Joe is often away for up to 8 weeks at a time which can be really hard on us all. It seems to be getting harder and harder as Blythe gets older because she misses him so much and gets really upset whenever he has to leave. She gets herself very distressed and sometimes is completely inconsolable because all she wants is Daddy and thats something I cannot give her. FaceTime is a brilliant way of keeping in touch and being able to see each other but it can sometimes result in Blythe getting really frustrated that she can’t physically touch Daddy and cuddle him. It can also be really difficult to find a good time to talk as sometimes Joe is so busy that by the time he is free to chat Blythe is already in bed. When Joe is not away we are really lucky in that he has short days and is almost always home for bedtime and bath time. This does mean his absence is really highlighted when he is gone.
These periods of solo parenting always make me feel so in awe of single parents who do this day in day out as well as those whose partners are in the forces or have other long distance careers- it really is tough and I know in comparison to lots my experience doesn’t compare. This also isn’t a complaining post because I am well aware we are very fortunate.
I don’t think I will ever enjoy or find it easy when Joe is away from us and as someone who suffers from anxiety I do really struggle while he is not here but I’ve found lots of ways of coping with the separation.
I know being alone can tip me over the edge and make me into a bit of a nervous wreck so I try where I can to have lots of visitors to stay. This can be so lovely but it can also add additional work to you, for example I had Hattie to stay for a week and it was total chaos my house was a mess but it was so worth it and the week flew by! Helpful guests are always a bonus my mother in law and my mum are always so helpful when they come and stay.
I can often feel a bit trapped and as much as I love my house it can drive me a bit stir crazy after weeks of the same routine and solo parenting a change of seen is always good so I usually go and stay with friends and family to break it up. It really makes a difference to break things up a bit.
I often find myself not really enjoying the day to day because I’m simply ticking off the days until we see Joe again and we are back to normal family life. This is something I have had to make a real conscious effort not to do because life is short and precious and it’s so important to try and make the most of each day. We try and keep really busy even if it doesn’t mean going anywhere I try and plan activities for us to do at home.
It’s so important to look after yourself and make sure you don’t burn yourself out, when your doing everything without any help it can be really draining and exhausting. I have to go to bed early to make sure I conserve energy because Blythe can be an unpredictable sleeper and an early waker. I always sleep terribly when Joe is not at home. I have to admit I feel much happier having Blythe sleep in bed with me, it gives me one less thing to worry about and I feel much more at ease knowing she is beside me and I could protect her in case of any emergency. On the days that Blythe is at nursery I try and rejuvenate myself if that means having a face mask meeting a friend for coffee or just sitting in silence it gives me a little break.
I wish that my family lived close to me but I am lucky that they all try really hard to help me out and make things easier for me. I do think distance makes the heart grow fonder because It definitely makes me appreciate Joe when he is gone. As hard as it can sometimes be its so important to communicate as much as you can, I try really hard to take lots of pictures and videos for Joe so that he feels like he’s not missing to much at home and involve him as much as I can.
I would love to hear how others cope with their partners working away.
Love M xx