Daddy’s Away again – Ops Normal

So the husband has deployed ‘indefinitely’ on Op GRITSTOCK.

What is Op GRITSTOCK? Well – it’s the UK’s response to the EBOLA crisis in West Africa. Clearly, when I first found out – I had a cry… My doctor friend explained the disease to me – and the risks. Hubby has reassured me that he won’t be taking any risks, yet this week I know he has travelled to Liberia, Sierra Leone to see an Ebola treatment centre, Guinea and back to Ghana.  Last time he went away for 6 months to Afghanistan, he told he wouldn’t take any risks, but recently I found out he was shot at and he’s never told me the story…so I’m not so sure he’s not keeping out of danger. Especially, as every day passes, more and more cases of ‘westerners’ being affected and infected hit the media – though why an American freelance video cameraman is more newsworthy that the thousands of Africans currently dying from the disease is somewhat distasteful.

I know that my husband has every reason to come home – us. I know that he is the best person to do the job he’s currently assigned. I know that if the United Nations fails in its mission to support those in need, then the risk of epidemic and the global knock on effects are substantial. I know it’s right for humanity for him to be doing this.

But away indefinitely means our house moving efforts are on hold, and continued mother living in our dining room. It means I’ve postponed his 50th birthday party.  It means that I’ve just booked to take our son away for his birthday and planning for hubby to not be around.

And yet, when he face timed tonight, he was confident he’d be home within the month…I’m not so sure. In fact I won’t allow myself to believe it until I know he’s on a flight home. Maybe its a defensive mechanism.  Maybe its pragmatic. Maybe its just fear of disappointment.  For me, it’s the best strategy.

After all, at home it’s gotta be Ops NORMAL!

Doing too much? Complete Madness.

Yet again I find myself pondering why there are not 48 hours in every day instead of 24; wondering if I’ve taken on too much, and surrounding myself with stress…

In the past few day as as we’ve headed back to school, which of course requires new shoes, uniform checks and clubs and activities administration, such as piano lessons (why did we change the day?), swimming and martial arts, I have decided that it would be a really good idea to place our house on the market, consider volunteering to set up and run a scouting group and attend the first PTA meeting of the new academic year.  The latter requires supporting the school with the production of a charity cookbook (and having done one before I know the stress involved), whilst organising husband’s 50th birthday and coping with the changing dynamics of my mother moving into our dining room.  This, with husband currently overseas, and about to take on a militarily challenging new responsibility that is not only potentially life-threatening, but also will require extensive global travel.

Now, with little time left for self-examination, I have come to the conclusion that I am MAD! And I need to learn to say ‘no’ … but that would mean less opportunities for my children to grow and develop socially, less fundraising to support my children’s education, leaving a potentially explosive mother-daughter relationship fighting over the kitchen (and there are too many sharp knives in there), and I’ve always known my husband’s job is dangerous and that is why he finds it exciting (as I did too when I served in the Royal Air Force).

So MAD I may be, but a well intentioned MAD woman!