When the house goes into shambles, the only person really to blame would be me. I’m the one that does all the schedules, keeps the clothes, bathrooms and kitchen clean and I try to keep control amongst the chaos. So, when I have to leave for deployment, I had to re-think everything that goes on within our place.
Most people see a deployment as the Dad leaving behind the Mom and kiddos, essentially leaving her as the single parent. She, for the most part, has already been creating a routine for her household and family members, so she has to figure out how to take Dad out of the picture. Now what happens when that Routine-creating Mom is the one who has to leave? Let’s just say, it was way harder than we could imagine.
My husband has a unique working schedule. We put him on the train around 6am everyday and pick him up from the station around 5. Sonny doesn’t need to be at the bus stop until 8 or so and Duchess is just along for the ride, but is very adamant about her nap time at 2:30. These we parts of our schedule that could not be changed, so I had to figure out what we would do about keeping everyone on track. The only solution would be to ask for help. Or pay for help, actually. I immediately turned to my mother.
My Mom is a cake decorator and confectioner, so she works from home. Although I know she would have helped for free, I started off by offering her payment for every week that she could help us out. With her helping with the kids, that would take time from her own business, and I wanted to supplement that as much as we could budget. Plus, I’d looked up before/after care programs for Sonny and day care programs for Duchess, and the prices were insane. I’d rather pay a family member what I could afford, then pay strangers an absorbent amount that we couldn’t afford. She happily agreed.
In order to make things easier for not only my Mother, but my husband as well, I created weekly and monthly schedules for them to follow together. It included days off from school, upcoming doctors appointments and extra-curricular activities, like Sonny’s karate lessons and his reading lab before school. It also included the two days my husband would have school after work. On those days, my mother agreed to just let the kids spend the night so they’re sleep schedule wouldn’t be interrupted. I even made a home schedule of what needed to be done on what day for the Husband. Laundry on this day, lunches made the night before, bathrooms cleaned or this day, etc. I Dad-proofed the hell out of that schedule.
From what I was told, the schedules really helped, and they helped me keep a peace of mind while in the throws of Afghanistan. But, I didn’t stop there. I even took charge of the meals while I was gone.
To be continued tomorrow….