Two months of Jon flying weekly from the LA area to Chicago has come to an end. I have taken the last two days to let down. Yesterday, I napped from noon to four with a pulsing headache. Today, I cried on the couch while Jon held me still grieving the loss of grandpa Lyle.
The two of us have never been apart so much in our 19 years of marriage. At least not physically, now emotionally would be a different story. The first round of the two month contract Jon was gone for two weeks. It was the longest we had ever been away from each other. I was surprised the space had such a positive impact on our marriage. Of course, we missed one another.
We both found our anxiety lessened in the area of our relationship during the time we were apart. I wasn’t feeling stressed because Jon wasn’t stressing while trying to meet the demands placed on him between work and the shades falling down. Jon wasn’t taking on my anxiety of what to make for dinner, how to help the kids in social situations, or Tootsie’s bad breath. We realized we take on each other’s energy. Interesting..
I was also being cued in to where our kids needed more attention. The demands of the home were no longer balanced between two people, and it became apparant some areas needed work. I spent two nights reading my favorite parenting book Kids Are Worth It! and listened to my mentor Barbara encourage me to have my children take more responsibility for their own life. I welcomed the pep talk. I wanted to be support for my kids and tell them “I believe in you” instead of “be careful.” I had space to re-evaluate my parenting goals for my children and where they were at along the journey. Or perhaps, where I was at in the journey.
I am still working on implementing changes into our life. One area I need to pay special attention to is the area of mistakes. I want to shift my belief system to see making mistakes as a positive occurrence, they allow me to grow. I realize I am very hard on myself for making mistakes, therefore I have been hard on my children for making mistakes. So right there I could just go and belittle myself on how I have made the mistake of being rigid with my kids when they make mistakes. Ah the circle of shame. I am ready to let you unspiral.
During Jon’s absence it was so inspiring to see how the kids stepped up. Elizabeth helped with the outside jobs of RVing, Ethan volunteered to take out the garbage, Grace and Elijah prepared dinner. I sat in my bedroom and watched a marathon of New Girl while eating chocolate. It was a win-win.
I wonder what I will learn next time?