Recently, my husband started to work away. When the children were younger he worked away for maybe a week or two at a time, but never anything more than that. Now he has been away for over eleven weeks with just two, three day trips home and I can tell you, its not great, but we are all learning to adapt and just ‘get through’, we realize others are going through so much more, but this is out life and it has been affected.
We are a really close family and love being together, even if we aren’t in the same room, we like to be around each other, we actually like each other, how lucky is that. We are not perfect, but we
What I have found and a friend summed it up pretty well for me, its like someone of significance has left the room and you are waiting for them to come back, its a kind of life limbo and limbo is not a great place to be.
We have a busy life, so the distractions have been welcome and we have had a lot of fun, but there is always that person missing, that man, you know the one who makes us all laugh, makes me see sense when I feel that life is spinning out of control, you know that man who laughs so loud that people can’t help but smile with him, yes that man.
He will be spending his birthday away too as he wants to be here for our youngest sons birthday, now that will be strange, the first birthday apart in 30 years!
What I have found is that, without being too cliche’, you do find out who your active friends are, who is really there for you and when I say there, I mean here. I found that the first six weeks were dreadful, of course I had to get on with getting on, get the children organized, house, pets, school stuff and get my own work done. Now that did take a hit and suffered because our whole family life was literally turned upside down. My utmost respect for single parents out there, you are awesome! We muddled through together and close friends offered all sorts of support which was hard to accept in the beginning as I am fiercely independent, but in the end I accepted and shouted out for help and it came. Surprisingly enough, some withdrew and decided that Mandy, being ‘needy’ was not something they liked or understood and so some withdrew, I am coming to terms with that…
The children miss him for so many reasons, it has made them even more independent and has mad them realize that we mustn’t take anything for granted and we must make the most of our loved ones.
I have taken on a few new and exciting challenges, attempted to do things that have been on my ‘to do’ list for years and surprised myself as to how much I can still do without asking for ‘my man’ help.
What I have gained from this experience is the knowledge that I am still that determined teenager, who wants to take on the world and I am still capable of coping on my own, as scary as it can be at times, I can cope, I can screw up too, but I can cope.
We didn’t plan for this upheaval, it is not through design, but we just have to get on with it and I guess that’s all we can do.
My top tips for flying the family solo for a while:-
1. Say ‘yes’ to your friends who offer to help you and make sure that you call them if you need to.
2. Don’t try to be the perfect Mum, its hard work , and anyway, you are perfect for your children.
3. Fill you spare time with lovely things, be creative, sociable, get the girls round for a one pot dinner, get the jewellery out to play with, paint some pottery, read those books you have wanted to read for so long, create or join a book club, watch the girly films that he won’t watch, bake, write, sing, take on a new challenge, do something that you have always wanted to do, just have a good time.
4. Get organized.
5. Feel empowered by coping on your own, be proud.