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My husband is gone a lot, but I am NOT a single mom

What I want to tell you most about having a husband who is gone a lot is this: It is harder on him than it is on me.

My husband is gone a lot, but I am NOT a single mom

The original essay by Brittany Velasquez can be found on the Military Moms Blog.

A well-meaning friend recently said to me, “I don't know how you do everything you do all alone. Your husband is gone so much that you are like a single mom!" My dear, sweet friend, I love you, and I know you were trying to compliment me. But, no, my life is nothing like that of a single mom. I am married to a wonderful, hard working man.

His struggles and sacrifices allow me to stay home with our kids while they are small.

At the end of a particularly frustrating day, I can call and talk to someone who gets it. A teammate. An equal. He offers me advice, we make decisions together, and we support each other.

Before he goes on short trips, he makes sure the lawn is mowed and the bills are all paid for the month so that I don't have to worry about them. Before he goes on longer trips, he ensures that my car is in good repair so that I have less likelihood of having problems while he is away, and he fixes any existing problems around the house.

What I want to tell you most about having a husband who is gone a lot is this: It is harder on him than it is on me.

I am here in my beautiful home with my beautiful children. Their small hands are holding mine, touching my face, and their smiles are lighting up my days. We are here together. We all miss my husband, but we still have each other.

My husband, however, is gone. He is alone and missing not only me, but also our three kids.

He goes days, weeks, and months without a hug from someone who loves him.

I am here for every ballet recital, every piano performance, every T-ball practice, every doctor's visit—every. single. thing. I get to experience it with them and celebrate their accomplishments immediately.

I know little details about our kids that my husband doesn't get a chance to know, because they are sometimes lost in our conversations. We have so much to catch up on when we talk that I tell him about how our daughter brought her failing math grade up to a B+, but I forget to mention that our 2-year-old had the funniest prayer intention at dinner, and that our middle son has met the girl he wants to marry in his kindergarten class.

Sometimes I do feel overwhelmed.

When a stomach virus hits and I have three kids taking turns throwing up in toilets and bowls and on floors, and then I get sick, too— that is not fun nor easy. It's a mess. But still, I am sad that my husband has to miss these moments.

When they are adults, they will remember that I was the one smoothing the hair from their face, taking their temperature, making them toast and pouring them watered down Gatorade as they recovered. They'll remember sleeping, curled up next to me, watching movies and feeling comfort.

It is the loss of these moments—the good and the bad everyday chances that I get to show my kids that they are loved—that I mourn for him.

I see my husband making the most of the moments he does have at home.

He rushes home when he is in town to try to arrive in time dinner.

He reads stories and helps with baths.

He cuts food into small squares and wrestles with our sons.

He listens to our daughter's stories and worries.

I notice that his eyes are exhausted, but I also see that his smile is filled with joy.

So many times, he has run into the room bursting with excitement to tell me something new that the baby did, but it isn't really new. The baby has been doing that for weeks. He just hadn't been able to see it.

There is no place he would rather be than here in our home helping with dishes and petting our dog and loving his family, yet sometimes he simply is not here.

I hope that my children know they are lucky to have their father who works tirelessly for them. I hope that when they are adults, each time they think of something fun or memorable we did together without my husband, they also think of his love as the reason it was possible. I am the one who is taking them to the water park, movies with friends, and out for ice cream on Tuesday nights in the summer.

But my husband is the reason I am able to make these memories. So, no, I am not like a single mom. Even though you meant it as a compliment, it was unfair to my husband.

He may be physically absent for long stretches from our life, but he is always available for emotional support. The truth is that I am here enjoying my children, but he is alone somewhere missing us. He is missing this elusive and slippery, yet all-important time, while our children are small.

To say I am a single mom discredits the hard work he puts in for his job and his country, and it overlooks the time he spends wishing he was home. Yes, he loves his job. But yes, he misses his family, too. That makes all the difference.

We're so glad to live in a time when modern baby gear exists. Sure, no one is going to argue that having a baby is easy—but it can be easier with support from some gadgets designed to help your baby and put your mind at ease.

