by you. I think we all feel the same about things but don't tell the actual people we now. If we did, maybe we wouldn't feel like we're going through it alone.

I yammer...sorry. Your little Sam is a cutie. When my husband and the boys are gone, it's nice for about an hour and then I start looking out the window, waiting for them to come back. You just need a little break, then you want your babies again. :-)

9:54 AM  
Blogger New Mama's Nest said...

What a cute picture of Sam! I hope you're able to enjoy your time with just the two of you... and that hubby makes it home befoer you're missing him too much!

3:20 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Oh, icky hours. That sucks. Hang in there, cuz nothing's forever. Perhaps this will work out sooner rather than later. The driving to the train is a good way to start your day. Good luck!

Oh, and while I DO need the baby fix every few hours, when they get older... not so much. :)

10:42 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Oh that sweet face! I understand... I do... what a beautiful creature he is!

1:37 AM  
Anonymous babydmama said...

I'm so with you - my hubs travels for work and by the time he gets home from a trip I feel like I want to run away. So I go out by myself and then miss my baby so much it hurts.

Gorgeous picture. How those smiles make us melt is crazy . . .

9:54 AM  

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