Monday, June 22, 2009

MiSS iNDePeNDeNT

It’s hard sometimes to share what I want to share on here, what I feel I can share on here without being worried I will worry someone else or say something that I should have just kept to myself, but I can’t let other peoples’ thoughts prevent me from my own. This is why I have this blog. To get it out.

These days, I am Miss Independent. A long, long, long time ago, I was Miss Independent, long before Kelly Clarkston was even born probably – the song or the idea hadn’t even existed. But here I am Miss Independent with three children, with days and days and days of summer ahead, trying to figure out ways to fill them.

A long time ago, when I was Miss Independent, Mr. Manic was a cop. He was working shift work and I had been accustomed to being by myself for months at a time. And this was right before we were getting married, and in order to communicate (there were no cell phones back then), we would leave a notebook filled with messages on our kitchen counter to tell one another what we were doing that day, or how much we missed each other, or that we loved one another.

I would make dinners only for myself, and lived off buttered and parmesan noodles. I paid the bills. I did the laundry for the two of us. I went out with girlfriends, because he was not around. He was working.

He’s been gone a lot lately. Not in the Jon Gosselin way, NO! Don’t think THAT! Lots of travel, lots of it, and it’s an adjustment to be alone with the kids. I leave the house a mess, am a living, breathing Felix and Oscar – whichever one is the messy one, that’s me. And the day I know he is returning, I swirl through the house and make it all homemakerish and clean and nice. Because he has worked hard and deserves a clean home.

I am thankful he found work so soon after being let go from his other job, and really, this is a dream job come true for him. He is absolutely loving it. But selfish me is not loving not having him here. I guess I don’t want to learn to be Miss Independent again. I liked being Miss Dependent. He said the other night that this is good – it can bring me out of my comfort zone a little bit. What’s wrong with being dependent upon someone? Isn’t that part of what a marriage is? But then there’s the part that says, Me First. I have to do what makes me happy first. What makes me happy? My kids, my writing, my books, my work. My husband. But he’s not here. He’s out working, which includes a lot of travel, and it’s not that I’m jealous of what he’s doing. I’m jealous of what he’s not doing. He’s not here for basketball or softball, for pool time and tuck ins, for the normal stuff we are all so accustomed to him being here for. And I know I’ll get used to it. Because what other choice do I have? To pout and be bitchy the times he is home? No. I have to suck it up and become Miss Independent.

And there are some pros. I don’t have to cook ever if I didn’t want to, not that I did much of that when he was home every night. I can totally let the house go. I can let the kids stay up till whenever they pass out from sleep deprivation. We can all snuggle up in my bed. I can pull into the garage as asinine as I want and not have to share the extra space. I have my office all to myself … there are some good things.

But having him here and having him stressed about a job that he was more stressed than he ever let on, well, that wouldn’t be a good situation any longer. That situation is no more, and it’s a new situation, and we’re just adjusting, getting used to it. It’s like when you bring home that new baby, whether it’s the first or the second, or even the third. It takes some time to get used to the new format of life, and I guess that’s what I’m doing.

And it’s OK. I’ll be OK. The kids are great. Mr. Manic has never been happier, I think.

Today, when I told Diva I was a little sad and that I missed Daddy and I didn’t like him being away so much, she said something that struck me and I’ll hold this in my heart and think of how selfish I’ve been.

She said, “At least he comes home, and he’s not in Iraq.”

She’s absolutely right. How lucky are we.

23 comments:

becky w. said...

Just wanted to leave a comment to let you know I can totally relate to your situation. First of all, congrats on the new job. I get that it could be not all that you bargained for. My husband travels ALOT for work and had been home quite a bit with the slowing economy. He has gotten busy again (yea?) so we are readjusting to him being gone for long stretches. Don't like the single-momming it part at all, but remembering to be grateful for what we have. Good luck with the adjusting!

Kristin said...

Diva makes a great point. And we all need to remember how lucky we are to have our loved ones alive and well.

Amanda said...

Most likely doesn't help you had him home all day for a while right before he wasn't there at all for the most part. Kind of salt in the wound really.

PS FINALLY got that parcel off so watch your doormat!

morninglight mama said...

Oh man, I absolutely understand what you're saying here. It has always sounded like you and Mr. Manic have such a loving and devoted relationship that it's pretty clear that big separations would take their toll on you. Wish we were neighbors-- I'd bring my wacky trio over to distract you and add to the messy house. :)

Shelley said...

That's one smart young lady you have there, Steph. That's a lot of perspective, for her age.
That being said, I can relate to what you're going through. My husband moved to Denver six months ahead of us to start his new job. Being a single mom is hard, especially when you're used to having someone there to help you. It's great that he's happy and he loves what he's doing. And hopefully it will make the time you are together that much more special. I know it's hard. Hang in there. :)

Ginny Williams said...

I'm a divorced mom, and am quite independent out of necessity. I'm dating very seriously, and trying to learn to be less independent. its tough going the other way too.
you have one smart Diva... she sure has a way of putting things in perspective.

