It’s 5am, and Mark just left the house to drive to the airport. He’s flying to Oklahoma for the next three days to attend his Grandmother’s funeral. She passed away a few days ago – fortunately Mark’s dad had flown out a few days prior and got to say goodbye to her in person. It’s a difficult time for their family.

I was trying my best to be supportive for Mark and what he needs to do. But now that he is gone, I’m having a hard time getting back to sleep, wondering how I will make it through the next few days. Mark has really stepped up his parenting efforts in the last few months. In the mornings, I wake up feeling sick and he feeds and dresses. In the evenings, I start getting Braxton Hicks contractions. I know these are normal, but mine get pretty bad and it really freaks me out. It comes like clockwork every night just before dinner and gets worse unless I lay down. So needless to say, Mark usually handles the entire bedtime routine.

I am a little scared about how I will do this by myself. I’m also nervous about how the kids will be with him gone. For a busy family, we really spend very little time apart in the evenings. Both the kids get really bummed when one of us isn’t home at night. Jafta has an especially hard time when Mark is gone, and when we told him about the trip yesterday, he just crumpled into a sad ball on the floor.

I’m trying to just lower my expectations a bit. We may be eating microwaved food every night. The kids may watch a movie all evening. Jafta may miss school. They may go to bed without a bath. The house may get totally bombed. I need to fully embrace that this is okay for three days. That is hard for me.

I can’t help but think about the women who do this all day, every day, by themselves. I have a friend from high school whose husband is deployed, who is pregnant and has two small children. How does she survive? My hat is off to her today.