Status Update

Today marks two weeks since my wife’s sudden death. All’s going as well as can be expected in the transition. The girls are adjusting nicely, I’m getting the household in shape, and plan to head back to work tomorrow.

Evenings have gone better than I’d feared. I’d always been in charge of getting Katie her bath and down for the night. Since Ellie came along, Kim would tend to her during that period but simply putting her in the crib has been an adequate substitute. Thus far, she’s fallen asleep by the end of bath time every night.

The biggest problem that I haven’t devised a solution to is the mornings. My habit has forever been to get up early and get some work done. That worked out well early in my marriage, since Kim liked to sleep in. It became harder once the girls came along but Kim would generally entertain them as best she could and let me get at least some work done. That’s been almost impossible alone. I’m seldom up before Ellie and by the time I have her fed and settled, Katie’s either up or about to be.

My guess is that I’ll wind up rearranging my schedule to get to the office earlier weekdays and doing my writing a bit later. Weekends, though, are going to be very tough from a blogging standpoint.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Eric Florack says:

    Well, any change in routine can have that effect. i certainly dont claim my recent changes are as traumatic as yours have been, but i can tell you that the job i got forced into after the last election has played hell on my blogging time. i suppose any life change will do that.

    That said, you have a fair number of writers here that keep things going. My advice is to let them.

    Bluntly, James, theres not a regular here that doesnt understand that youre dealing with some life changes. Between those two factors i suggest OTB will still be here when you find your feet and voice again. Meanwhile take care of you and your girls.

    apologies if ive over spoken… but ive found honesty and shooting from the hip the best way, usually

  2. Anderson says:

    I wonder if there’s a way to disable the “Related Posts” feature on a given post?

    … Glad to see you back even occasionally, James.

  3. john personna says:

    Our thoughts are with you.

  4. Boyd says:

    I can only echo what Bit said about your blogging at OTB playing second fiddle to raising your girls. We appreciate it whenever you find the time to share your insights with us, but our needs, meaning your readers’ needs, don’t even jiggle the needle on the “What’s Important” meter in the grand scheme of things.

  5. pcbedamned says:

    So good to see you James.

    Now, with that said, the one thing we learn when faced with a tragedy of a magnitude such as this, is, #1 – we have Real Friends. Use them for the things they offer. The hardest part (especially for us A-Types) is asking for help. It was definitely the one thing I struggled most with, but learned that I Can’t Do It All. And when people offer help, they really do mean it. Let them.

    Right now your girls and establishing their new reality will be the focus. It will take time and adjustment. We here are a patient lot (most of the time…), and quite understanding as to why we do not see your byline right now.

    You take care of yours. We still be here when you return – whether infrequently at first, and back to normal at last.

    Peace and love to you and yours always.

  6. mattb says:

    I also had the misfortune of an unexpected and sudden loss of a loved one. The process of coming to terms with the loss takes a long amount of time.

    The moment to prepare for — though when it hits, you’ll be unprepared — is the moment when you have nothing to do but grapple with the loss.

    The days following the event are typically lived by getting through a to-do list. During this time you are also surrounded by friends and family (sometimes to the point of driving you nuts with kindness and help). It’s that point, a month or two down the road that you need to be ready for — when you have a real moment to breath and when things suddenly come into focus in a different way.

    It’s different for everyone — in terms of timing, trigger, and effect. And somehow it always seems the same. I can offer no advice on it other than to to say that we have all be through it and it does get better.

    Good luck to you and yours James. You are all in our thoughts.

  7. Nait Deth says:


    I want to convey my condolences for the loss of your wife. It is a terrible tragedy and an unspeakable loss. I will keep you and your family in my thought and I hope you find some solace and peace this Christmas season.