I have been putting off writing this blog entry for... two months now.
This year, it seems, has been one that's brought on quite a few big changes in the lives of my little nuclear family.
To begin with, Spencer is one now, and busy as can be, getting busier and more mischievous every day.
At the beginning of the year (January), Jake and I decided that at the beginning of February, I would change jobs. I went from doing daycare at a friend's house, to being a stay-at-home-mom. It was quite an adjustment. It still is, actually. I mean, I think I'm getting the hang of it, have a routine, what-not, and then Spencer goes and changes things and throws me for a loop all over again. I will admit, sometimes I go stir crazy, am super exhausted, or feel like I'm at wit's end, but generally, I love the change, and I wouldn't trade my time with Spencer for a job, unless I had to, of course.
In the middle of February, another big change came up. That change dealt with Jake's job.
Jake's been working with Schwan's since a few months before we were married, making him a Schwan's man for six years now. It's been a long, hard haul, for both of us. He's enjoyed the job and his customers, but it's taken a lot of long, long days and much time away from home. He has worked four to five, 12-16 hour days every week. When we moved to Sioux Falls, he generally had Wednesdays off, every other Saturday, and Sunday, unless they needed him to fill in or do a fundraiser. It has made it hard to plan for vacations, time with friends and family, let alone time to relax together. It has always felt like his time off was rushed, trying to get things done in a really short amount of time.
As I said, in February, something new came along. The opportunity to travel, still, which is something he enjoys about his job (I can't imagine him being in an office all the time), to meet new people (which he also loves), to potentially make more money, and have a bigger "block" of time off.
He signed on to sell insurance with a company called PMA, toward the end of February. The past few months have been leading up to the job switch, which occurs over this coming weekend. That's right, as of Friday (tomorrow), my 5.5 year marriage to a Schwan's man ends.
Now, while this is exciting news, it makes me very nervous, as well. Yes, there's potential for greater income, which would make it even more realistic (not that it isn't realistic now) to be a SAHM until Spencer (and Bo, possibly) go to school. That's an amazing thing that we're really looking forward to.
But, with this new job, comes big changes and some sacrifices.
While Jake has always (since we were dating, really) been away from me (and Spencer) a lot during the week, he's been home 6 nights out of 7 the majority of the time. Because he'll be traveling further distances with his "team," he will be away from home, sleeping in a hotel, 3 out of 7 nights a week. That's a BIG change. Granted, ever since Spencer was born, I'm usually asleep (or close to it) when Jake comes through the door after 11pm, but there's something to be said about rolling over in the middle of the night and feeling your husband next to you, or to see him through sleepy eyes a few minutes in the morning (because sometimes he sneaks quietly out if Spencer's asleep so I can get a few more more minutes rest (bless his heart)) that makes the idea of him being gone for two extra nights a week very overwhelming. I've cried my eyes out more than a few times in anticipation of the loneliness I'm expecting to feel come next week.
Not only that, but he's been an AMAZING partner in parenthood, and since I became pregnant in December, he has been the one to get up with Spencer (if he wakes) the majority of the time in the night. So, that'll be a change.
I shouldn't complain, of course, there are many who always are the only ones to get up with their children, or sleep alone, but, as I said, it's going to be a big change for me.
Then there's the fact that he's been home, fairly consistently, on Wednesday every week. So, he's worked two really long days, been home (not always the whole day, but still, home) for a day, before going back out. I always have looked forward to the Wednesdays as a "saving grace" for my sanity, especially on harder weeks. Well, that'll be gone, and we'll be apart for four days straight.
Not only will I have to adjust to that, but Spencer as well. Spencer's been known to get "crabbier" as the week goes on, especially if he doesn't see Jake a few minutes in the morning. I'm very nervous to have him have to go without his daddy for four days, three nights, in a row. In preparation, we're going to make videos of Jake reading books or playing guitar, so that will helpfully aid in the transition and stabilize Spencer's mood a little when he misses his daddy.
The thing I am looking forward to most, I must admit, is knowing that we'll have three days together, in a row, weekly. It's going to be amazing. I know that once the transition period is over, that will really be something spectacular, and I'm holding onto that hope to get through the hard weeks ahead. It will be great to be able to go on a weekend trip more than an hour or two away, and not feel totally blitzed by traveling.
Also, there will be more opportunity and flexibility for holidays and vacations, or time off when our child is born.
And then.. there's.. Baby Bo, coming in August (God willing). That's going to be a huge change. I feel like going from zero children to one wasn't a shock to our family, but I feel like going from one child to two with my husband being gone so much IS going to be a shock.
I'm scared. I don't know if I'll be able to handle everything on my own. To have a toddler as busy as Spencer and then a newborn who is very needy is going to be tough. I'm not looking forward (in fact, I'm downright dreading and scared) to being without my husband three nights a week, as I fight (if things continue with Spencer not wanting to go to bed for me) SJ to sleep, and then getting up every two to three hours with a newborn. With Spencer's daily nap duration dwindling as well, I'm terrified to think of how exhausted I'm going to be. I'm afraid I'll be entirely overwhelmed and an emotional, mental, and physical wreck. Trust me, I've cried over these fears many a time already, too.
I am fortunate, I believe, that our children are so young (well, Bo will be) that the transition will most likely be easier on them, than say, if they were in elementary or preschool. I think that they'll grow up just feeling that "this is how it's always been," and they will be okay with it. I hope. I fear it won't be, but I hope that it will.
So, there's that. Next week, the second big change in our lives this year is going to occur.
I will admit, I am very much looking forward (as in, I can't describe it) to having my sister, Samantha, here with me this summer. I remember being exhausted and such when pregnant with Spencer in the summer, but I wasn't a full-time mommy then, and I wasn't full-term. So, she's going to be such a huge blessing. Not that I intend for her to be a maid or live-in-nanny or anything like that. I can't wait to have fun with her, and to have her company, especially getting used to Jake's absence. I hope she enjoys being here as much as I'm enjoying the idea of her coming.
Of course, at the end of August, she'll have gone back home, Jake will be back on the road... and then... I'll be here with Spencer and Bo, alone. Yup, I'm back to that. I'm terrified. But, I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. That will be big life change of 2012 number three.
I'd appreciate your prayers for our family during this transition and change. I know that Spencer (though he can't express it) and Jake will too.