We can do it

Monday, September 18, 2006

Warning...Heavy Thoughts Ahead....

Today may be a bad day to discuss this since I have had virtually no sleep for the last few days. Brady is gearing up for a growth spurt and is nursing CONSTANTLY through the night. Stinky is getting his molars and is waking in the night with pain. Poor babies. I feel for them, but I am tired and cranky and in desperate need for a nap.
Having said that I have been feeling for the last few weeks that if Dan chooses to stay in the Navy, I just might not make it. I KNOW he loves his job. Who can blame him? He gets to fly a helicopter which has been a life long dream and travel to all kinds of places all around the world. He comes home for a few weeks, plays husband and dad and then is off again for another adventure.
Dan would paint a very different picture. He DOES work very hard. Too hard even. The man is a workaholic. So when he IS home, he is working long long long hours. Some days I feel like a single parent and it is sapping everything in me.
I love my kids, I love my husband. I appreciate all that he does to support us, but I am TAPPED. This business of him coming and going and coming and going is too much. For as long as we have been married, he assures me that the "good life" is just on the other side of the hill.

Just wait until I get out of flight school, things will get better.

Just wait until after deployment, things will get better.

Just wait until I am on shore duty, things will get better.

Just wait until the command gets more staff, things will get better.

It's never better. It's always more work. The same goes for his vacation time. They get 30 days every year. Dan has nearly 60 on the books. After 60, you just start losing days. He has been promising me that he would take leave for the longest time. There is always a reason that he can't. The reasons are always legitimate, so how do I argue? But why is HE the only one who can never get leave and all the other guys get vacations with their wives? Or paternity leave? 3 kids and the man has never taken paternity leave!
I signed on for this when we got married, so I guess I don't have the right to complain. I worry that if I "force" him to get out of the Navy when his commitment is up that he will end up resenting me. I'm afraid that if he stays in, I'll resent him. How do we reconcile this?
I love my husband and I am with him thick or thin. That really isn't the question. I just don't know where to draw from when I feel as though I have nothing left.

Pant pant pant....I am overwhelmed. I can't compete with the Navy. It will always win. I think if he stays in, I may have to crawl under a rock.


Stacy "Pirate Queen" said...

Kris - You have right to feel the way you do. Know that you are doing a great job! I admire you so much. Even though we have different approaches to life and parenting, I respect what you do. What is that you ask? You are raising God-loving children, and are a helpmate to the man God chose for you. That's no small task. Brady's not the only one going through a growth spurt - you are too - spiritually! Just remember, God never gives you more than you can handle.

Having said that, you are perfectly right to ask Dan to take some leave. He needs to take time to be with you & the kids even if it is a "home" vacation. Sick days DON'T COUNT!!! Speaking as a workaholic, I know he may feel he can't trust anyone else to do his job and that no one can do it as well as him, or that he would have too much to do when he got back. That's a lie we tell ourselves to make us ok with putting the job first. If we never leave, they never miss us. They take us for granted. He needs to let go of some responsibility and put you and the kids first. YOU ARE WORTH IT!

The Navy is what it is and I don't think you seriously want him out right now. What you really want is time with him. ASK HIM for it! Tell him YOUR needs. He choose you too when you got married! He is supposed to be your helpmate as well. The street is two way and you are not intended to walk it alone.

I love you, SIS! My prayers are with you!

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...


Deep Thoughts... by Gingersmom

The me you've always known would probably say something sarcastic and asinine, but I will refrain, because it's a serious topic.

I honestly think that the relationship that you and Dan have is strong enough to survive anything, including the DoN. I sympathize with both sides of your situation, so I will just ask questions and pose some thoughts:

1. Has Dan considered other job opportunities that can support the 5 of you?

2. Are you willing to consider going back to work (outside the SAHM realm) if he can't pull it off month-to-month?

3. Job market in the private sector can be shaky, especially during periods of economic recession and war (both of which we're currently involved).

4. Willing to give up tax-free housing/flight/other allowances and have you calculated what it will cost on a taxed basis to equal Dan's current salary + benefits?

5. Medical, pension, TSP considerations with the Navy are good, especially if he sticks for 20+ years. Will definitely be worse in the private sector.

6. Military man (and woman) time away from home is tough... consider trying to come up with a dollar value for "daddy at home" time to help with the financial analysis. This is tough to pull the emotional value away, I know.

7. Regardless of your family's decision, REQUIRE Danno to take some leave. Otherwise, not using it is like losing money, and I know he'll hate that. :) If necessary, talk to his CO or XO at the wine tasting party and tell them that he needs a vacation. Get them on your side!

Good luck!

Catch said...

I hope Dan will take some leave and spend time at home with you and the kids.He is missing out on a big part of the childrens lives. They grow so fast....I think he is trying to take care of his family the best way he knows how....and maybe he just doesnt realize that you need some down time. I am hoping for the best for you Sweety, I think you are just a little overwhelmed right now.

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...

You've built a great support network with this blog! Wow, the good things that come of putting your thoughts out for the world to see! Hang on there girl a break it close by. Mike put up some good thoughts. Job security means a lot in times like these. We have a friend who just had her second baby and her husband was able to take leave for 2 weeks. However, he is gone ALOT. Much like the "W" family. I think since we've met, I seen her husband twice. (I've known her for about a year) But, we've built a tight knit group here on the Kanto plain. Which helps.

Mike, Nicki, and Josh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Weinraub Family said...

It is times like this that I wish I knew you IRL and could call you up and take you out for a drink.

I TOTALLY feel where you are coming from. I think we have it just as hard (if not harder) than our husbands at times like these. I know our hubbys miss their families when they are deployed, but they have NO real clue what it is like for us left at home. Worried about them, missing them, trying to take care of a household, take care of the kids, and keep our sanity is just too much some days. You never get any time to yourself (even after the kids are in bed, you are busy trying to make a dent in the mess we call a home). When was the last time you went to the bathroom in peace?

You need to talk to Dan, or have him read this blog entry. Alan is the same way as Dan, and if it was not for me going totally post partum postal and writting him a long (kind of mean really) emotional email a few months after Hannah was born, I think I would still feel just like you. (Heck I had to write him an email because even though he was in port, I never saw him, he was always on the boat).

Dan NEEDS to take a break for your sake and the kids.

Just a thought, but other than the deployments, would Dan really be any different with a civilian jobs? In my experience, workaholics will be like that regardless of the job. How long has Dan been in?

Alan is really having a hard time deciding whether or not to stay in or get out after our tour in Japan. This one has been a really hard one for him since now we have kids, he is even more miserable with deployments and long hours than before.

Hugs to you my dear!!!!
email me if you want tatonkafamily@gmail.com


What's For Dinner? said...

My advice is simple, talk to him, take some time. If the Navy is the right thing it will work out, if not it maybe risky but sometimes that's the hard road you are destined to take. It may be hard but the right road is NEVER easy. The benefits will look after themeselves. There is always, war, recession, bills and mouths to feed. But trust eachother and God and you will pave your own way.
Love you.

Anonymous said...

Navy Wife--toughest job in the Navy. Thank God for e-mail (not snail mail), cell phones (not MARS), and photos that can be taken and sent immediately!

You will survive, I did with less support and tools available.

The Lord will get you through this, because He loves you and Dan. Civilian life is not for the faint of heart either, sailors do not adapt well to it, they keep the same crazy hours and are grumpy. Sometimes I long for a deployment, but that is a decade of retirement speaking after two decades of service to our country.

You are doing great kid, honest.

Andrew said...

Your thoughts are understandable -- life rarely feels right without enough sleep so that has to be at least one factor. I hope you find that nap!

To Love, Honor and Dismay

Dr.John said...

Take a nap. Take deep breaths. talk to your husband. Tell him you need to have him take some leave time. He sounds like a good guy. By the way there is nothing better on the other side of the hill. I have reached it and its the same old stuff revisited.

Pendullum said...

My dad was the head of a homicide division. He worked long and hard...And the stressload was very high...

My mother's stressload was very high...

She had four children, she had 'boarders' to look after, she also typed at home in the night for a lawyer...

