There are some big changes coming up in my life. And I fear these changes are going to have a huge impact on my stress. In a bad way. My husband has just graduated from his CDL School (Yea!), but that means major changes in our home life. He took a job with a company based out of Iowa (we live in Pennsylvania) and he will have to go out there for two weeks. Once he’s done with that, he’ll be in a truck training for another five weeks, during which he may or may not have the opportunity to come home. Once those seven weeks are over, he’ll be on his own, but still will only be home on the weekends, but the company only guarantees 46 out of 52 weekends a year.
I know it’s not the most horrible thing in the whole world, and I don’t mean to whine about it, but we have three children under the age of five. I have a high-stress job that demands at least fifty hours a week out of me. We live in the middle of BFE with little support. Most of our family lives at least two hours away.
I’m not ready for it. I’m not prepared. It’s already stressing me out and nothing has even changed yet. I’ve got until next Saturday when I take him to the bus station, and then my life will be chaos. And chaos and I don’t get along well. It stresses me out. Bad. I’m already kind of high strung. I can’t imagine what I’ll be like functioning as a single mom.
So here are some of the strategies I’m hoping to employ to keep my stress manageable. First and foremost, organization. Anyone who has ever had to get multiple kids, as well as themselves ready, by seven am in the morning knows what I’m talking about.
Next, utilize some cliches: don’t sweat the small stuff and KISS (keep it simple, stupid). I’m going to try and not worry about everything. If we miss the bus, it won’t be that big of deal, I can take the girls to school (I drive by it anyway). If dinner gets burnt because I’ve got the baby in the bath, then we’ll eat mac and cheese (you’ve got to love Kraft for such a simple product). I’m not going to worry about weeding the garden or mowing the lawn, who really cares if my grass is a little high anyway?
I’m going to focus on my children, because although these changes are going to stress me out, I know it’s going to impact them even more. Daddy has always been there for them, every night (I often don’t make it home before bed). He’s there for bath time, he’s there for story time, and he’s there for bed time, ready to tuck them in every night.
I’m going to focus less on work and more on home. Hopefully that means I can eventually quit my day job and write from home full time. But until then, I’m going to work my 40 hours and then come home. To make sure I’m there for bath and story and bed.
And we’re going to buy a webcam. That way Daddy can still be there sometimes for story time or to say good night. That way he doesn’t miss out on watching the baby growing or hearing about the girls’ day at school. He’ll be able to see the smile on their faces when they hear his voice. More than anything, more than the stress, more than the extra responsibilities, more than trying to be Mommy and Daddy, I’m going to miss him. Everyday.