Adventures in singlish parenting.

No, my husband didn’t leave me. Poor guy is stuck with me. Not just in this life but past the end of time. Sorry, not sorry Lover…

As many of you know, we spent a glorious summer dragging our children on just about every mode of transportation known to man across 15 different countries. (I really need to take a day to upload my posts but today is not that day.) They went on 12 hour flights, Tuk Tuks, Long Boats, camels, trains, and from the very back of planes to first class. We stayed in hostels, airbnbs and 5 Star Hotels. Honestly, my 6 and 8 year olds did traveling that would have made grown men cry all while packing their own suitcases.

When we got back to the states, we were once again faced with reality. School was getting ready to start (We got home Friday and school started that coming Tuesday) and whether we wanted to or not, it was time to go back to the dreaded 4 letter word… Work.

I have been extremely blessed in this department. I had no intention of ever being a stay at home mom. We were working in Guam when we decided to get pregnant with our son. (Fun side note, both of our children were 100% planned, discussed and prayed for by both my husband and myself despite some jealous people that love to tell people otherwise. Haha jerks, still happy! Ok… Moving on) I worked till 5pm the day I went into labor with our son. He came early and I had just gotten a promotion which I was supposed to start that Monday.

About 2 weeks postpartum my employer called and asked when I planned to come back. I told them I would discuss this with my husband and let them know. As soon as I hung up, I broke down in tears about the thought of leaving our son. I told my husband I didn’t think I could leave our son. He simply said, “so don’t. I make plenty for you to stay home.” I spent the next 6 years being a full time stay at home mom.

I won’t lie and say every moment was perfect and that there weren’t days I longed for my 9-5 routine. What I will say is that it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I get to have morning cuddles, to make them breakfast while listening to their eager chatter, drop them off at school and attend every practice. I wouldn’t change my decision to stay home for anything. Throughout the years I have done things here and there to supplement our income but my husband has been our main support which bring me to my main point of this blog.

My husband works for a commercial construction company. This company has had projects in Guam, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and now Montana. Its a union position so he is always very well paid. The one drawback is that with all the out of state projects, there is never a set plan. We will hear talk of projects that are supposed to start but literally won’t know we are going until a few days before they want him there.

A great example was the Guam project. They started asking my husband if he was willing to go I believe in 2010 and said to be ready to go. I turned down promotions and let my employer know that I would probably be leaving in the near future. This went on for MONTHS. This went on through 2011. I ended up leaving my job as we were told we would be going that November so we went on a trip to Europe figuring we’d have a nice vacation before leaving. When we got back, it was the same story. I told him at this point that I was going to go back to work and I was done with putting my life on hold. Flash forward to February 2013, we had just gotten to dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant. It was pretty late but we’d had a busy day and didn’t want to cook. No sooner than we ordered, his phone rang. I wasn’t paying much attention but when he got off the phone he said they wanted him there on Tuesday and were going to book both our flights.

After 3 years of being told to be ready, I had 4 days to wrap up 2 jobs and an entire life. I went into both my jobs the next morning and apologized profusely for only being able to give 4 days notice (Pretty sure I’m on the do not hire list with the county we live in because of this…) I don’t regret this at all, just wish I could have had more notice. We spent 9 months in Guam, only coming home to Oregon because the heat was making my morning sickness even worse than it already was.

I thought Guam had been a special situation. It wasn’t. Every job since has been like this. We will start hearing about an out state job, they will start sending people out but we keep getting put on hold. When we got the phone call about Montana I thought, “here we go again.” For once I was wrong.

We skipped all the hurry up and wait this time. Before I could fully wrap my head around the idea, I watched my husband’s car pull out of the driveway with tears pouring down my face. I’m full on addicted to my husband. To say I went through withdrawals would be an understatement. If it wasn’t for our kids (the only reason we aren’t all in Montana), I would have spent days in bed.

So why didn’t we go you ask? Last year our daughter had probably the worst year of school you can imagine. I honestly should have pulled her out and homeschooled her. I don’t think I will ever fully forgive myself for making her go to school despite her begging me to let her stay home.

This year we have a teacher sent straight from God. I can’t think about how grateful I am that she is our daughter’s teacher without tearing up. Even if she doesn’t learn a single thing this year (Definitely won’t be the case) I would still be thankful for this amazing woman. In less than 3 months of her love and kindness, our daughter loves school again.

I want to be with my husband so bad it hurts but the thought of taking our daughter away from a teacher who truly loves her and a great group of friends with the potential of putting her into what she went through last year is too much.

Every day is what I consider a beautiful struggle. I’ve been a stay at home mom for over 8 years now. I can do the daily routine but have always had the evening and weekend reprieve. Bless my husband’s heart, even after a long day he would come home and take the kids so I could have a break, pack kids’ lunches and help make dinner. He’d help with laundry and dishes too. Yes, I found myself a unicorn and no you can’t have him.

Now its just me. My emotional support, best friend and frozen toe warmer is 640 miles away. Our kids are probably the best kids on God’s green Earth. They have been so much help and despite missing their dad has kept amazing attitudes. Its just so strange going about life missing half of myself.

I don’t know about everyone else but my husband is such a part of me that I’ve had to completely reprogram my mind to live without him. I don’t have the option to be sad and melt. There are two people who rely solely on just me more than they ever have.

I’m still doing real estate so finding a schedule that allows for both work and sports has been interesting but I’ve finally got it down. The kids are so busy that we aren’t home most of the time. When we are home its downtime from school, having a snack then working on the centers I set up for learning.

Even with the night and day difference at school, the kids still need extra help with school. Every day after some down time and a snack, we spend 20 minutes on math, writing, spelling, piano, reading and moving. I’ve figured out a schedule that allows me to work with both kids individually. We’ve only been doing this for a short time but I’m ready seeing such a huge difference. If you have school age kids, I highly recommend setting something like this up in your home. The one on one time alone makes it worth it but having them get a better understanding for what they are doing in school takes stress off them too.

After centers its time for dinner. In the 3 months that we’ve been back from our trip, I think we’ve had take out twice and both were before my husband left. Everything they are eating is homemade. I’m still doing carnivore but the kids aren’t so that adds an additional level of temptation to me not eating processed carbs or sugar.

As of the last time I looked at the scale, I’ve officially lost 20 pounds. I need to check my measurement but my normal pants don’t fit anymore so I’ve been living in leggings.

After dinner, the kids get their outfits ready for the next day while I pack lunches. Then its a family show, time to brush teeth and facetime with Dad. We’ve been reading Harry Potter at bedtime and are now almost through The Chamber of Secrets.

Once the kids are in bed, its time for me to do my daily workout, chatting with my husband then reading. I’ve made it a personal goal to read the entire bible. I’m currently in Numbers and have so many questions.

Finally its time for bed then it all starts again the next day with homemade breakfast.

Check on your friends with children, we are not always ok…

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