Being a military wife can be tough. The weeks of solo parenting whilst hubby is away are hard, watching the toddler sob for his daddy at bedtime and trying to explain that only 11 more sleeps and daddy will be home, make you weary, and sad.
Then homecoming day arrives, filled with excited toddler squeals of “Daddy’s home” and baby doing her own version of some sort of happy bum shuffle.
Phew. He’s home! I can pee in peace! I don’t have to do it all! I can pop out child free.
Most of all, my safe place in his arms. The toddler’s tear free bedtimes. Oh the relief to have him home.
But, the adjustment period when they come home is just as hard as them being away. When they’re away you fall in to your own routine, you juggle a child in each arm in the middle of the night and you, well. Just get on with it.
A few nights after hubby is home, baby decides on a 05am wake up call. I pad gently in to her room, scoop her up in my arms and bring her to our bed. Disturbed by his sister crying, 30 seconds later the toddler wakes up and shouts;
“Daddy Daddy Daddy”
“Honey, he wants you, I have baby on the boob”
I’m met with an incoherent but annoyed sounding grumble.
“Honey, please, he’s calling for YOU”
More grumbling, then;
” it’s 05am and he needs to learn. FFS”
I aim my foot in to the small of hubby’s back and tell him to get up,
I’m met with more grumbling and then hubby buries himself under the covers.
I can feel myself getting irritated. I unlatch baby and with a sigh disappear back to the kids room to get the toddler. Baby starts screaming as soon as she realises boob is gone, and I shout at hubby.
“It’s your fault she’s crying, because you won’t help the toddler”
I change toddler’s nappy, then put him in bed with grumpy Daddy and screaming baby and pop downstairs to get some milk. I spend 2 minutes walming toddler milk before trudging back upstairs. I aim a few choice words at Hubby on how he needs to get a grip and clamber back in to bed. Baby stops crying as soon as she’s in my arms, and we spend the next hour getting kicked by the kids until hubby’s alarm goes off.
I wake about an hour later to a freshly showered husband and toddler and a tepid cup of tea on my bedside table. Baby is just waking up and trying to swan dive off the bed.
“You both fell back to sleep- I’m sorry your tea is cold”
“I’m sorry too honey. I’m sorry I shouted this morning. Thank you for letting me sleep in.”
And just like that. A new day begins. I’m sure there are plenty more “my tired is more tired” fights to come, as neither of us know how to be nice when we’re tired but for the time being, the home is happy once again.