Update: Because of the response to this post I have created a blog just for us. Visit The UPS Wife blog at http://www.theupswife.com
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My husband works long hours. In fact often a week will go by before my kids get to see their dad. We cherish our weekends which is why often than not we don’t go anywhere. This is such a difficult time for me right now. Most of the time I feel like a single parent. What is my husbands job, you say? Is he in the army? No..but close. My husband works for UPS.
The day for him starts at 0545. I don’t know how he does it. His alarm goes off and I groan as I try to let myself fall back asleep before my kids wake up and the day starts its crazy self. He quietly goes downstairs. I drift back to sleep. I don’t even hear him leave most mornings. I wake up. No husband in bed. the kids are playing quietly in their rooms so most of the time I try to sneak downstairs to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t…lol. Usually I’ll begin our day with breakfast and a movie. I’ve been extremely tired as of late. Fatigue is natural but I’m also recovering from exposure to mold and my body is still trying to push out its toxins. So, I’m more tired. I want to change this however. Less tv, more quiet playing and then a communal bible reading. I enjoy reading to them out of the “Jesus Storybook Bible” because every story whispers His name. I notice that the more movies or tv they watch the more ill behaved they’ll be for the rest of the day. No TV and they are happier, more content to play quietly after their homeschool session with me.
So that was a rabbit trail….I suppose you might consider that to be my new years resolution (even though I generally think resolutions are silly excuses to make us feel like we are changing less desired behaviors in ourselves). But really…with God’s good grace this is what I want to do.
Anyways, fast forward 12, 14, sometimes 16 hours and my kids (all three of them) are sleeping soundly in their beds. Preparing dinner, bathing, getting into jammies, the reading of bedtime stories, saying prayers, tucking into covers, kissing goodnight, and saying goodnight (sometimes one too many times if you know what I mean) is my job. I do it alone. At the end of it I manage to drag myself downstairs (very tired at this point) and usually this is the only time of day that I have to myself. I spend it cleaning up, putting toys back into their corners, cleaning up the kitchen after the mess of dinner, packing my husbands lunch for the next day, setting his dinner out so all he has to do is come home and eat. Its after 2100 and my tired, red eyed husband finally comes home. I hear the rumble of his Mercedes pull up. I know he’s out there plugging it up to a extension cord so that when it’s below freezing the next morning it will start up for him. A few moments later and I try to be at the door for him. I unlock it, he comes in. We hug. I kiss him. We exchange brief moments of conversation as he eats his not so hot anymore dinner. He’s thankful anyways! We go to bed.
There needs to be a support group for UPS wives…and I’m thinking about being the one to start it. Often I find myself down in the dumps. I’m lonely. My husband works long and hard hours that even newly graduated residents couldn’t keep up with during their residencies. I find myself struggling with jealousy too. I see other family’s having dinner together. Dad’s playing with their children. I smile and admire that. But the smile quickly turns to an inward gloom as I can only hope that someday this trial will come to an end and my husband will be there too. I keep thinking…if we can just make it to one more promotion maybe he’ll be able to delegate the work out and come home early. Then I’ll get mad and blame it on him. Then I realize what better job is there really that he could have with a bachelor’s in history? (no offense to that…) Teaching pays so little…and for a family of five….I find myself constantly praying and yet unable to pray! I know God hears the pangs of my heart…I have friends and family who are encouraging and understanding…but they will never really be able to understand completely and I think that’s why I feel so lonely at times. I feel helpless. But God sees and has a plan in all of this. Somehow he is using this to make Himself more known to this little family. I want my children to grow up with their dad around. I know you hear me God.
So in all this doom and gloom of this post….I trust in my Father still. I may be the only one my kids are watching and I may feel overwhelmed most of the time because of it, but how truly blessed I am that those little eyes are watching, observing, learning, and copying…me. Tonight at dinner I had a worship cd playing. 10,000 reasons came on. I love the words. How powerful and poignant they are! Tonight as I was cooking over the stove, my kids playing, and my eyes watering as I was feeling particularly lonely…I was trying not to loose it in my grief of the absence of my man (something I experience on a daily basis really) I heard a little voice (and I’m loosing it again right now). The soft angelic voice of my five year old just behind me. Singing. “bless the Lord oh my soul, ohhhhh my soul, worship His holy name…”
And in that moment God revealed to me that my little girl has seen me, heard me sing it. She’s seen me praise the God of hosts when I thought no one was looking. And she copied. (waaaaaaaaaaa) me crying.
I praise God that when I feel like a failure as a parent most of the time there is evidence of a beautiful fruit blooming. In the hearts of my children. And failure is not what is being mirrored back to me. Praise is.
It’s time to sing Your song again!
The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes