Back on Land

He deploys, and I make a life back on land.

Navy Wife Confessions

8 Comments

“How do you do it?”

“I could never do what you do…”

“You’re like a super woman!”

I hear it a lot, especially when Josh is deployed, from family and well-meaning civilian friends (and sometimes even strangers). They say it when I mention that I’ve fixed the car or unclogged the garbage disposal. They wonder at me while I puzzle out how to be at two different school events at once or drive an activity schedule by myself that would make two people sweat.Recently, it was the moms at the elementary school, unsure how I manage three kids and a house plus a big volunteer project while my husband is away. 

“You must be so strong!”

Most days, I’ll admit, I feel pretty damn awesome, but here’s my confession … sometimes I am simply not strong enough.

Some days … sigh … some days. We run out of bread for lunch sandwiches or milk for my little. There are two or more activities at the exact same time, across town from one another, and equally important to the kid that needs me there. I am late for pick-up.  Everyone is mad at me, and the big volunteer project mysteriously disappears from my computer. The I-need-to-wear-these-tomorrow jeans didn’t get put in the dryer before I fell asleep on the couch went to bed  (the same dryer which then begins to make a loud knocking sound). Someone needs cash for school the very next day but failed to tell me while we were at the bank (and of course my wallet is empty). Someone spills their milk, and someone else just watches while it seeps into the carpet.

On this day, I am not strong enough. My patience is gone, my sanity a distant memory. At least once on this day, I lose my mind on my kids, yelling when I shouldn’t, blaming when it isn’t their fault.  Sometimes at the end of this day I have just enough strength left to apologize to my kids; sometimes all I can do is hug them and kiss them as I pray for a better day tomorrow. Then I drag myself to bed (hopefully) before tears that I’ve been holding in all day spring forth.

You might wonder why I’m making this is my confession. That’s a good question. I pondered it myself last night when it came to mind. I don’t want your pity, and I don’t need to hear how awesome I am. I’m writing because on those days, I feel alone. I feel like the worst mom in the world, like I’m failing in ways no other mom possibly could. I think everyone else must be holding up better than me, and it hurts to know I’m failing when I should be thriving.

On a good day I know better. I know no one is perfect; I know we all have those days. But when I’m having those days, doubt takes advantage of my weakness, and I spend the last few minutes of my waking day beating myself up for not doing better, for not being better. So I’m writing today for anyone having one of those days. For anyone who needs to hear that I’ve been where you are, that we all have, and that tomorrow will probably be better. For anyone wondering why you just can’t today when it seems like everyone else can.

You can, too. Don’t beat yourself up. Let those tears run their course, and try to sleep. Tomorrow you will be right back to superwoman, to awesome. And maybe tomorrow it will be my turn, or her turn, or hers to fall a little, so I write today in hopes that your tomorrow is strong enough to remind all of us how strong we usually are.

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8 thoughts on “Navy Wife Confessions

  1. Oh Jodi its like you are living in my house right now. I am currently hiding in my crafty closet desk chugging coffee while the over tired kids roll around on the futon mattress on the living room floor fighting with each other. Its lunch time and I am seriously considering tossing a bag of popcorn in their direction.

    Some days all the things get done and I feel awesome like I am totally rocking this solo parenting deal. Then that moment hits when you are washing dishes for the ten thousandth time this week and I realize my week and subsequent weeks are cleaning, cooking, laundry, breaking up fights, taking out trash…. rinse and repeat. Every. Single. Day. That’s when I realize how much I value that my husband cleans up after dinner, folds laundry while watching football, takes out the trash and frankly is just someone to vent to when I feel like I am totally failing at the mommy gig.

    Alas I am going to go find some real food in the fridge, break up the fighting, wash the dishes, pour another cup of coffee and trudge on.

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    • Amanda, you are awesome! I am always amazed at all the fun ideas you come up with for your girls! Even if it doesn’t feel like it, you’re doing GREAT! ❤

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  2. Thank you so much for writing this. It is so true and some days when you feel like you stink at the mom job you forget other moms have or will feel the same way at one point. I can honestly say that I have had more of “those” days this time with figuring out how to parent a boy that has turned into a teen. I think we all need to remember to breathe and that we will make to a better day. I also think that by “confessing” this it makes you more of a super mom. You acknowledge that some days are better than others and in the end you stand up, dust yourself off and look on to the better days ahead. That to me is a true definition of a super mom!

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  3. It’s like you read my mind. I was venting on Facebook just the other day how my little almost fell and busted his lip while I was attempting to straighten my hair as fast as possible. In the midst of him falling I threw my straighter down to catch him, not even realizing I put the straighter down. Once I snuggled him and got him all calmed down from falling I sat him back down. Trying to remember what I was just doing I start to hear little screaming. Yeah, he touched the straightener that I didn’t even realize was on the floor. 😦 que mommy break down and whyyyyyyy don’t I have a husband here to help me just so I can do the little things like blow dry my hair! As I was venting of course I got the “you’re so strong momma” comments but at the same time I was thinking and asking “all these other moms are out there doing this everyday too. An I just a weenie or am I the only one I know that actually voices how hard and stressful it is to do this all by myself with a almost 1 year old?”

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  4. Oh man. You hit the nail exactly on the head with this one. Raising little humans is HARD under the best of circumstances, and when you start to throw in things like your husband being gone for long stretches, it has the potential to be really painful. Often when I go to bed at night, I promise myself “It will be better tomorrow. I will be better tomorrow.” We are all just trying to do the best we can with the hand we’ve been dealt, and it’s nice to hear that we are not alone in this.

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  5. Pingback: 10 Things I Learned in June | Back on Land

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