We're on the final straight of Andy's trip to Tennessee and although its been hard to be home alone for the last 10days, I feel that I've done more than just survive it!
I knew some stuff would be hard - the twilight zone of 4-7pm every day, fitting everything in when so many things just 'get done' when Andy is around (lunches, dishwasher, tidying, cooking, resolving squabbles!), keeping them entertained and happy with just little old me! But honestly, those things have been ok as I think I predicted them and prepared for them. It has made me realise how much Andy does too! We've always had a very equal approach to running the house and family stuff - although Andy, as tradition dictates, does the recycling and the bins!! ;-) but cooking, washing, cleaning, childcare etc has always been shared at different levels depending on who is working when.
But I hadn't anticipated that I would find the stretch of evenings on my own so hard. I certainly haven't used those evenings as well as I could have done, partly because I have been so tired by that point in the day and because the interaction has suddenly gone. I know something that full time Mums at home often say is that conversation with adults can be the thing you miss - but as I have been working as usual I have got that balance. There has been this almost eerie silence after the full on interaction from the early hours. Some of those evenings were interrupted by Matilda this week who found the while back to school experience a bit over stimulating!
It was great to have an evening with some of our bessties last night, all cooking Mexican and having a laugh.
In it all, I prepared for the practical implications and arrangements needed for the kids and I to function and do what we needed to do. But I hadn't really thought about my emotional needs. I'll never know whether that felt more acute on this occasion because of all the feelings and sadness around Grandad's death as well as the extra arrangements to be made which felt difficult on my own.
So, I'm looking forward to church today and hanging out with some people and then an afternoon with the kids and doing some blackberry picking, school reading and general prep for the week. Working Monday, Funeral on Tuesday, working on Wednesday as well as youth group in the evening then ANDY RETURNS IN THURSDAY!