Heels to Tractor Wheels

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Life Without My Husband

With Christmas just passed I find myself reminiscing about this time a year ago, the time when Robert missed 3 "First" holidays with his daughter; Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas. By the time Christmas rolled around he already missed so much of her little life already. It was not an easy time for either of us.

The first falling of the snow in Massachusetts brought with it a job working on one of the Solar Farms for my husband. It was excellent income for us but with the job came hardships as he worked 7-9's in Massachusetts whilst the kids and I lived in Tennessee. The distance from each other was the hardest to endure for both of us. Nightly phone calls (yes we talked every day) left us all emotional, our boys crying for Daddy to come home as they missed him so much (the tears are falling just recalling the memory of those days), Daddy silently crying over their heartache and all that he was missing and Mommy a big mess of emotions that my kids were likely feeding off which didn't help things. I'd like to say the phone calls got easier, less emotional as time went on but I'd be lying if I did. I however did get better at remaining upbeat with the boys while we talked to Dad which did help but they still cried at the end for Daddy to come home. (Oh good golly, I'm an emotional mess just writing this! 3 tissues in already and where is my wine?!!)

Daddy & his kids- One of our last hikes together before he left.

While Robert worked 1000 miles away from us I held down the home front here at home. My days consisted of keeping the farm going, making sure chicken houses were running smoothly (which they were all due to one amazing employee), running for chicken house parts, keeping our home warm (furnace had to be restocked every 4 hours) and taking care of two toddlers and a baby. My baby girl wasn't sleeping through the night (she in fact did not sleep through the night until she was 7 months old) so I was up most of the night with her and would in fact finally get to sleep two hours or so before I had to wake my kids up to get my oldest ready for Pre-K and out the door by 7:50am to get him to school on time. (Seriously what is up with a 10 minute time window for getting your kid to school?! I couldn't drop him off until 7:50 and he had to be in class by 8:00am and 8:05 was considered tardy.) Mornings were the worst for me as I was always TIRED, my baby love was hungry and was exclusively breastfed which made it hard to feed her and get my boys ready. Dropping my son off at school was at first excruciating as I had to drag all THREE kids with me which took time that I was always in short supply of. I hate to say this but my son had at least 1 tardy a week there for a bit and there were times (A LOT of times) where I just wanted to pull him out of school because it was to hard on me. Seriously when you have to drag all three kids out of the car to pick up your son then said two toddlers run off on me towards the school's field in which I have to put my daughter down just to chase them down you'll understand my reasons for wanting to call it quits and pull him out. I never did though as William loved school. He looked forward to it daily and was sad when the weekends rolled around and he couldn't go. It was good for both of us that he was in school as I saw improvement in his listening skills, attitude, and his social skills. Temper tantrums were less at home and Mommy was able to get a bit of a breather. We eventually found a routine that worked for us and things got a little bit easier around December.

My William & I

It was hard for me because I didn't have a support system, it was just the kids and I. I ended up gaining weight due to stress, not eating, to much Starbucks and was cranky a lot. Basically I let self-care go right out the window. 😔 There were a couple of times I had to call on my neighbor for assistance as her son is my son's class and I needed someone to pick him up as I had gotten stuck in town waiting on a diagnosis for why my car window wouldn't roll up and again waiting for them to fix it only to find after many hours of waiting they couldn't so just pulled it up and told me to be careful because if it fell again it was liable to break. It was a freak out spur of the moment phone call to her for which I'll be forever grateful she said yes!

This experience has taught me to extend a helping hand even when it's not asked for. I highly suggest if you know of someone, a single parent or someone having a rough time then extend a helping hand whether it be watching their child/children for an hour or so, bringing them dinner, mowing their lawn or just stopping by to converse and help with any cleaning that may be done. Actions speak louder than words Peeps so don't ask just do it as it's been my experience that we are afraid to ask for help, that when asked we'll say no we got this but inside we're screaming YES PLEASE! Goodness I would have kissed someones feet if they showed up and said hey I'll watch your kids for an hour why you take the shower you've been wanting for the past week or that nap you've been craving since your husband left! Just remember a little kindness goes a long way in saving someone else's sanity!

Dancing Grandma & Granddaughter

It wasn't all bad as there were many, many blessings. One of those blessings was in the form of my Mom and her boyfriend coming for Christmas. She met her granddaughter for the first time and as you can see they adored each other. 💗 We did a lot of shopping with kids in tow while she was here and even spent a very cold day at Dollywood in which my boys LOVED riding the steam engine train over and over and over again. When we arrived home from Dollywood I found a gift bag hanging on my door which when I opened it I found a beautiful book of devotions (which we've read through) and a WalMart giftcard for $200! There was no card, no name so it was anonymous. All I know is that it was heaven sent and to this day I'm still astounded at someone's thoughtfulness and generosity towards my family and above all still so very thankful! Presents GALORE arrived from both sides of our family for our kids and all I could think of was "This is to much." I was feeling overwhelmed by it all as it was so much to take in, so much unexpected kindness and love that all I could do was just hit my knees in prayer and praise!

Christmas Eve found me up until 2am wrapping gifts and at 4am I woke up sick. Nothing was staying down and I couldn't stop throwing up. By 5am I knew I was in no shape to take care of my baby let alone my two boys. Had it not been for my Mom coming for Christmas I have no idea what I would have done had she not been a phone call and a short drive away. I missed that Christmas with my kids, didn't get to see them open one gift as I was in and out of it. Worst Christmas ever for me, myself and I but my boys were in 7th heaven according to my Mom. I have no idea what had happened as I felt fine at 2am when I went to bed but boy oh boy whatever I had hit me hard that day. I started to feel better around my kids bedtime that evening so Mom and her boyfriend left and ended up heading home that following day. Hmmm...do you think it was the watching my kids part that sent her home early or that I had been sick and they didn't want to catch it? 🙈🙊

These were the presents from our families to our kids.

The 3 months without my husband was hard on all of us so we were so very blessed when he came home January 15, 2017! This year he experienced his first Halloween, Thanksgiving & Christmas with his daughter who is now 17 months old. This Christmas found two sets of Grandparents making a surprise visit for Christmas and two excited grandboys who didn't want them to leave or for Christmas to be over with. 😊  My daughter finally warmed up enough to blow kisses as the Grandparents were leaving.🙈

Left: Robert's Parents;Right:My Mom & her Boyfriend
Daddy & His Girl (First Christmas together) Photo Credit:Nelya.net/Instagram
Although I spent last New Year's without my husband this New Year's will be far different as we will ring in 2018 together as a family with GOD forever at the for front! 2018 is going to be GREAT! New and exciting blog posts, new adventures, new opportunities , new challenges and a renewed me! From our family to yours we wish you the happiest of New Years!

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