When I met my husband in high school, I knew he would be the father of my children. We were young when we got married, I was 19 and he was 21. Like Alan Jackson once said we were “livin on love.” We had no long term plans just that we wanted to do this life together. My husband began working a seven on, seven off schedule in the oilfield. At first, this meant time for me to rest, time for me to recharge, time for me to catch up on housework. I was a full-time student who worked two jobs at the time. Shortly after getting married we had our first child, Aleana and his work schedule changed.
TWENTY FOUR HOUR CALL…
Being on call, every single second of every single day..
I was now a single mom, who was married, or at least that is how it felt. I didn’t know what this life was going to be like, my husband, working 24-hour call … What did that even mean? I was raising our first baby on my own. Waking up in the middle of the night by myself, doctor appointments, by myself. I kept busy, being a first time mom and raising my baby alone was hard.
Another few years have passed and we added our second daughter, Avah to the mix. This baby rocked my world. She was a noise machine. Little did I know, I would suffer from Postpartum Depression. Having the support of my husband was crucial. Then we got the dreaded call, back to work he goes. I was recovering from a C-section, taking care of a newborn and a toddler, what was I going to do? This is the life I chose.
It was a dark time, it was scary.
With the help of a supportive family, a new workout regimen, and a dose of anti-depressants, I felt like a new woman. I was getting the hang of this life, raising my girls, and holding down the fort until my husband would return and then SURPRISE.
Baby Number 3 was on the way…
The anti-depressants raised a risk to the pregnancy, it was a no brainer, and I had to stop them. Now, to face the reality of being pregnant, raising a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and a recent start to a new full time job, all while my husband was away. How was I going to manage that?
Our sweet baby boy, Daniel was born in February of 2017. He was the blessing I didn’t know I needed. God’s timing is always perfect, right? I had no idea how I would raise three children with a husband who was gone over 200 days out of the year. This baby was the spitting image of his daddy, even shares his name.
I was strong, I could do this. Raising a family and having a full time job with a part-time partner is doable.
I could do it all. Ultimately, this is the life I chose..
Our kids are a little older now, Aleana is seven, Avah is five, and our baby is two. To say that it is easier now would be a lie. I have to put on my brave face every day and tell my children that daddy will be home soon. I have to take them to school, to dance, to birthday parties, to church … alone.
He has had to miss baptisms, awards days, field trips, and first steps. He is missing the milestones and I must put on a brave face for our children. They know their Daddy loves them; this is the life they have always lived. I struggle with the fact that we don’t have Daddy there every night, to sing a song, to play outside, just to be in our presence.
I chose this life, but this isn’t the life we will live forever. We are working on achieving things in our thirties that most people will not accomplish in a lifetime, by the grace of God. Building financial security for our children is our priority. We are working to show them that to play hard, you must work hard.
Above all, I chose this life, for a good reason.