It seems that as this deployment progresses along, my mind is regressing. When my husband first left months ago, I was on top of my game. Schedules were planned out weeks in advance. I knew where everyone was supposed to be, when homework assignments were due, and stayed on top of the housework. I was the “model” Army wife…at least in my mind! And I had a smile on my face to go along with this lovely image!
Fast forward a few months and I find myself not being able to keep up with the kids’ activity schedule, I forget when projects are due, and the housework is in sad shape (especially laundry, but I guess that’s not really anything new!). We’ve had many late nights, cramming to finish a report on the puffer fish or rushing last minute to collect and identify leaves (there’s an app for that, thank heavens!). Some mornings we’re lucky to make it out of the house having remembered to eat breakfast, let alone grab lunches and backpacks. Add coats to the mix now that it’s getting cold and sometimes it takes a minimum of three trips back into the house to collect it all! I don’t even want to think about what my appearance looks like on these kinds of mornings…
It’s gotten to the point that a few weeks ago I actually had to write myself a note to remember to feed the dog (hey, at least I haven’t needed a reminder to feed the kids yet…)! I now have notes reminding myself to write to-do lists and post-it notes have become my new favorite decorating accessory. I can’t recount how many times lately that I’ve walked in to a room to do something, only to stand there completely blanking as to what it was that I was went in to do.
I compare this time during the deployment to the days after having a new baby in the house, when the term “mommy brain” was frequently used. Whenever I forgot something or seemed frazzled and a few steps behind, I just blamed it all on having “mommy brain”. The lack of sleep and added stress kept me from functioning at my fullest and I just didn’t have it all together. It seems I’ve had a reoccurrence of that mindset lately, even though my kids are now seven and five, although now I like to call it “deployment brain.” Again, the lack of sleep and added stress have kept me from being on top of things and I feel like I’ve been dropping the balls right and left that I’ve been juggling in the air for so long. I’ll be so glad when this deployment is over and hopefully I can gain some of my sanity back!
But at least a smile remains on my face, and I can laugh at myself and acknowledge my shortcomings. I’ve realized when I’m taking on too much and the “deployment brain” starts to appear. I’ve started to cut back on the things I take on so that I can concentrate on the items that are most important. I also have given myself a bit of a break and stopped being so hard on myself when I do forget something, or the house isn’t as clean as I would like. As for this deployment, it too shall pass and then I’ll be back in the swing of things…at least I hope. “Deployment brain” isn’t a permanent state of mind, is it?