Home At Last

     This week I returned home from my 13 week travel nursing assignment in Nantucket. During this time, I saw my husband three times, and he saw our daughter twice. I worked about 530 hours, 75% night shift. My daughter transformed from a wobbly newish walker to a running, jumping, climbing, talking toddler. I watched the island transform from a buzzing summery tourist trap to a quiet, brisk and beautiful fall town. As the real world seemed to keep turning around me, it was as if I was in my own little bubble with my daughter and my parents (who watched her while I worked) and I hit pause on just about all my relationships.

     I came back to a perfectly cleaned home and fresh beautiful flowers. It took a couple of days to get over the feeling of being a stranger in my own home. Matthew had this "bachelor pad" (kidding; he mostly worked overtime while I was gone), all to himself for three months so naturally I felt like I was encroaching on his space when I got back. I knew it would be an adjustment. Would we go back to our old routines? Would this be a refreshing restart with a honeymoon period? Would he miss having things just his way? I couldn't help but think of all of the military families that have separations much longer than ours half a world apart. If Matthew were still in the Marines and we had to endure more deployments, I'm not sure how I would handle it. It is really hard on a marriage to be separated in any capacity. When kids are thrown in the mix, it is actually heartbreaking for one parent to miss out on so much.

     For now as I ease back into the swing of things in my home, I reflect on these last three months. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. I learned a lot and met some incredible people. I did not get to enjoy Nantucket as I envisioned since I nearly doubled my regular working hours and had to sleep most days due to night shift, and I can count on both hands the "free days" I had while I was there. Nonetheless, I feel very proud for taking on and completing the challenge. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done but without challenge comes no reward. I now am reminded to savor every moment with my little family and I can thoroughly appreciate only working part time hours. I am elated to be home and focus on my daughter, my husband, my business, and my job. Until the next ACKventure...