Personal: CommunicationJune 1, 2011
I was asked today why I apologized to DH for the summer schedule I have lined up. I was explaining to the listener that I apologized for the length of the e-mail, for the convoluted schedule, the number of activities, the fact that the children and I will be spending quite a bit of time away from him at camps.
My listener asked again, “Why do you feel sorry? Isn’t he your husband and their father? Shouldn’t he be participating and helping you? What are you sorry about?”
I have to admit the number 1 reason I apologize is from guilt. If you’ve read Parenting Together I have made it quite clear I’m not doing this solo. But there was a time after T2 was born when I mistakenly just handed him car keys when he walked through the door, without regard, without notice, without showing him how much I appreciated the sacrifice he makes when he is gone. And he resented it. So I feel guilty. I have not let myself off the hook.
Secondly, it is imperative to me to let him know that this busy schedule in no way reflects a disregard for his preference to be less busy, it is just what it is–a typical summer vacation for the children and me. And quite honestly, most of the burden of the busy schedule will fall on me, not him–I’m the one going to camp with the children.
Which brings me to reason three–and I just thought of this so I didn’t get to tell my listener–I don’t want DH to think we want time away from him. Maybe I feel bad because each child will be spending three weeks away from him while he’s home, and I’ll be away two weeks! He’s gone so much, should we really go away from him?
One of the reasons I did not fully grasped this lifestyle and its implications when we were dating was because I was the one doing the leaving all the time. I left for college less than a week after our first official date and I spent the next 2 1/2 years doing the leaving and being away. I certainly can’t feel guilty about going to school and this summer schedule was out of my control–I had to volunteer for the teaching positions back in January which was well before we knew his schedule.
Life goes on. It doesn’t stop. DH hasn’t made me feel guilty. In fact, he laughed. “You know, you can just have a vacation where you do nothing.” But that’s a conversation and explanation for another blog. He’s okay with the schedule and I think he knows that those weeks without us will help him get to some major honey-do projects.
I’ll still miss him though. And like the listener said, it is okay for me to want to make sure he knows I do consider his feelings but I have to also let him know I do expect him to be an active participant in our lives. And I have to let myself off the hook for a past mistake. He’s not holding it against me, why should I?