I wish I could insert a flexed arm emoji here because, you guys, I successfully kept three children alive an entire weekend as a solo parent! Honestly, I had great friends join me to keep me company, bring us meals, play with the boys and take advantage of the great weather, too, and that was such a blessing. But you know what probably made the biggest difference of all in my/our ability to survive this weekend? Lowering our standards. Instead of thinking we could conquer the world, we decided to take it one moment at a time and just keep it simple.
So, what did that mean for us? Simple; lots of outdoor time soaking up the sun here in the PNW, enjoying the warmer weather and bike rides out on the street, and a jog with all three kiddos and the dog (what?!. What’s more, I even managed a short trip to the commissary with all three beans. It wasn’t a trip I wanted to make, but I spoke with the boys ahead of time and told them I needed their help. It seemed like that empowerment gave them an incentive to really step it up and help me make it a simple trip.
The last time Ryan deployed, I felt like I was utterly lost. Everything was going wrong. I tried to keep absolutely every little detail together, but by doing so, I was placing so much pressure on both myself and the boys. And, honestly, it wasn’t worth it. So, this time, we’re lowering our standards.
Sometimes the dishwasher won’t be unpacked until 7 PM. Heck, sometimes it won’t get unpacked. Sometimes there will be cereal for dinner, and bath time will be a proverbial sh*t show. Sometimes we’ll run late, sometimes we might be early, sometimes we may just bow out gracefully. But you know what? We’ll make it through, and the lack of pressure on us will make it easier, simpler, and so much happier.
Deployments are long. They are hard, and they are full of complex emotions for every party involved. But lowering our standards makes it just a little bit easier. Because of this, I’m not as anxious about the solo weekends ahead. That, alone, is a blessing, and I’m so grateful we had a great start to our summer alone.