The other night I posted on Facebook that I needed prayer. I was very fortunate to have immediate response (which is what I love about FB) offering both encouragement and prayer. I think a lot of people thought it was because Mark had gone out of town when in fact I was dealing with a kid issue that was (or so it felt) much bigger than me.
I realize a lot of people do think I am wimpy. I do have a hard time when Mark goes out of town (though I typically just suffer in silence rather than announcing :). For one thing, I miss him like crazy. I don't sleep as well when he isn't here. He really is my best friend. Though we talk on the phone when he is gone, it isn't the same. Things will happen and I don't have anyone to share them with. By the time we usually get to talk, the conversation is short lived (right now we have a couple hours time difference separating us) due to the late hour.
However, the other big reason it is hard is we tag team. That is how we live. And my guy to pass the baton to isn't here tonight...
From the time the kids were born (and truly even before that), we tagged. I nursed both of the big kids for the first year of their lives. When they would wake up in the night, Mark would get up and bring them to me, they would eat, then he would take them back to bed. (I really wasn't just lazy, he just goes back to sleep easier than I do) When someone needed a diaper change, most of the time it was just whoever was nearer or had available hands. When we have dinner, usually one person gets milks ready while the other dishes out the food. I bring the kids home, he runs to the grocery store after lunch. At bedtime, he reads to one child while I get another one down. It is just the way we do things.
I am often told how lucky/blessed I am to have Mark. And I am. I feel very blessed. At the same time, I rarely hear anyone say the same thing to him. I have always wondered about that. At what point did a lot of those "tasks" become Mom only tasks? We do the things we do because these children, our house, etc are OUR responsibility. So while I am thankful, I don't do cartwheels when he does these things. It is how we work.
If I were a stay at home mom (I am not really sure what the correct term is these days :) or if he had a job where he left town often, I think it would be different. I would be used to doing things my way. We wouldn't be a tag team anymore, so I would know to run the race without passing the baton. (We also might not have had four kids or thrown a young one into the mix :)
However, that isn't our life. We are a team. And when one of us is missing, the other has to fill in the gap.
I realize that life is unpredictable. At any moment, our teamwork could change through death, change in jobs, etc. And if it did, we would have to learn a new way to run our race.
I am capable of it. I can do it alone. I am actually fairly self-sufficient. I have even learned how to fill up my own car with gas!
But for now, I am counting the days until my partner is back so I can pass the baton. "Tag, you're it!"