Hello my Darlings and welcome to Mum Dee Does. I am Dee, a mum who does (it all), and today I want to tell you about the three changes I have made in preparation for my husband’s departure.
Ever since James announced that he wants to join the RFA I have been thinking about all the ways my life was going to change. I’ve gone through a full cycle of emotions, from feeling excited about the financial rewards of such an endeavour to being utterly selfish and not wanting him to go at all. A full cycle of grief, if you will!
I am calm now. I have made my peace with the idea of being left alone on a remote island in Orkney to look after our smallholding, two dogs and… oh, yeah - a two year old boy! I am now focusing on the practicalities of such a life and making some changes so that the shock of waking up alone on that fateful day is even just slightly bit muffled.
Firstly, I am recognising that for the first time ever I am going to need other people. I have always been happy with a small social circle, or even just James, for company. It was always sufficient for me to share my ideas with him and have a lighthearted discussion to feel socially satisfied. Now, I am imaging my life with a toddler and realising that my conversations will forever be based around what colour his clothes are, what sounds our cockerel makes and discussing the importance of washing one’s feet. I feel that even I, as introverted as I have become, will be craving some proper grown-up conversations. So, for the past week or so I have been making more of an effort to get to know my neighbours. I will never admit defeat and ask them for actual help, but it’s good to know I can ring someone in an emergency or just have a cuppa and a talk that extends beyond the vocabulary of a two-year old.
Secondly, I am attempting to get Ronnie used to the idea that mummy isn’t always available and on call. For the past two years we’ve been attached at the hip, with James left to look after the job, the house, the bills, the smallholding, etc. We sleep together, eat together, bathe together, play together and so on! But now, and especially when James goes away, I really need Ron to learn and realise that when mummy is on a conference call, or typing away at the laptop, or busy in the kitchen, he can and should happily amuse himself and doesn’t need my hand to hold. It will do him a world of good, teach him independence and self-reliance whilst giving me hands-free time to achieve some productivity in my days. That’s what I am trying to achieve, but even as I type this, he is asleep in my arms and I wonder if the emotional weaning is going to be tougher than I imagine.
Lastly, I am trying to learn a few basic “adulting” habits to keep me and Ronnie safe, things that I never before needed to think about. Simple things, really - taking a phone with me when I go for a walk, checking that there are no cars coming up our driveway before I let the dogs out, making sure the hot serving dishes are out of Ron’s reach before I leave the kitchen. Little things that could mean the difference between a happy day and a total disaster. It may sound silly to you - a woman, 28 years old, should know these things, surely. But, my life has always been focused on my studies, then building a career (as short lived as that was) and then on making sure the baby was clean, fed and happy that I never really thought about all these little things before. That was always second nature to James, but now I will have to step up and fill that role of a “health and safety executive” around the house. It is daunting, the responsibility that comes with being a lone parent, but as long as I shift my head into gear and start noticing these little things, I am sure life going forward will be a lot smoother.
So there it is - the three things that I have changed so far. I still have 5 months left to work on a snag list and get James to paint the house, fix the taps, spray the grass of the driveway, but the most important thing for me is to realise that this is real, it is really happening and that before too long I will have no-one but myself to rely on and Ronnie will have no-one but me to look after him. I must step up my game - so I will.
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It’s been a pleasure! My name is Dee, and I am a mum who does. Ta ta for now.
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I am Dee
I am sharing my thoughts, life's triumphs and trials as well as fun-filled projects with a 2 year old Ron from a remote island in Orkney whilst my superhero husband and Ron's daddy is saving the world with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
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