When Alan gets home from New Jersey tonight

This hilarious blogger tells it like it is about parenting when your spouse is out of town. SO TRUE

Remember how I said that Alan wasn’t going on any business trips in December?

Of course, I was wrong. This week turned out to be New Jersey week. You might think that a 14 year Army wife veteran such as myself would not sweat short business trips. I’ve been through more than one year-long deployment, several months-long assignments or deployments, and too many short trips to count.

You might even think that I should be so tough as to enjoy a little extra free time or nights off from cooking dinner, or some other crazy thing that might have held true 12 years ago before we had kids, but that is not the case at all at this point.

Women are always joking about the husband not being able to handle all the kids by themselves. Well, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I am the mother, and I can’t even handle all this by myself.

Me when Alan is here:

Celiac-friendly melt-in-your-mouth biscuits. They were WONDERFUL!!!

“We are having roast and potatoes for dinner. Go wash your hands.”

Me when Alan is not here:
“What? Oh, you’re hungry? You need supper. Right. Supper…supper…supper…Hold on. I’m pretty sure there’s some frozen chicken fingers in here somewhere…AHA!!  Yes! Frozen chicken strips. There are only 5 in the bag, so one for each of us, and after that you can have cereal.”

When Alan is out of town, cereal is pretty much my answer to all of life’s problems.

School snack?

Cereal.

Breakfast?
Cereal.

Supper?

Well, we talked about that already. Frozen chicken and cereal.

I am obviously NOT going to be piling four boys up in the car and going out to eat or cooking mega meals or going to the grocery store.

Actually, my brain doesn’t even seem to work as well when Alan’s gone. It throws me off. It’s like I’m an earth with only a South Pole and no North.

Do you know what I missed this week?  I missed the way Alan takes care of us when it rains.

Alan is the person who always cleans the backyard before it rains.

If you don’t know what I mean, you must not let your children play in the backyard and just leave their stuff any old way out there, and you probably don’t have four boys. I feel like that’s my ultimate excuse for all of my failings in life. Four boys. Sorry.

So this week it rained for the first time in forever, and apparently our smallest fry had left his tennis shoes and socks out by the trampoline, unbeknownst to me.

Day 1:

“Where are his shoes, where are his shoes????” as I frantically search the house, the car, suitcases from last weekend, everything. I made him just ride in the car without shoes.

Day 2:

“I don’t understand where his shoes are!!!” I searched frantically through the house and the car again. Then I suddenly spotted them through my back door: out in the rain, the POURING rain. Rain day #2, in fact, along with not one, not two, but like four little white socks littered around the trampoline.

I actually had to take him somewhere, so I gave up and put a pair of shoes that’s a size too big for him that I was saving for him to grow into. I bought them for Daniel, but they were too skinny for Dan’s feet, which made them perfect for J.D.

This wasn’t a total loss because the new shoes actually fit him well, and he’s happy with them.

The downside: the old shoes are still laying outside by the trampoline, soaking wet, even now. Let me rush right out there in the cold and wet and get those…right…

Go ahead, shake your head. I know. This is my act, y’all. This is it.

I have no pride left.

Like none. Now whenever Alan lets me know that he’s leaving, I schedule a grandparent to come and stay with us to help out for at least one of the nights of his trip. This week it was my mom who came. I try to trade out between the grandmas so we don’t wear them out. Ha! (Thank you so much, Nana and Nonna!!!!)

There you have it, why I can never have an unbiased opinion about any national military event. I’m affected too directly. Not in a big hurry to get rid of Alan.

See, he’s not just any husband. The man is a machine. I spend most of my energy waiting on John David hand and foot, wiping his bottom, cheauffering kids, cleaning bathrooms, feeding them, and refereeing arguments.

Alan uses his energy to declutter. That man can pick up a full on tornado room in 5 minutes and make it look like Good Housekeeping. He also does laundry and washes pans. Oh! And he finds missing stuff!!

Plus, it’s just lonely, parenting alone, especially in a new place.

Alan gets home in 5 hours now. I only have to make it 5 more hours.

