I'm learning that I tossed out any hope of co-parenting when I married a pilot.
I know, I know, I chose it, even though when I met him, he was flying a few times a day and working a desk job for the rest. There were no deployments, no trips longer than a short weekend away.
And since he left active duty, I feel like I've been standing in front of a firing squad, dodging shots to my head - the year with the in-laws, the six months in Little Rock, the rest of the time where I fend for myself while he's away.
I spend half of my time when he's gone feeling terrible about feeling terrible. And when he's here, I feel like it's still unfair. Sure, it's easier when I can just put one kid to bed rather than three. Or I can cook and not have to do the dishes. But it's still a kid that I'm nursing to sleep. And it's still a dinner I have to make.
There's never a point in time where I've felt, at least in the last few months, where I've gotten a break. A few hours where I'm completely alone doing nothing that has to do with my house or my family.
Even with the help of a babysitter, and outings that have happened and are soon to be scheduled with a bunch of really awesome Atlanta mom bloggers, I still feel bogged down. Like I carry a heavy weight on my shoulders that I'm still not strong enough to carry.
It's the challenge of working from home and being a part of a family where one spouse travels. But it's also the challenge of being someone who wants to be able to do it all - who wants to be the mom who is patient, kind, and understanding, and who takes those challenges in stride.
Realizing that you can't do it all, and that you're not the kind of mom you thought or hoped you would be is a big, hard pill to swallow, particularly when you breakdown in front of your husband and your kids and they keep asking you why you don't want to be with them today.
I want to be that mom.
And maybe that's the problem.
These extended solo parenting stints are the kryptonite to my usual super human powers that I tap into with everything else. I feel weak and broken and completely incompetent. I feel like a fucking wimp.
I feel like my kids deserve better.
And I worry most that I'm turning into the tired, frustrated mom that I never ever wanted to be.
But considering the parenting situation at my house isn't about to change any time soon, I think it's high time I got over my own lofty ideals and just enjoyed being the mom that I am.
Flawed and fabulous.