Sunday, November 18, 2007

When Mommy Has To Be A Daddy Too

With Steve so far away, I’m starting to feel like a single parent. Especially since communication with him is slim. I’ve made an effort to send him at least one picture every day, along with a brief description of how the day went. We were trying to get in that odd phone call at least once a week. Steve now has a computer and we got to chat through video. Monkey man was really excited to see his daddy, as was I.

We’re in week six of our, roughly, fifty-two weeks apart. I don’t miss him any less than the day after he left. If anything, I miss him more. Each time Monkey does something new I feel bad Steve can’t see it. Monkey just started crawling today. He’s been trying to do it for weeks and it finally clicked today. I feel like I don’t have anyone to share in these little joys with.

I’ve noticed I’ve missed the small things about raising a child with someone. I miss all the stupid little disagreements we had in the beginning. The first couple of months of parenthood were awful. I was so hormonal it wasn’t funny. There were harsh words said, there were tears; and I miss it because he was here.

I don’t like having to make all the decisions; I don’t like how tight my budget has gotten; I don’t like feeling all alone and crazy with the baby is up every hour crying because he’s teething again.
I know I’m not all alone. I did move back in with my parents. They help out whenever they can. Sometimes it feels like all they ever do is butt in and other times they seem to fall off the face of the planet just when I need help the most. My mother is always letting Monkey taste test too many new foods, including many I’m not too sure he should have. Can eight-month olds have garlic bread? What about olives? How about foods designed for twelve-month olds? It’s almost a daily fight with her over when he can stop with formula and start with cow milk. I want him on the formula until he’s over a year old. She wants me to stop it in the next month or two. And my father lets Monkey watch more TV than I like. As soon as my father has Monkey, he turns on TVO or Family Guy for Monkey to watch. I’ll turn off the TV, go to the bathroom and come back to the TV on again. It’s not like my father is watching the cartoons too. He doesn’t like cartoons. He puts it on for Monkey countless times during the day.

My parents are great people. They have helped me so much, even before Monkey Man was born. They love spoiling him rotten. I really can’t complain too much about them. I just feel like they’re trying to do the grandparent thing of spoiling him and handing him back, only they seem to forget they’re handing him back within their household. There’s many ups and downs about living with my parents again.

Even though I’m not all alone; I feel alone. I find myself envying the couples with babies I see in public. I envy a friend of mine who has a husband to help out. Is it selfish to want that shoulder to lean on? Hands to hold me up with I don’t think I can stand anymore? Someone to dry my tears and tell me it’s going to be alright, even if I already know it? The hardest part of it all is knowing I have all this in Steve. It’s just not accessible right now.

My biggest fear is becoming a single parent. A year apart is not easy on couples. Ask any military family who has someone serve overseas. I worry Steve will grow tired of the long distance and find someone new in Australia. Or he’ll decide he no longer wants me when he comes home. I know I shouldn’t think that way. Blame past relationships for my fear. Blame the thin line of communication between the two of us.

Once upon a time, before he and me were a we, Steve and I used to send multiple emails to each other on a daily basis. Those emails continued even after we began dating. We still emailed each other and chatted on MSN when we were at work after we moved in together. I felt so lost when Steve first left for Australia. It was the first time we went days without communicating somehow. I cried when I got the first email from Steve down under, just because I was so happy to hear from him.

I’m lucky if I get a quick one or two liner email, usually commenting on the picture I sent, every three or four days. I thought it was because he was emailing from work, so he was trying to keep it short so he could work more. He’s had his computer for a week now and has only sent me one email. We talked in a video chat once by chance (he was home sick and I just happened to be online surfing) and once planned. The less I hear from him, the more I instinctively assume he cares less and less and the more I feel like I’m in this parenting thing alone. Maybe I’m just crazy. Maybe I’m subconsciously waiting for that big gesture to show he cares. Maybe I’m scared of losing someone I love so much. Maybe I’m reading too much into this.

Until next time…

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