Sunday, January 8, 2012

No to Goodbye

11+ years ago, when I was pregnant with Ethan, my husband took a new job. It was a great job, that would allow me to quit working and stay home, but it also involved him traveling from job site to job site. I definitely was not thrilled by the aspect of parenting alone, (during the week) but I also really wanted to stay home with my children! According to a census report back in 2002 (Ethan was born in 2001), 45% of moms stayed at home as opposed to working (Smart Momma's on the Census Report) and I really thought that is where I needed to be. At the time, we didn't know we would have a child with Autism, but looking back I might not have seen the signs if I had not been with him every day of his developmental life.

My last month in pregnancy, I finished working and he left for his first week of work. I was simply beside myself with panic, anxiety, and worry....what would happen if I went into labor and he was 1000's of miles away, how was I going to get everything done in preparation for the baby, how would I handle taking care of him by myself...and the list went on and on!

Trust me when I say that if my husband could've found a job locally making what he was offered for a job traveling, he would have taken it in a second. But in our little area of the world, good jobs are few and far between! The median income in 2001 for our state was only $27,308 (High Point City Data) so we were thankful that he had this opportunity. Despite my initial reservations, my husband and I agreed that we would give it 2 years. After that period of time, if we still had concerns and felt it just wasn't going to work for our family, then he would find something else that would hopefully be closer.

Luckily, as time passed, I became more confident in my role of taking care of the children by myself. I no longer called him crying every time something went wrong. I DO still call for advice, but ultimately, I am the one that has to make everything happen when he's gone...whether I like it or not! We have had just about every type of disaster through the years…bats in the house, squirrels in the house, the basement partially flooded, and there was the time our furnace died…in the middle of winter…with snow on the ground!! I even had to oversee the installation of new heating and air system by myself and don’t think I didn’t call my husband with every question the installers asked me!

My husband is very good at his job, he has been promoted several times, he has been able to travel to more places than I ever imagined...and we are very proud of him! 

But...and there's always a but....

But there is one thing that is so hard to deal with…the drive to the airport on Sundays. Some weeks the kids couldn't be bothered to even say goodbye...but some weeks, I have children crying in the back seat all the way home! It is sad to know how much the kids miss Daddy, and equally heartbreaking that they miss him so much. For my husband, though, he feels very disappointed to leave them.  He realizes that he misses little things...the school performances, lunches with the kids, just to be there at the end of the day to tuck them in bed. But he also is very good at his job and his company benefits from his  work. He is very proud of the fact that he can provide for our family and allow me to stay home with the kids. With 2 children that have certain medical needs of one sort or the other, it is really beneficial for me to be at home and available to my kids when they need me the most. That is something that the family as a whole appreciates.

So, on those Sundays when we get to the airport it's never goodbye...it always "See you on Friday! We love you Daddy!" 

The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom

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