Even with grad school eating up most of his not-working time, Phillip still puts the kids to bed. He has night class twice a week, but otherwise he is home and he does the whole bedtime routine by himself. Sometimes I am cleaning up dinner, sometimes I'm running in the garage, sometimes I'm zoned out on the couch with the laptop, but other than a kiss good night, I don't participate.
In addition! If someone wakes up in the middle of the night? Phillip deals with it. It wasn't that way when they were tiny babies, but I think when Molly was born, Phillip took on all the Jack wakings. And as Molly became a better sleeper, he started doing them all. It wasn't anything we officially decided - I think it was just a combination of habitually dealing with Jack and also Phillip understanding that it takes me hours to fall back asleep whereas it takes him seconds. (UNFAIR.)
In MORE addition! If a kid wakes up before Phillip heads to work, which occasionally happens even though he goes to work awfully early, he'll get them out of bed and at least stick them in bed with me, ensuring that I can get five minutes to acclimate to the morning before I have to get out of bed.
When Phillip is not here, these are the hardest things. The bedtime/nighttime/early morning things. I suppose that only makes sense, since I'm used to doing everything ELSE on my own.
I put the kids down about fifteen minutes ago and I'm waiting for Jack to fall asleep before I start cleaning up dinner, since the kitchen is right outside his room. Molly's been taking a long time to fall asleep this week, probably because I've been putting them to bed earlier. She's happy to go to bed, but she's talking to herself for a long time, putting her babies to bed, reading her mountain of books, doing whatever the heck she does in the dark. And you know how I meant to go running this week after bedtime? Yeah. Turns out I can't shut off my brain when I know one of them is still awake, when the potential for having to drop everything and change a diaper or find a pacifier or turn on the music still exists. Running is not the escape I need it to be when a kid is still up. She's asleep by nine or nine-thirty, but by then I've transitioned to MY bedtime. Sure, I'm watching Foyle's War on my laptop in bed (shut up) but at least I'm warm and cozy and drifting off.
This week has felt harder than the others. I think the others took place when I was sort of always mad at Phillip for being gone, and to Be Fine while he was away for a week felt like fighting back, or avenging myself or something. But I'm not mad now, I'm just Resigned To The Fact, and I'm tired and I miss him and I know this grad school deal is more than half over, but I am ready for it to be over NOW.
He comes home tomorrow afternoon, which means I can get an hour to myself after dinner. I intend to spend it in the garage, chipping off the untold number of carby pounds I've put on this week. Tonight I started to feel that weird jittery feeling you get when you haven't physically exerted yourself in forever. Like I WANTED to shadowbox with Jillian or something, but I'm exhausted. I can start taking care of myself tomorrow.
I'm not sure how people do this regular business travel thing. Or residencies. Or 80 hour work weeks. Phillip's job is demanding right now, and yes we have the grad school thing, but that has an end point. I don't know what I'd do if this was just LIFE, you know? Or if we had to do it for years and years. I feel even more weary just thinking about it.
In some respects I'm cut out for it. I don't need other people around to be okay. We've seen a few friends this week and I rely on my internet people, but I'm really okay not having anyone to talk to in the evenings. I don't really feel lonely, hardly ever. So it helps, I think, to be an introverted, internal-processor blogger type. But it's beginning to wear on even me. I really miss my husband. Even though he's usually home, even though we make great use of the grandparents, I don't get to talk to him all that often. I don't always feel like I know what's going on with him, and since I feel like what I'm doing isn't very important, I try not to weigh him down with too much of what's going on with me. Neither of us are very happy about that arrangement.
But maybe one day I will write about the amazing things I've seen in my husband in the last year and a half. The awesome conversations we HAVE had. The things we both geek out on, the things he's learned, the things he's aspiring to be. I don't know what the tangible benefits will be from a master's degree, but both of us would say it's already worth it. It's just really hard right now.