The Grace of Parenting

We’re in the home stretch of tax season, which means that more mornings than not I wake up to Frank’s side of the bed empty. It may be that he has gotten up early to go into the office; more likely it’s that he came home so late he just crept upstairs to the guest room so that I wouldn’t wake up.

IMG_4122Our community, as always, has been incredible. My parents come for dinner and bedtime every Thursday so that I can continue my weekly walks with a friend. Our neighbor’s husband was gone for 10 days on a work trip so we shared meals, the girls played, and we texted support through the meltdowns.

But for all the incredible support, the girls still miss their dad. And I still miss having a partner to help me through this parenting journey. It’s nothing at all like being a single parent but these months give me a small glimpse into that world and empathy for parents who have to do this alone 24/7.

During these months, I rely heavily on the grace of parenting. Of the wonder of extra screen time and the spring weather to play outside. We live with an extra-messy playroom (because our playroom is never clean, regardless of Frank’s presence) and I allow myself to watch a movie after bedtime rather than tidy or read something more productive.

But I also rely on the sabbath that Frank’s office enforces. Each employee must take one day off every week. We bask in those 24 hours together, making sure that we soak in this family time.

On Tuesday, this will be over for another year and life will go back to normal. (Or, the new normal… Reintroduction can be tough.) I’ll wake up each morning with my husband next to me and our guest room will sit empty until actual guests need to use it.

What’s something in your life that is easier when you do it with others?

Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “empty.”

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13 thoughts on “The Grace of Parenting

  1. It’s wonderful to have such a supportive community, isn’t it? I had it when we were raising our 4 daughters and it led to bonds that are just as strong or stronger today than ever. Lovely post. Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

    1. Thanks, Pam! Even if my husband were around more, I can’t imagine doing life without this support group. So valuable! Thanks for stopping by – Happy Easter!

  2. Thanks for such a lovely post. I remember a tough parenting period after 9/11 when my husband, who had been in federal law enforcement, was absent from the home for long stretches, sometimes lasting several days (we live not far from the Shanksville crash site). I’m afraid I wasn’t as gracious when I complained about solo parenting during that time, but he was as he reminded me of the many wives, mothers, daughters, sisters whose loved ones weren’t coming home ever again. I’d say your graciousness is something I could have learned from then. Know that your sacrifice makes life easier for others (your FMF neighbor)

    1. Oh, there are definitely some messy feelings around this… 😉 Every year seems easier in some ways and different/harder in others. Always learning! I love your perspective: He is helping others and making their lives easier. I’m thankful for that. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Life. All of life is easier and more enjoyable with loved ones to appreciate it with. I’m glad that you are at the tail end and hope you have a great week together reconnecting! My honey has been working late (in the comfort of our home) on website design but it’s meant I’ve had to do bedtime alone the last several nights and I constantly have to remind myself how blessed I am to have a man who is such a hard worker and so devoted to providing for us that he works all hours of the day.

    1. Working from home creates a whole new set of challenges!! (He’s tried but it’s just too much for the girls!) When I can frame this busyness in that sense – I am able to stay home; our needs are provided, well… It does make this season easier. Thanks for your encouragement!

  4. Annie, I’m of a mind that a playroom should always be a bit messy. That’s one of the basic elements of play! 😉 While it’s been a long time since I went through with Henry what you’re experiencing, I get it. But, my friend, the sun is going to shine again very soon and it will be brilliant! Oh, I think it’s so good that his company mandates one day off. Not just a good idea, but vital.

    1. Ha! Well, clean is never a word I’d use for our playroom – ever!! I’m looking forward to the light at the end of this tunnel, for sure!! It’s funny how vital that day is – as though God knew we needed a day to rest. 😉

  5. Well, the first thing that comes to mind is the classic Klingon proverb, “Death is an experience best shared.”

    Having had several NDE’s in which I’ve been conscious and fought my way back, I think I can safely say that dying alone isn’t much fun. The only way in which one’s facing death honourably can become a legacy is if there are witnesses.

    Hope you and yours have a wonderful Easter, Annie!

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/04/your-dying-spouse-297-easter-rising-and.html

  6. It’s so important to take a Sabbath. Friday’s are my day off and I’m so thankful for them. It makes a difference. Oh and tax season is almost over! You’ve got this! I’m in the 43 spot this week.

  7. Hi Annie, I completely relate to this post. My husband is away quite a bit and I find it hard juggling all the to do’s.Grace for ourselves and praying patience through all things! Thank you for this.

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