I usually do my best to keep every post on this blog positive. Because, honestly, so much great stuff happens in our lives that I can document, and I don't feel compelled to write about the not-so-great stuff. And also because this blog is primarily intended for posterity, and I don't want a big focus on all the rough parts.
But I'm also a big fan of keepin' it real. No one likes someone who pretends things are perfect all that time - after all, no one's life is perfect all the time. So, in the spirit of keepin' it real, I thought I'd write a little bit about what it's actually like, being a mom of two homeschooled daughters, on a forty acre farm in the middle of nowhere, with a husband who works away from home nearly all the time. Because that's my reality. Yes, good things happen. It's a beautiful life, because we make it that way. But being on my own all the time... well, it's not always pretty.
So, here's what it really looks like.
*I stay busy. And by busy, I mean really busy. I wake up at 5:30 am. I allow myself fifteen minutes for coffee and Facebook, and then I get to work. And I keep working, and schooling, and cooking and cleaning and working and parenting and cleaning and working until the kids are in bed at 8:30. And then I work a little more, or I spend some pitiful time alone, until I'm too exhausted to stay up anymore and I go to bed. Busy is my coping mechanism. If I'm busy, I don't have time to feel sorry for myself or miss my husband or think. So if you ever wonder how I "do it all", just know that I'm really just coping.
*There are a lot of tears. Tears because I don't know how to do something that needs to be done, that normally my husband would do but he's not here to do it. Tears because I feel inadequate to parent two girls on my own all the time, with no Daddy to help temper my maternal ways. Tears because I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that needs to be done, and that there isn't time for. Tears because my kids are doing something amazing that my husband is entirely missing out on. Tears because I hate going to bed alone all the time. Tears because I'm just damn lonely and need someone to talk to, and my someone is working on an oil field six hundred miles away.
*Going to bed is a weird thing. I sleep alone so much that, while I hate it, it's what I'm used to. And that moment that you realize that you're uncomfortable having to share your bed is a little depressing.
*My husband is working his life away, and the constant guilt that I feel eats at me every day. He works day in and day out so we can live on this amazing piece of property surrounded by this incredible life, and he doesn't even get to enjoy it. He comes home a couple days at a time, works the entire time, and never gets to just sit back and enjoy it. So when he's gone, in an attempt to temper the feelings of guilt, I work even harder, to somehow try to make up for the fact that he's doing so much and getting virtually nothing in return, just for our happiness.
*I'm a very traditional, Christian wife. I view my purpose as being a "help meet" to my husband. But when my husband is not actually here, my purpose disappears. I spend an awful lot of time telling myself that I don't need a man to take care of me, and I don't need a man to take care of. When one's fulfillment comes from meeting her husband's needs, but her husband isn't even there, one lacks fulfillment in a very deep sort of way.
*I spend an embarrassing amount of time fantasizing about selling all of the animals, selling off the farm, moving to the Even Bigger City, and living in an apartment with my kids, my dog, and most importantly, my husband. While I deeply and desperately love every animal we own, and I love milking and gardening and growing hay and being part of a small-town community and watching my kids raise 4H animals and compete in rodeos, I even more deeply and more desperately want to know what it's like to be married all the time again. And if that means living in a city, on a city lot or even in an apartment, a part of me would be willing to do it. A part of me would also die, but sometimes it seems like that would be worth it to actually experience a married relationship again.
So no. It's not all perfect. It's a beautiful life, but it's got an ugly side, too. The ecstasy of living in the most beautiful part of the country is tempered with pain of living it all alone, save for 55 animals and the two most amazing little girls on the planet. But even they don't take the place of The Love of My Life.