Jason has been gone for 6 weeks now, and it feels like an eternity. I need to preface this post by saying that I told Jason to go to Germany. He actually hesitated when they asked knowing he would have to leave me and the girls, but I told him that if hockey was still something he wanted to pursue next fall that he had to go. His agent agreed, so Jason agreed to go. Honestly, we had a few hours to make the decision so I didn't really think of the impact or consequences of him being gone for so long, but I had a peace right away about it so I didn't second guess it. I think it was harder for him to make the decision to go because he would be away from me, but also from the girls for such a long time. Everly's old enough now to understand that he's gone, and Rosie and him were just getting close, so I think he was afraid she would forget him. We make sure to face time every single day though so that the girls can see him and hear his voice and talk to their daddy.
The first week is honestly the hardest because you have to adjust to doing everything on your own. There's no one else to take turns waking up with the girls, no one to make them breakfast, play with them, take out the garbage and recycling, etc. It all falls on me. It's also an adjustment period for the girls. They don't get why dad's gone, how long he'll be gone, why they're not getting as much attention from me (because I have more to do around the house), so they get a little bit moody. Ev was actually being really difficult a few days after he left and she said, "I'm acting like this because daddy's gone". OKAY GIRL. Hear you loud and clear. Let me just say that I have SO much respect for single parents who have to do this day in and day out. I know I only experienced a glimpse of it and have no idea what it would really be like to be a single parent. If you have one in your life lend a helping hand whenever you can!
Since then we have adjusted to our new normal and gotten into a routine that feels manageable. I lowered the expectations on myself as to not go crazy. Taking care of a toddler, a baby and being pregnant is no joke. It takes everything in me not to have a meltdown each day (thank you hormones). The laundry gets done less, dishes get done less, meals are anything but gourmet and I turn the TV or iPad on when I need to. Rosie also decided a few days after Jason left that her new wake-up time was 6am (she had been waking up between 7-8 previously). This basically forced me to have a 9:30-10pm bedtime or I couldn't function the next day. I also rest during the day while Rosie naps and Ev gets some time on her iPad or falls asleep with me.
I have also been relying more on my in-laws and parents to help out when they can. They take the girls for a few hours each week so I can run errands, wash the car, take out the recycling, go to the gym or work on house stuff. I think one of the hardest things since Jason has been gone is that I haven't been able to work out as much. By the time the girls go to bed at 8pm, I'm so exhausted I don't have the energy to work out and I can't find time while they're awake without them hanging all over me. I'm lucky to get 1-2 workouts in a week now, but I guess something is better than nothing. Once he's home I'm going to make it a priority to start working out again more!
The hardest part now is not knowing when he'll be coming back home. They're in playoffs now, so it's week by week. It could be next week, or it could be the end of April. Every time Everly talks to him now she says, "Daddy, when are you coming home?". It's so sweet and so sad. Randomly throughout the day she'll just say, "Mommy I miss daddy", or "When daddy gets home he shouldn't work or go to the gym so we can play with him all day". I can't wait until they're reunited!
As hard as this is on me and the girls though, it's also so hard on Jason. I can't imagine being away from the girls for such a long time, and he's living in an apartment on his own out there which can get pretty lonely/boring when you only have to practice and workout a few hours each day. Thankfully he has some great teammates that he can go to dinner with and hang out with, but it's still a lot of down time and there's not much to do in the city that he's in.
All in all, we can't WAIT for him to come back home. We agreed that this is the last long-term distance we will do as a family. A few days here and there is fine, but months is just too long. We still have no word on what's in store for fall, but we're busy working away on our house for summer and looking forward to a summer in Winnipeg with our family and friends! Thanks to everyone for all the well wishes and support during this time. I couldn't do it without the support of my friends and family.