Why Can't I Handle My Husband's Travel?

BlogHer Original Post

So there's that. My biggest concern is her missing him. And then there's the bitchy mommy side of it in that it's hard for me emotionally to listen to her be sad about her dad being gone and to try to prop her back up and tell her it's an adventure when all I want to do is feel sorry for myself. This being-an-adult business is so much less fun than I thought it would be when I was her age wishing I could be a grown up and make all the rules for my family instead of being told what to do all the time.

There's also the "I don't want to scoop the cat litter every night" side and the "I'm the worst cook in the family, and here I am making dinner again" side and the "I'm lonely and it's 10 pm" side and the "my friends invited me to dinner, but I can't go because my girl doesn't want to be left with a babysitter on a weeknight when Daddy is gone" side. And there's the "I really like being with my husband and I miss him" side.

BUT ... he got this job after three months of unemployment, so I should just be happy he has a good job that is intellectually challenging to him and that he is really good at and that he likes, and the fact we're both gainfully employed means we could take the vacation that we just took that was so awesome and the longest vacation we'd ever taken as a family and that memory makes me so happy every time I think about it. So what the hell am I complaining about? I am a terrible person.

So here I sit, terrible person that I am, and I am *thisclose* to crying just thinking about this situation stretching on until the end of April. I wonder why other people are so much more resilient than I am, and why it is such a struggle for me to keep my emotions on an even keel when even the slightest change comes up in my routine. I wonder why, after six weeks of experience, I am not getting used to this. Perhaps there is something inherently wrong with my ability to adapt? Why is my stress something I have to so obviously manage with all of the running and deep breathing and meditation and too much wine?

I try to tell myself that I am not really all that terrible. At least I save the ugly crying for after my daughter goes to bed, and I did manage to clean my house and do seven loads of laundry yesterday, and I did make a meal plan and reviewed the week's calendar and know where we need to be when and the physical part of it will all be pretty easy, all things considered, as it's a light week and there's no more snow on the ground to plow through and make school get canceled. This week should be really easy. All I have to do is stay upbeat or at least fake it.

Right? So why can't I handle this better?

Rita Arens is the author of the young adult novel The Obvious Game & the deputy editor of BlogHer.com. Find more at www.ritaarens.com.

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