The first couple weeks after my husband deploys is always the hardest. Nowhere really feels like home when he isn't around. One of the things that I cherish the most about him is the fact that it isn't the place we are, but that fact that we are together that makes our relationship so special. So, needless to say week one is going remarkable normal. I have the ups and downs in my mood. Once in a while a cry session begins and ends just as abruptly as it starts. I try to keep all of what is left of our schedule for the week in order. Make plans with the family to travel up to Los Angeles to try and get a little help with keeping the kids distracted. Then run all the errands and such before we make the road trip up. However, the stress always changes. This is the point where I warn you that this will mostly be a vent session here...
Week one has been a little bit of a challenge with the kids. Our oldest is used to deployments but always has a little separation anxiety, but she's been doing fairly well. Being that she's 4 going on 5 might also be helping that fact. Kindergarten is just around the corner too which has been a great distraction. My youngest however, has been pushing my proverbial buttons. It's your typical 2 going on 3 kind of attitude. Exploring the boundaries of how far she can go. But, when I go to discipline her, he's been completely breaking down. It's hard to watch to come points and I know it's partly because she just doesn't understand everything going on. Throw in Mommy expecting another baby, that I'm sure could be a whole other blog pot worth of explanation.
On top of all the difficulties with the kids, my family is in a state of tension all it's own. We have full house with my cousin and her two teenage daughters, my eighty three year old grandmother, and my parents all under one roof. When I come to stay for a short period of time, we take up the guest room upstairs. It's a five bedroom home that feels more like a cramped frat house at times when everyone is trying to move around one another.
My cousin is fighting her fourth battle with cancer dealing with a severe brain tumor. Sometimes it alters her perception and balance which frustrates her to no end. Lately she has been lashing out in frustration at her own children, as well as my parents. It also affects her memory a little at times, which is normal due to where the tumor is located.
Then we have my bat shit crazy grandma. Now when I say bat shit crazy, I mean bipolar, dementia is already apparent, and on occasion she just down right mean, grandma. But, she for the most part has always been a spit fire broad all the way. Taking shit from no one is pretty much her personality. However, she recently fell and broke her hip doing something she wasn't supposed to. Shocker. Now her mobility is very limited. But being an independent elderly woman she now is dependent on my teenage cousins (and myself now that I'm here) when her nurse is unable to come. Oh, and when she gets frustrated, she tends to be a handful. If she's upset, she'll make sure to let you know it with ever mean comment or comeback that you can think of. But, as I said before, that's just kind of her personality. It has never really changed but lifting and trying to care for her and deal with that makes it hard.
When it finally comes to my parents, well that one is hard to deal with too. My Dad is a strict neat freak with little or no time to clean. They both drive up to four hours into work, then four, sometimes more, home EVERY DAY. Now I don't know about most people but after a full day on the job then almost another eight hours on the road, they tend to not be in the best mood. Then have all the issues of the day on top of them come crashing down the minute they hit the door. The are so tired sometimes there is no energy left to fight with everything going on.
So now enter myself being six month pregnant with some complications here and there, the final layer to this stress monster of a situation seems to be at it's head. I am limited right now as to what I can help do around the house and trying to help my eighteen year old cousin take care of my grandmother. In the past few days of being here I actually pushed myself to far and ended up winding in bed yesterday, over-exerted, sick, and almost in the Emergency Room again. But like my grandmother I am stupidly stubborn sometimes and forget that I am not able to do things like I used to.
Luckily my teenage cousins help me just as much as I've come to help them. Especially knowing that their Mom is sick, they've told me they appreciate having me around the house for support. Bring young doesn't always mean they are invincible to stress and chaos. Plus I always find a way to get them away with a treat to get our nails done or just get out of the house. Hopefully Friday, we'll be on our way to the Aquarium of the Pacific for some much needed away from "home" time.
So although life is a little chaotic and no where feels at home, this deployment is still fresh. I will eventually settle into doing things on my own again. My husband has been emailing and video chatting with me, which he didn't ever get to do before, so it helps. Things will hopefully calm down around here. The kids and I will eventually be going home. Just have to stick it out a little longer. I also need to learn to relax with this new baby on the way. I have a feeling this third trimester is going to kick my ass royally.
Thanks for letting me vent, btw.