Monday, December 13, 2010

marriage and parenting after deployment

I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone that it has been a bit of an adjustment having Craig at home full time now.  After 7 months with only weekends together for workup training (hello Emily!!) and 8 months apart for deployment, we’ve been doing the long distance thing for quite a while now. 

Sharing the job of parent has been both easy and difficult for me.  I love having him home to help take care of her so I can do something simple like eat dinner or have a shower, but sometimes when he’s holding her and she’s smiling and laughing, I get jealous.  I’m used to getting all of the smiles and snuggles and it’s hard to share because I feel like I put in all of the hard work to get them. Not his fault, it’s just how I’m feeling.

Craig is off of work on vacation until the beginning of March, so we will be spending most of our days inside hanging out as a family during this blustery winter.  Even though he is home 24/7 at the moment, I don’t really get the feeling that he understand that taking care of Emily is still a full time responsibility for me.  Despite the fact that I’m currently a stay-at-home-mom (duration beyond a year TBD), and it should be my responsibility to take care of our home, if he’s sitting around the house all day, I feel like he should be responsible for half of the work.  Is that unreasonable?

I’m trying to be patient and understand that he’s still adjusting to being at home and I shouldn’t push lots of responsibilities at him, but it’s hard!  My eye gets a little twitchy every time he offers to hold the baby so I can ‘clean up the house a little’.  When is it appropriate to tie him to a chair and draw him a chart of HIS/HERS responsibilities for the next 2.5 months.

You’ll get no argument from me that I will be responsible for taking care of the house when he’s back to work full time, but right now when we’re both at home all day?  It should totally be 50/50. Right?  Please tell me I’m not just being a nag!

During his decompression, Craig was told two important points.  1. It’s important not to criticize how your spouse has been running the household (alone!) during the tour, and not to come back and try and change everything.  He’s been pretty good about not criticizing, now I just need the participating!  2. Being nagged about stuff can also make it difficult to reintegrate into the home easily.  I have been TRYING (perhaps not very successfully!) not to nag him about things.

Is readjusting always this rocky?  I think it’s made worse because I got so used to doing it all myself while he was gone and was looking forward to a partner in parenting around the house, and like in all other parts of life, as a guy, Craig has some different ideas.  Coming to a compromise has never been our strong suit, but hopefully our time at home together will help us make some changes for the better.

I don’t want anyone to think that Craig and I are struggling in our marriage – we’re still honestly happy as clams just to be back together.  Expectations always make things harder though; both of us built up what we thought things would be like as parents and as a couple once we were back together and now that it’s not working out as perfect as we imagined, we’re adjusting. Slowly.

Can I just say again how happy I am to have my man home?  It’s so nice to figure these ups and downs out together instead of over the webcam and email!

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2 comments:

Lucy Marie said...

What an honest post. I'm proud of you for telling it like it is. I'm with you, I agree the duties should be shared while he's home but if there's one thing I've learned throughout our marriage it's that men and women think very differntly. Praying for you as you readjust.

Mandi @ Finding Home said...

I guess I never thought how difficult the adjustment to parenting would be after you've been apart for so long. I pray that you both get into a rythm and find your footing as parents to Emily. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a shared workload. I'll be praying that these things get ironed out in your marriage. I agree with L - I too am proud of you for telling it like it is.

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