And I remember the day, just like it was yesterday, when my dad called for upteenth time and said that he would not be home for dinner...
I just remember her bursting into tears... and saying'All I want is adult company!!!!'
And being the young girl that i was I retorted'But you have all of us'

Oddly enough, that made her cry harder...

Take your nap...
Take a breath...
And remind Dan that you too need a bit of a break...

Trailady said...

You are TIRED and understandably so. I followed my husband and his career all across the country with little ones in tow. No help, no family, and him working overtime regularly with no breaks. I was SOOOOO tired & lonely. (I didn't even know about blogging until a year ago. If I had that during my loneliest times, it would have helped.)
However, nothing makes up for the absence of a man in the house!
My Dad was a long-haul trucker- gone all the time- that's what I was used to. So I married a man who has had little time for me. My man had 8 weeks of vacation time accrued that he never even took, so I hear you on that. You have every right to ask for Dan's time!
I was always very jealous of everyone else's vacations.
Dan really has a treasure in you and he probably knows that, it's just that men tend to get more focused on their performance at work than their performance in a relationship. My advice?

When he is away, don't try to be supermom- MANAGE. If you keep the kids fed and clean that's great. Forget the house- you are doing well to keep a pathway to walk on and don't feel guilty about that. The mess will still be there on a day when you have more energy or some help.
Try and nap with your kids whenever you put them down. I used to pile all 4 of them in my king-sized bed and read books with them until we all fell asleep.

I'm still baffled that nobody in your church or military community is smart enough to figure out that a mother of 3 with an absent husband may just need a little extra help. DUH! Shame on them!!

Is there another Mom you could trade days with? For example, you take her 2 for a day. She takes your 3 for a day. You can even alternate weeks.

Exhaustion, though normal, if left to linger can lead to depression and listlessness which isn't healthy for you. Believe me, I've been there and it ain't pretty! Is there a MOPS group in your area that you could hook up with?? (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) You can look them up online for a chapter near you. They are a fun bunch. :o)

Hang in there. Again, I just want to say that I appreciate the sacrifice you and so many other women make for the good of our country.

Bless you... this WILL pass...

Mimi said...

Did you hack into my blogger account and steal this post? LOL!

beadinggalinMS said...

I don't know what to say that others has already said. Huggiez and more huggiez to you.

Gingers Mom said...

Oh my lovelies. You are all so wonderful. Thank you for your supportive words and nice hugs. I am much better today.
Dan assures me that he will take leave and will do his best to make things better for the next 2 years he is committed to and we will reevaluate at that time.

Stace - love you too

Mike - yeah, we have thought all that through. To be honest. No house or any other amenity comes close to the worth of having Dan home. I would gladly live in a small home out of state and even get a job if it meant he was home to live our life together. But we are both going to give it a good try and see where we land in another few years since he is committed until then anyway.

W family - Maybe I am too hard but I think we DEFINITELY have it harder. I would rather be the one to be away in many ways than the one at home keeping the home fires burning... But they are worth it, right?

Catch - after a good night's rest the world is seeming brighter again. I am glad too that I have a husband who loves his kids and agrees with what you were saying.

Nicki - the military family you can build is very important. I don't know how some women make it through without it...

Andrew and Dr. John - your rational advice of a good rest did me good.

Shana - you are my rock. I love you.

Cathi (I assume) - you voiced alot of my concerns and suspicions about a man after the Navy. I have thought about that myself. Would things change? I don't know. I know I have had it alot easier than MANY others, but there are days when I feel like and island. ya know? I KNOW I am blessed with a large support group and a lot of perks that were not available in days past. I count my blessings.

Pendullum - That was a cute story about you telling your mom she had you. Very sweet. I do understand her crying harder though. LOL.

Trailady - thank you. I do have friends I can trade off with and I need to start doing that more often. I have been looking into a mothers group but it has been hard to find.

Mimi - I think all us Navy wives have had this rant. Some days you just wanna throw rotten fruit at em don't ya?

Beads - thanks. hugs to you too.

Mimi said...

Just rotten fruit? You are too kind! LOL!