I’m just gonna say it.  Deployment is hard y’all.  I know, big duh.  I see other people write or say that and I think, what, you expected it to be a cakewalk?  But it really is hard.

It’s hard being the only parent.  And here’s where my total respect for single parents kicks in because they do this everyday, every year and also have to bring home the bacon.  I can’t even imagine.  I like knowing on days that I’m at my wit’s end, Chase will come home and give me a break.  Or take a turn being the bad guy for a little while.  Or just make me relax and get everything off my mind.  Clara and potty training gonna drive me insane.  I miss the ease of Xavier.  One day I just realized that he had just trained himself.  No fights, no work, he just did it all by himself.  I wouldn’t be so worried about potty training Clara if she wasn’t so persnickity about having a fresh diaper.  I cannot afford her wish to change her diaper every hour.  It doesn’t even have to be wet, but she wants a new one.  I’ve come to the conclusion that if she wants to change constantly she needs to be in underwear.  She doesn’t want underwear, she wants her diaper.  She wants the freshness without having to work for it (i.e. use the toilet).  I’m done with that.  I hid her diapers, she’ll get one at bed time and I’m asking her every 15 minutes if she needs to pee. So far no accidents.  But many, many, many a temper tantrum.  She is my most stubborn child, and when she has her mind set there is only one person I know more stubborn than her.  That would be me.  Chase might not be able to contribute to that situation much, but he’d be able to take my mind off it.  He’d also tell me if he thinks I’m doing the right or wrong thing.  He would, however, be a huge help with Xavier.  It’s almost funny, I was just bragging about how good Xavier was being last night.  And then there was today.  It reminds me of the rule that Chase and I made years ago.  Never, ever, ever comment on how we haven’t fought in a while.  WWIII will surely break out within twelve hours of such a comment.  So I notice that Xavier has gotten a lot better about doing school work, his attitude, work ethic and quality of work have all gone up drastically.  I say it out loud, and it all comes crashing down.  We’ve had respect issues, honesty issues and now I’m writing at the kitchen table because if I leave the vicinity, work slows to a snail’s pace if it gets done at all.  In one day that child has managed to lose friend, video game, and movie privileges.  And he may just lose his multi-colored pen if changing the colors distracts him from finishing his homework again.  It would be nice to have a masculine motivator right now.  And then I could be in another room helping the little people learn how to pick up after themselves instead of in here making sure that spelling words do get practiced.

And after the parenting is done it’s hard switching gears and taking care of everything else that has to be done.  It’s hard cleaning house when I just want to fall in bed.  When Chase is home, we’d hang out and relax together and then I’d be able to find the energy to do whatever needed to be done.  Or just the thought of him coming home would give the extra umph needed to do whatever I could before he came home so that we could just enjoy our time together without work hanging over our heads.  Plus, he’d also help out.  Either that or a magical dish fair takes care of the dishes when he was home and is now on strike.  I think that same fairy also takes care of the garbage.

Plus, Chase is just fun.  He makes me smile and laugh.  And it’s always great to talk to him on the phone, but it’s not the same.  Especially when, well, let’s just say things over there aren’t quite ideal.  And his calls, while wonderful and I would never give them up, serve to remind me that stuff is going on over there.

Yep, deployment is tough.