Life a few months ago meant that my husband would only typically leave us for 24 hours at the time, on every third day. Now we only get him to come home every third day, with a one dept. Sunday Kelly Day. Only seeing my husband every third day and for two days every third weekend is harder than I anticipated when he took a second full-time job. Missing doesn’t sound like a good word. It doesn’t sound strong enough. It doesn’t do justice to the way I feel. It doesn’t sound like the word I want to use.
48 hours. It really feels like a lot longer than two days. Especially when a busy day comes along and I can’t just text or call, and get a reply. Some people who aren’t familiar with the fire service and 24 hours shifts don’t get how long that really is. When you hear me say that I miss my husband, I’m not whining. I’m not looking for a pity party. I don’t want no lip about how it’s just two days. I just want to verbally say or type that I don’t feel complete and truly miss my husband. I’m not looking for anything other than expressing I just genuinely miss him.
I get asked to babysit what I consider to be quite often. I know it is coming when I get a text that asks if my husband is working “this weekend”. Honestly, when he was only 24/48 I didn’t mind babysitting when he was on shift, but now that he is gone 48 and home less than 24 if you want to be realistic, I don’t want to. I’m tired. Yes, I am a stay at home mother. No, that doesn’t mean I get to lay around eating bonbons in my pajamas all day. It means I am mommy and daddy for all but 2 or 3 days a week. It means I am the lady of the house but also the man of the house. I am on my own, without help from anyone really. I have to be everyone’s every thing and it gets tiring. It gets lonely. It gets annoying to only have kids to talk to in person! Please excuse me if I do not want to keep your children. I absolutely refuse to do so on an off day. I don’t get enough time with my husband as is, throwing more kids in isn’t a good idea.
It doesn’t help that I next to next ask for a sitter, and when I do I am usually declined. Luckily for Valentine’s Day, the husband was OFF and I made a date night trade with a sister. Tonight, I get to pay her back so she can go on a date with her husband. I reluctantly asked my mother to babysit Saturday for a few hours so that I could meet up with some fellow fire wives for some kidfree lady time. Of course she said yes, I ask so seldom that she rarely says no. I’d ask more if she didn’t already have at least one (or more) of her other 4 grand kids a few times a week. If someone has your children a few times a week, even if it is just for an hour, you really have NO room to complain about “never” having a sitter.
I’d almost give up my right big toe for a once a week 2-3 hour sitter. Especially when I’m living this life of 48s. Especially when he comes to me with something involving career, change and my opinion. Especially when sometimes all I really want is to drink my coffee before it gets cold, or eat my food before it gets cold, or sit down for longer than 5 minutes without having to get up to tend to someone else’s needs, and I could go on but a really good one is I would like to be able to go into the bathroom and take care of business without it being a show. Please. Mama needs to potty without the glare of a 3 year old who exclaims “Yay! Mama pee pee!!!!!!!!”. I know, it’s cute the first few times, then that fades.
The off days are usually pretty good. Not usually a need to go back to bed or being grumpy all day. Sometimes not much patience with the kids but with two girls, one being 3 and mega spoiled and one being 11 and super hormonal, he does OK. He does make remarks about not being able to deal with this or that and I’m glaring at him thinking, yeah buddy… THIS is what I do while you’re working. You’re out saving lives and I’m saving lives too. At least two lives, daily, that I do not take. I’m saying this jokingly, of course. The kids miss him just as much.
Today is the youngest’s birthday. 3 years old today. Daddy is on shift, of course. We planned her birthday party for Sunday. I was asked, “Why Sunday?!”. Because that is the only damn day her daddy, an important guest in my opinion, will have off. Grit teeth and smile. We went by the fire station this morning to see daddy for a few minutes.
I know it’s only been a few hours, and he has roughly 43 hours left before he comes home, but I miss him. I love him. I feel empty when I stop and think about it.
This is how I feel today.
Love your spouses like you want them to love you.