As you build your baby registry, look for products that go the extra mile to make your life a whole lot easier. For example, what's better than a bassinet? A bassinet that can rock by itself. And what's better than a traditional baby monitor? One that allows you to actually take a peek at your baby. Believe us when we say these upgrades can make all the difference.

Here are 10 baby gadgets that will make your life so much easier… relatively speaking, of course!


A bassinet to promote safe + sound sleep

HALO Innovations Bassinest Swivel Sleeper Essenta Series Nautical Net

The safest place for your newborn to sleep is in your room, but not in your bed. Thanks to the swivel function of the Halo Bassinest, you can easily tend to your baby during the night—which means more sleep for you, too. Trust us when we say that is the best gift you can give a new parent.

$239.99

A smart swing for your baby

4moms mamaRoo 4 Bluetooth Enabled High-Tech Baby Swing - Classic

Believe it or not, many babies are born with strong opinions about how they want to be rocked, swung or shushed to calm down. With the mamaRoo's various motions and reclining positions, you'll be able to find a setting your baby loves when you need to free up your hands for a bit.

$219.99

A complete travel system for car + sidewalk

Chicco Bravo Travel System - Indigo

No matter where the day takes you—or what mode of transportation you need to get there—getting a complete travel system for your baby will equip you for anything.

$379.99

A swaddle you don’t have to wrestle

Love To Dream Swaddle UP Original

What do babies and Harry Houdini have in common? A knack for breaking out of tight constraints—which can be a headache when swaddling is the best way to help promote good sleep. Thanks to a breakout-proof swaddle that allows your baby to sleep with their hands up, you don't have to work up a sweat just to get your baby comfortably swaddled.

$29.99

A nursery wherever you need it

Baby Trend Lil Snooze Deluxe II Nursery Center

During the early days of parenting (when you are feeding and changing your baby around the clock), having convenient access to everything you need with a go-anywhere nursery station can save you serious time and energy.

$99.99

A little help for stuffy noses

Fridababy NoseFrida Nasal Aspirator

Up until the point years down the road when your child is able to blow their own nose, the sniffles can be a real struggle—but not with a nasal aspirator that makes it easy for you to get that snot out of their nose.

$15.99

A way to keep an eye on your baby

VTech 5" Digital Video Baby Monitor - VM5251

Trust us when we say you'll sleep better when you know your baby is also sleeping soundly. That's why we're so thankful for modern-day video monitors, which allow you to check in on your sleeping baby without running the risk of waking them up when you sneak in for a peek.

$79.99

A bassinet for hands-free rocking

Simmons Kids Silent Auto Gliding Elite Bassinet - Odyssey

Babies are soothed by rocking motions. But what does that mean for you if you can't rock them throughout the night? With an auto-gliding bassinet, they can comfortably drift off to sleep... and continue snoozing.

$99.99

An easy way to contain diaper smells

Diaper Genie Expressions Pail

Sometimes it's the little conveniences that make a big difference in the quality of your day-to-day life. That's why a great diaper pail should not be undervalued: By containing the smell, you will save yourself dozens upon dozens of trips to the garbage can.

$24.99

A white noise machine that pulls double duty

Hatch Rest Sound Machine, Night Light & Time-to-Rise

A phone-controlled sound machine may be something you never considered until now, but it will be a major lifesaver for years to come, especially as it can also function as a time-to-rise clock that promotes good sleep habits for your child.

$59.99

And as for securing all these awesome products? Well, a Target baby registry is the way to do it. By creating your baby registry with Target, you will also enjoy their Year of Benefits registry program, which includes perks like a welcome kit with more than $100 in savings and samples, two 15% off coupons to complete your registry, and a full year of returns. The benefits are better than ever right now: Target just launched the Year of Exclusive Deals perk as one of its registry benefits, and this includes a year's worth of discounts on baby essentials (think diapers and formula) and comes complementary when you sign up for Target Circle.

Because while parenting may not be "easy," deciding to register with Target definitely is an easy decision. Start your Target baby registry now and enjoy shopping with a Year of Benefits featuring a Year of Exclusive Deals available via Target Circle, two 15% off coupons, a year of hassle-free returns, a free welcome kit and more!

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

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