During a time that feels all too recent, I participated in physical therapy for my knee/leg due to a running injury. I was instructed to use the wobble board. The wobble board is CRAZY hard. Just when you think you’ve gotten your balance, you over-correct and find yourself right back where you started. The energy needed to keep your feet level and perpendicular to each other is immense and the exercise is tiring.
The wobble board … and the constant effort needed to keep your balance and your center evenly distributed at all times … builds your core strength while stretching and strengthening your problem areas.
I feel like I’ve been living on a wobble board for quite awhile both emotionally and mentally.
The truth is, I’m quite often a mess. Most days, I’m nearly on the verge of tears from sheer exhaustion or frustration.
I keep hearing “wow, you are so amazing” and “Naomi, I just DONT know how you’re doing all of this.”
I’m not a super hero, or someone to admire, really. I’m not getting Mother of The Year and for SURE am not winning points in the friendship department.
See, I plaster on a face every morning when I wake up. It’s a face of “all-together-now”. It comes complete with that smile … that smile that reassures you all that I’m handling this like a trooper. It comes with bright and shining eyes that portray 100% excitement about the adventure we’re about to start. It also comes with a tongue that I’ve been biting. It comes with “cute” outfits (because as Mrs. L says, looking good is one thing that you CAN control when life feels like it’s rapidly spiraling downward) and perky answers to your questions about life in Delhi, India.
This isn’t about India though.
This also isn’t about solo parenting.
It’s about trying to navigate a HUGE life change … without my husband by my side.
It’s about trying to make sense of what our family needs most right now … without him to talk it through at every stage of the game.
It’s about needing to be told “this is going to be GOOD” … from the person that means the most to me. He truly is my rock … the one that I look to when I need reassurance … and the one that reminds me that I’m ok. He is the guy that can calm my fears with just a squeeze of my shoulders and can right my upside-down-ness with a simple “I love you.”
I have done a wicked job of holding it all together. I’ve perfected the pat answers to the typical questions about our upcoming move. But when I’m alone at night … or when I’m on the phone with Todd … I melt.
I’ve rocked the process of actually coordinating this move. I’ve navigated — solo —- the unknown waters of sea shipments, international school applications, vaccinations/immunizations, relocating animals, readying a house to be put on the market and virtually “closing up shop” in the past 82 days. I have efficiently gotten our family from a seemingly normal existence in the snowglobe of Ohio to the current upheaval of living out of suitcases for the past four weeks. I’ve done all of that … with that stupid plastered smile on my face.
At night, I cry.
See, the person that I chose six years ago to stand by my side … during the hard times and the good times … has physically been absent. He’s been over 8,000 miles away since the middle of April … forging our path and working LONG hours these past 82 days. He’s been adapting to a foreign culture, a new environment, ridiculous demands on his mind and body, cross country travel and sleepless nights … and doing it all for us.
We work together as a team so incredibly well … he is 100% the person that brings resolution to my manic-ness.
I’ve been balancing on this wobbleboard for 82 days … for far too long now … without the one person that I want so terribly to hold my hand and help me find my center.
When I lean too far to the left – as I try to overcompensate for these kids having to say goodbye to their friends and family – I need him here to guide me back to “still”.
When my legs get shaky and I can’t seem to find my balance because I’m overwhelmed with the to-do list, I need his hands to steady me.
When I’m just in need of someone to hold me up because I’m exhausted, I need my life-blood to be on real time, not 9.5 hours ahead of me in his day/night.
The kids and I are having a BLAST celebrating holidays, birthdays, splashing in the pool, having a grand ole’ time during these final weeks of being ‘state-side’ … but in reality, I want more than anything for HIM to be along for this ride. Nothing is making it more apparent and in-my-face than spending our last two weeks with HIS family. Laughter, memories and great photos.
My ability to keep the wobble board upright is slowly waning … it actually has been for quite awhile now. I just have been trying my hardest to pretend that it’s all ok.
My new phrase that my kidlets are T.I.R.E.D. of hearing by now is “Momma is doing the best she possibly can.”
Don’t put me on a pedestal or covet this new adventure. I’m just a girl … doing the best she can … who misses her husband. Somethin’ awful.