Bina said...

Wow, Diva said that? HOLY MOLY!~


As an ex-wife of a Special Forces soldier who home about 24% of the year (and no, I'm NOT exagerating) I know the feeling. But I got used to be a married single mother, my own person, independent, and not having to answer to anyone. It's amazing how I changed over the years, until it got to the point where I didn't like him being at home anymore.

WAIT! I shouldn't have said that! Mr. Manic isn't gone 9 months out of the year and he would NEVER come and just try to take over like you don't have a clue. In fact, I bet your sex gets better and the time you DO spend together is much more meaningful.

Being Samantha said...

She said, “At least he comes home, and he’s not in Iraq.”

you have the smartest little girl ever!

I have friends on their way home from Somali and Iraq, and its the most stressful thing in the world, to see them off and wonder if we'll ever see them again.

I love that you're little one already knows the value of whats going on in the world and appreiates what she has. parents.

Love your blog more after reading this posting... not that it didnt already rock.

xox
~Being Samiantha

Babe in Babeland said...

Sometimes kids are so wise, huh? Good thought by Diva.

But I totally understand. I miss my hubby when he's gone too. Sometimes he has to be gone overnight. NO FUN!

JODI said...

I was so opposite...when King Ralph who is all cop-like got promoted last year to a white shirt he went from shifts to being home every night. Gag! It was such a huge adjustment to have him in our all-girl space all the time. We had to share the TV, cook dinner every night, he has weekends off...

In other words no matter whether they are around or not it is an adjustment.

And, you will adjust...I did. In the end you find the pluses to the new life style.

Mrs4444 said...

Being alone with the kids all summer has to be tough. Hopefully, it'll be easier when school starts?

Michelle said...

Leave it to the children to put the appropriate perspective on things, no?

And hey -- don't forget that you've got a great support network of your friends and family, too. That helps a ton.

And Mister Manic a cop? Huh. How much life has changed! Why did he decide to pursue a different path?

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Michelle--he quit cop work to be home with the family, which is kind of ironic with our current situation, huh? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...WOW, love her comment! Funny though...my husband would give his left @#$% to be in Iraq helping out and sending someone home in his place! I don't understand that especially since he doesn't HAVE to.

My husband is gone quite a bit too and I adjusted years ago. Actually, I hated missing him and feeling helpless when he was away. So, I just changed my attitude and I hate to say it but our schedule works out better when he is not here and gets disrupted when he is home. I agree with what Jody said, whether they are home or not, it is an adjustment. My husband is a pilot and a reservist. He takes a lot of pride in what he does and works hard but hopes his kids chose a different path. We have 3 kids (2 of which are boys) and I wish he was here for more of the scout and sport stuff but what are you gonna do? Maybe when the economy turns around there will be more jobs to chose from. In the mean time, enjoy late night reading, not cooking big meals every night, and being on a schedule that works for YOU! Summer is the best, so much more to do! You will adjust and it will be fine. Good luck!! Dee Dee

Mommy Melee said...

My dad has spent three months out of every year gone fishing. (He's a captain.) Growing up, I never wanted to have that kind of relationship. But for more than a year my husband traveled at least two weeks out of every month. Now it's more like 4-6 days. But it's still hard.

I do find myself enjoying some things though, like not worrying about dinner or just bumming around in the evening.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Dee Dee--yep, I do worry about him coming home and disrupting our schedules! LOL!

Mommy Melee - there are the positives -- we had ICE CREAM for dinner (hence the twitter post about Cold Stone and my headache!)

3carnations said...

My husband never travels for work. I always think it would be fine if he did; we'd miss him but not such a big deal. Last week I was very glad he doesn't travel for work when we had a mouse situation. I may be Miss Independent in a lot of ways, but not when it comes to an uninvited mouse.

Life As I Know It said...

every change is an adjustment. for everyone. my husband did a lot of travel last year and it go easier. I actually loved not cooking dinner...ssshhhhhh.

shopgirl said...

Wow.. That last statement? is so right on... out of the mouths of babes eh?

Good luck with all the adjusting - and it's just that right? a little adjustment? Hopefully soon, you won't feel this way.

Congrats on the new job and hey, well welcome back Miss Independent!

msprimadonna67 said...

Perspective sometimes comes from the most unexpected places, huh?

Jessica said...

I just started reading your blog and am hooked. I had a little chuckle when you talked about running around cleaning your house. My husband used to travel and I would do the same thing!

Barb said...

Wow! Out of the mouths of babes. My husband did a 6 month job in Virginia. I stayed home with the kids and I did okay but missed the hell out of him. Did wonders for our marriage though.

Kate said...

I hear you. It was an adjustment when we were both unemployed and home all the time, but we figured it out. And then there are times when he travels for weeks at a time. Luckily we haven't had to deal with that for a while now. I think the hardest part, truly, is the change.