I am alive again. Sort of.
My new doc has diagnosed me with low thyroid and last week I started medication. Whether it was the 80-plus degree weather all weekend or the new medication, my energy kicked back into gear for the first time in a long time. I did dishes and laundry, cleaned floors, took the dog to the vet, pulled the mats out of the horse trailer and scrubbed them, bought horse feed, cleaned stalls, groomed horses, took the kids to the circus and had dinner with my parents.
Last night our hot weather broke with a vengeance. The Eastern Washington sky lit up like a Christmas tree for several hours, with lightning and thunder from all sides. As the colder air moved in, we also got some seriously heavy winds at the house. Usually the storms don't bother the kids, but for some reason this one had my son feeling anxious and afraid. I don't often let the kids sleep in my bed, but if ever a night called for a sleepover with Mom, this did. The storm kept up well past our bedtime, but even after it finally quieted down enough for us to sleep, the jostling and the Move over!'s meant none of us slept much.
It made for a tough morning. Both the kids were downright buggers. I was really late for work, as a result. Nobody wanted to take medication, nobody wanted to get dressed, nobody wanted to do much of anything except fight with everyone else and make a lot of racket. And its hard when you haven't gotten enough sleep to be very cognizant of the fact that my children are not struggling because they want to make my life miserable, my children are struggling because they are exhausted and its even harder for them to cope with life's demands than it is for their mother.
It was easy last weekend to have a good mindset about SG being gone. I felt good, I was getting things accomplished, the house looked good and I was managing it all without too much struggle. This morning had me singing a different tune. This morning I felt resentful and tired and frustrated with being what I've come to think of as a "married single."
When did I forget all the stuff I learned when I really was a single mom?
I had day after day after day just like this morning without the hope of an end in sight. It was HARD. I didn't think for one second I would ever have a partner in my life to share the burden with me. It was not a truly irrational assumption to make that there aren't many people out there who would be willing to partner up with a middle-aged woman with two high-needs/special-needs children, an aging house, a mountain of debt and more animals than hitched a ride on the ark.
I read some of my blog posts from those days and I am surprised at how much I was able to put a positive face on things, because I know exactly how tired and hopeless I often felt.
When I met SG I was really hesitant about getting involved with someone. First of all, I didn't really think I was by any means a "catch" and I wasn't sure he really understood what he was getting into. Second, I didn't want to burden a partner with issues that had nothing to do with him. We've had a lot of discussion around what things were mine to deal with and what things were "ours" and that I didn't expect him to feel responsible for things that weren't his responsibility. But there's never been a moment where he's hesitated to step in and shoulder the load of my kids or my animals or the shitstorm of chores this rural lifestyle requires. And the more he does that, the more I come to rely on him being here to keeping doing it.
Because he helps so much, the contrast in my life between "together" and "apart" is about as stark as it can possibly be. I'm not dependent on him to survive, oh hell no. I've done this before, I'll do it again. There's a difference between being dependent on someone else and knowing you can depend on them.
If nothing else, our situation allows me to be grateful for how much of a good partner SG is to me and to realize how generous and loving a man he is. It also reminds me not to complain to much about having to do the heavy lifting on a temporary basis, because there are millions of moms and dads out there who are doing all this and more and they don't have a partner to help them, ever, or parents who can pitch in like mine do. They may not have the good fortune of an employer like mine, who not only says they value families, but put their money where their mouth is and don't make a hard situation even harder by punishing me for being late when days like today happen.
So I'll acknowledge that today I am tired and dragging and feeling frustrated as a parent and a partner, but that things could be a hell of a lot worse and I really can't wait until my husband comes home.