It’s amazing how quickly everyone falls back into the same old patterns. The honeymoon is over and just like that, both girls once more are just kids instead of the kids of deployed parents and I’m just a mom, instead of a soldier mom with a truckload of mommy guilt. I’ve discovered a lot hasn’t changed since I’ve been gone and some things I don’t think that ever will.

For instance, I’ve accepted the fact that I will never again be able to go to the bathroom by myself. There is no way my almost 3 year old is willing to let me out of her site. She might be attached to Mommy by a very short string but she doesn’t want anything to do with Daddy, hence Mommy is on call all day ever day. And since my four year old is not too old to go to the bathroom with daddy, it’s all mommy all the time. Which leads to some long lines in the ladies room and hopefully, other mom’s understand what’s taking so long (you can’t beat a 2 year old off the pottie with a stick if she’s determined to go poopieJ).

My four year old is very much a daddy’s girl except when it comes to bed time. Then she wants Mommy snuggles. I can’t tell you how touched I was that both girls wanted me to ‘nuggle’ with them as they fall asleep at night and what’s funny is that I have nothing more important to do than nuggle until they fall asleep. I wouldn’t trade eight hours of uninterrupted sleep in Iraq for the fits and turns I get here with one ear always listening for the girls. Of course, I’ve also found the cure for insomnia: chasing two kids around non stop from 6 am til 8 pm (or thereabouts).

The biggest thing that has changed is that when my girls want my time, they get it. While it might feel like everything is back to normal with us, I know that it’s not. I have a very short amount of time with them right now and the only thing I can do to make the next five months easier on them is give them every bit of time that I can.

And that’s a change in me as Mommy that I think will get me a lot down the road with my relationship with my daughters.