I consider myself an almost-pro at deployments. No one will ever be a pro, because that's just the way life is. Just when you think you have a handle on life during a deployment, Murphy's Law sneaks up and bites you in the butt. (Both cheeks, by the way.) Many times Adam will ask what we had for supper. I pause, then whisper, "McDonald's." I feel bad that 1) We ate crap food; and 2) I didn't cook. Yes, we have take-out a lot more often when Adam is gone. It's just easier, and here's why.
I'm not a "single" parent, but I am parenting alone. Adam does what he can, but it's hard when you're on the other side of the world. Throw in the fact that Addison is less than 3 weeks from becoming a teenager, and moody, sulky, you name it, he's it. At least 10 times a day I want to bang my head against the wall. There's nothing I can do about this other than count my blessings and move on.
I often feel overwhelmed (only maybe five times a day) when Adam is gone. There's always a million more things to do, and they constantly hover in the back of my head. While I'm trying to do my part, I'm also doing Adam's part - yard work, taking Addison fishing, etc. I refuse to feel sorry for myself, though, because I enjoy that time with Addison, and know Adam would give it all up in a minute to be able to spend that time with him. It's no secret Addison and I are extremely close to the point of being co-dependent. We've been together through every deployment, just him and I. We've been each other's support system.
I guess I've really gotten off the point I'm trying to make. When Adam is gone, life is different. We don't try to emulate what it's like when Adam is home. We do our own thing. We have to, because life is different. Cake for dinner? Sure. The rules are little more relaxed, and that's okay. If we have an hour between baseball games, well then yeah, we're going to McDonald's for supper. If we want to stay up late and sleep in late, we do.
I make no apologies to anyone on how I run things during deployments. Everyone has to adjust to being alone, being the only parent, the only relative in the same state. Some things will fall by the wayside, other things will figure prominently into our every day life. That's just how it goes. While I don't know what it is like to fight a war in a foreign country, Adam doesn't know what it's like to be the only parent for months on end. We don't try to compare what it's like for either of us. We say thank you to each other for what we both do, and show appreciation for that.
If you want cake for dinner tonight, eat the cake, even if your spouse isn't deployed, because really, life's too short to not enjoy cake.