Only 1 hurdle left: I’m supposed to take the kids to Wednesday night church supper and AWANA by myself. I had to quit choir because every single trip crosses a Wednesday night, and there’s no way I’m coming home that late with 4 boys, all wound up from AWANA, to get ready for bed. Really the only reason I still even go to AWANA when Alan isn’t here is that I already skipped it so many times that Daniel is behind the other kids on his badges, and you know if Daniel is behind on something that it’s my fault, and it kills him to not have those badges on his vest. Sooooooo… we are all sucking it up and going tonight so Daniel can say his verse, get his badge, and then I promised them we can all go straight home.

Then I just have to get through bath and bedtime, and I don’t suppose I should let the little ones skip that yet again tonight….

I asked my doctor if I should try vitamins to see if that could help me have more energy to handle this gargantuan job, but my docs never take me seriously about this. They always say, “Well, but you have four boys……that’s why you’re tired.”

My doctor actually said that she thought vitamins would be bad for me since my blood work is good. I don’t know how to get more energy!

Stress, man! What an exhausting job! Do any of you dread your spouse leaving town as much as I do??? What tricks do you do to get through it?

I fantasize sometimes. Like this:

When Alan gets home from New Jersey,

–I am going to finish ALL my Christmas shopping–ALONE.

–I am going to take a bath, and lock the door.

–I am going to go for a hike, ALONE.

–I am going to check into a hotel, right down the street and SLEEP…..and watch t.v.—whatever I want to watch!!!!—and eat snacks in bed!!

–I just want Alan to take all 4 kids away for a weekend to anywhere, and I’m going to clean this house……oh who am I kidding, I’d end up writing and working on my blog anyway!

Merry Christmas, y’all!

 

 

 

10 comments

  • Yes a weekend to myself!!! That’s all I need to complete the chores…errr…ok ok…my book.
    Shopgirl Anonymous recently posted…Ulta Mission StatementMy Profile

  • Bethany

    Oh my gosh, April! I can’t even imagine how you handle 4 boys alone! I hate it when my husband works late, and we just have the one girl, although she is a very feisty and strong-willed girl!! =)

  • OH I so hear you on this one! I don’t sleep well at all when I’m the only one home with the kids. I freak out over creak and groan and am so afraid that I wouldn’t hear one of the boys if they were sick or scared or whatever and so after a week or two of him being gone for work I am just barely making it through the week. I was just told yesterday he’s probably heading back to North Dakota soon (we live in New England)… But none can be as bad as the year he was gone for most of the month of December arriving back home on like the 23rd or something… IF I know about the trip ahead of time (which I often don’t– no joke I’ve gotten a cell phone call at noon while on a field trip telling me he was leaving for three days) I shop before he leaves and load up on what I affectionately call “kid crap”– sugary cereal, frozen pizzas, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, etc. Foods I know the kids will eat without giving me a hard time and enough salad fixings for me for dinner so I don’t have to do any real cooking. We plan lots of outings and get togethers with friends and families so the boys and I aren’t sitting around doing regular schoolwork watching the clock tick by and just the bare minimum of housework gets done. It’s tough going it alone! Hang in there… just a few more hours.
    Mother of 3 recently posted…Art Projects #59-64; Making Christmas GiftsMy Profile

  • Jen

    Cereal is pretty much my answer all of the time. Glad your hubby is coming home soon. Darn it is hard to solo parent. Hats off to those wonderful folks who do it 🙂
    Jen recently posted…Simplify Brunch With This Baked Orange French ToastMy Profile

  • McMom

    I love this post. I can barely survive alone with two – I can’t imagine four. Alan is a keeper, for sure. As are you.

  • Hahaha, I liked reading this.. I can relate so much to your checklist at the end… and I only have two!! haha! Merry Christmas dear, I missed reading your blog!!! – http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  • Those Biscuits look scrumptious. I hope Alan made it home safe and sound 🙂 I bet you are looking forward to taking a bath and locking the door. Enjoy April, you deserve it.
    Mary recently posted…Challenge MondayMy Profile