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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.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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