I haven’t seen my husband in almost a week. We occasionally get to talk, or “FaceTime,” but those moments are brief. The kids cry almost every day because they miss Daddy. We’re counting down the nights until he gets home. It’s down to 14 sleeps, until we get to hug him again. This is painful. All five of us are sad. I have some intense “momma-guilt” over the whole situation. I keep reminding myself, this is not what we planned.

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When we got married we promised that we would never leave each other; not just in the romantic sense, but also in the literal sense. Spending 8 hours a day working away from each other was enough separation. We were, and still are, very madly in love. We have the kind of love that I’m pretty sure all the Disney princesses would envy.

When we had kids, that resolve to never travel away from each other was multiplied. Not only could we not leave each other, we couldn’t leave the kids.

Quality time is our family’s love language. Time spent snuggling, reading together, hiking, cooking, anything. If we are together, we are at peace. This is why when I say that we did not plan what we are doing, I really mean it. For most of our lives together we followed the pre-written plan: Find a partner, get married, get jobs, get a house, have kids, send them to school, etc.

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About a month into Cordelia’s (our oldest child) first year of school someone said to me “Cherish every moment. You know, you only get 18 summers with them.” ONLY 18 SUMMERS. It haunted me. I needed more time with my kids. We needed more time as a family. The next year, we started homeschooling. Time together wasn’t the only reason, but it was a huge reason for homeschooling.

Somehow, working to keep us together, and foster strong relationships led us to this. Jason is working out of state, while I spend every day tearing a bus apart in order to make it our home. Jason’s new job, combined with selling our house, has given me the financial freedom to stay with our kids fulltime. But, until our skoolie is more than just a bus, Jason has to travel, and I have to stay.

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Its lonely, and painful, and not at all what we planned when we got married, and started a family. At the end of this long haul of days and weeks, and months of him coming and going, I can see a time where we can go too. The funny thing is, after that, I have no clue what will come next. When everything was prewritten, we knew what would happen. We are stepping off the often traveled path, and forging our own way. I don’t know where it will lead us, but I do know we will be together. And for us, that is what matters most.