I heard two things at the worst moment; a Facetime request and my children screaming.
I took a deep breath and swallowed my tears. I was sitting on the floor with both children crying in my lap.
My son was being difficult all day, he woke up from his nap even worse. He was miserable and crying for no logical reason. But then again, toddlers aren’t logical.
My daughter was only weeks old. My son had just thrown one of his trucks at her head (he was aiming for me). But she cried a lot- we both did those first few weeks- I was learning how to be a mom of two, I was trying to get my milk supply up where she needed it to be. She also had terrible colic and a dairy intolerance.
I was at my wits end, I was stressed out and I didn’t want to press that button, I didn’t want my husband to see me cry; because that’s what was coming. Tears.
There are going to be days that are worse than others.
Solo-parenting doesn’t make life any easier. Whether it’s boot camp, training, or deployment. Anytime your spouse is away it’s going to be hard on you, your kids, and your spouse.
But there are ways to come back from a really bad day. Here’s how I do it:
1. Have some me-time
This is especially important if you are a mom. When your spouse is away, moms have to fill all the roles. They have to take the stage and do all the things on their own, and sometimes they forget to take care of themselves.
But, what’s the saying? You can’t pour from an empty glass. You need to take care of yourself. You need to recuperate and breathe. Whether it’s going for a run (or walk) or browsing the dollar spot at target- take some time for yourself.
2. Ask for help
Military spouses are famous for the, “No thanks, I got it,” attitude. It makes sense as we are so used to having to take care of things on our own. We are used to handling the big decisions, making sure the bills are paid, and holding down the fort that we don’t even think about it.
But, you can’t really have “me-time” if you don’t ask for help. Ask your friend to babysit. You can even offer to return the favor some time (because I’m sure she’s in need of some me-time too).
Or maybe you don’t have kids and you just want someone to hang out with who “gets it” or someone you can vent to that won’t judge you.
Either way, know when it’s time to ask for help and find someone to help you.