Saturday, May 7, 2016

Pilots, here is a reminder to you...

In honor of Mother's Day, I want to give a shout out to all the strong-ass, independent women who are married to pilots and keep house and home with grace.

Ok, so maybe it isn't always graceful.  At least it isn't for me.  Take last week, as an example.  Last week was the week from hell. We just nearly completed a kitchen remodel that started in January and extended to about a week ago.  The contractors were in from February into March, but we were doing little things at the beginning and end that book-ended the project.  The details of the project are a whole different blog post, but it is necessary to note the remodel as this is part of the reason for my bad week. In addition I was having some personal issues at work.  Oh, and throw in some sass from a strong-willed daughter.  Oh, and lastly throw in that completely overwhelming feeling from having too much on your plate.

Why did I have too much on my plate, you ask?  Last Saturday our oldest son received his First Holy Communion.  To celebrate we held a party at our house for family and a couple friends.  We knew this party was the deadline for the remodel, and boy did we butt right up against that deadline.

Steve was working his ass off getting the final touches on things before he left for a trip that took him away from Wednesday until late Friday night...and what happens when a pilot has his blinders on and is working his ass off to finish a project when he is home? He leaves the house and home stuff to the wife...again.  Steve has been working his ass of for the last number of weeks now, trying to get this project wrapped up.

We care for house and home when our pilots are gone, and when they are working their ass off at home with blinders on, we have to care for house and home...more.  When we expect and need that much needed break and don't get it, well, watch out.  When we expect a much needed break, week after week, and fail to get it, then we may fall from grace. Which is precisely what happened last week.

I won't go into total details about what fully happened with me and Steve, but let me highlight a couple points that aided in my fall:
- I express that overwhelming feeling to Steve.
- he told me once the remodel was done we would be back to normal and be all good...and that was about it
- in typical fashion, which typically doesn't bother me, I didn't hear from him after that in regards to my overwhelming feeling
- this translated into me feeling abandoned and alone...when I needed his support the most, he was radio silent.

****
My grandmother passed away in 2003.  She is one of the most amazing women I have ever met.  Her name was Wanda.  Our daughter's middle name is Wanda.  I hope and pray that our daughter has as much love, generosity, heart, beauty, and warmth that my grandmother had.

I received a call on a Saturday morning in November, in the 8am hour.  This was before kids, so Steve and I were blissfully asleep.  When I picked up the phone my mom said "Babcia had a stroke.  She is being taken to the hospital.  Go pick up Dziadzia and take him to the hospital."  (Babcia = grandmother in Polish.  Dziadzia = grandpa).  

She was 82 years old.  She had surgery that morning, but the stroke did too much damage.  She was on life-support after surgery.   Steve had left for a trip on Monday, which had been discussed and agreed upon.  On Monday I had gone to my grandparents house to tell my deaf aunt that they were going to take Babcia off the machines on Tuesday.  That was a hard conversation.  There was such a heaviness in the air since we knew we were going to lose her.  I called Steve on my 30 minute drive back to the house that night.  The call was connected the entire time, but we didn't talk for all of it.  I remember driving, not saying a word, but feeling connected to Steve...he was there for me.  We were physically apart, but he was there for me.

 On Tuesday they pulled the plug, and she died 45 minutes later.  
*****

I needed that connection to Steve last week.  I needed him to be there for me last week, and he wasn't.  The busyness of last weekend masked my sadness pretty well, I like to think.  But come Monday I let him in on everything.  He was sorry.  He is sorry.  He and I are working on repairing the damage, and we are pretty much there.  We will be fine...no marriage is perfect and we address problems and work on fixing them.

The reason I am writing about this is for all the pilots out there.  Let me remind you how amazing your wife is...how amazing the mother of your children is. Sometimes, especially with time, I think it is easy to take things for granted.  I think it is easy to get into a groove of life where things just happen, and not realize all the hard work that is done behind the scenes...all the hard work that is done to keep the house and home running smoothly when you are on a trip.

- we are there for 2am feedings and 4am cries because of scary dreams
- we are there for all the homework throughout the week
- we are there for all the school events, knowing the time and the place
- we are there for the school lunches
- we are there for the sulking child getting off the school bus because they had a bad day
- we are there for preparing snacks and meals, and keeping bellies happy and healthy
- we are there for all the extra-curricular activities
- we are the ones walking out of appointments because our child needs picked up at daycare
- we are the ones staying home from work because our child is sick
- we are there for putting our child's need before our own
- we are there to welcome you home from a long trip
- we prepare hot meals
- we keep a clean house
- we care for the pets
- we keep clean clothes on our backs
- we take the trash out
- we keep the house in order
- we keep the family calendar in order
- we are building family relationships
- we are there to figure out the strange noises at night
- we are there to fix the leak in the basement
...and so on, and so on...

And for all the pilot wives that work, let's not forget to mention that we need to add our work duties to the above.

We really are strong women!  We have a lot on our plates, and navigate life pretty well.  But, remember, pilots, that we also have soft spots.  We have times where we are down and need extra reinforcement.  We can get overwhelmed.  When we need this extra support it may not be written on a billboard for you, so look for the clues.  Be responsive to any and all indications that we are falling.

Steve has been great this past week.  He knows I have been down and he has been going above and beyond with helping around the house.  The biggest help is the laundry...my laundry is caught up, and I don't think it has been caught up for months (no joke).  It is too bad that it I got so low before the realization of my needs were addressed.  Which is precisely why I am writing this blog, as a reminder to all the pilots out there that it is important to support, praise, be connected, and comfort your wife, not only on Mother's Day, but each and every day.










1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this today. My husband flies international cargo and we are discussing starting a family. You have put to words what I have tried to articulate for months, all of my concerns for what a family means with his career. Thank you for being out there and understanding what it is really like.

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