I’ve been having a long hard think about which side of the fence has greener grass. Or which side of the bridge if we are going Billy Goats Gruff here.
For the first couple of years of our marriage I was what is known as a Weekend Warrior. A wife, girlfriend or other type of partner who only sees their sailor at weekends, not through the week. On weekdays your Popeye sleeps on the ship, and you sleep (starfish) in your bed.
At the time I thought it was a bit rubbish to be honest, so when I was four or five months pregnant with Sweetpea we upped sticks and moved to Southampton, away from all my family and friends, so Popeye could come home every night so I wouldn’t be essentially a single parent. I say “we” but Popeye was deployed so I had to organise the whole move alone, alarm bells should’ve been ringing!
I’m beginning to regret it.
I’m beginning to regret it now we have two babies under the age of two. Double the crying, double the nappies and usually half the parenting.
Popeye is away far far more than we thought he would be. And unlike my Weekend Warrior days I’m now not used to hacking it alone Monday to Friday. Instead some weeks he’s here to help, other weeks I have nothing. There’s no consistency and the main reason we did this, so he wouldn’t miss girls growing up, seems null and void now because he’s missing it anyway!
And I’m sinking.
I’m in a city where I’ve got no roots, I’ve made some utterly fab amazing friends who are to be honest, keeping me going right now. They come round and help and listen to me moan and then go home to their partners flabbergasted, about how the fuck I am managing and not losing my mind.
Except that I am sinking.
I can’t help but feel that if I was away from here and back with family that support me I’d be able to plan my life a bit, feel a bit more in control because no matter what the bloody tin can is doing, alongside, at sea, Popeye on a course, in Portsmouth, Plymouth, wherever, my life and my routine would be the same Monday to Friday.
I wouldn’t keep feeling like I was having the rug pulled out from under me at a day or twos notice.
I’d have regular dependable help with the Sprogs. I’m pretty much on my todd here with the girls and childcare costs are becoming a strain on us. Being back in good old Scummerset would mean I got more emotional and practical support.
I’d love to be able to pop round and see my sister or my mum instead of doing FaceTime after bedtime.
If I revert back to Weekend Warrior the girls could grow up in the countryside like I did, cows moos not police sirens would be the early sounds Sproglet will name, unlike her big sister who knows the difference between the police and the fire brigades sirens. She’s 21 months.
But am I just seeing it all through rose tinted glasses? Was it really that good back then or was that just because I was a navy wife and not a navy wife and a mum then?!
I just feel that we moved here for Popeye and he’s not even bloody here so if I move back it would be for me and the girls.
He’s basically deploying for a year anyway!!!!
Being a navy wife away from your family is hard. I’m constantly reevaluating my life here to see if this is the best deal for me and my girls.
And the thing is that this changes on whether Popeye is home or not. I wish I could be in Somerset during deployment and near the ship the rest of the time!