Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Single Mom

BJ is still at the conference (he'll be home tonight, so all of you serial killers, baby stealers, and burglars have totally missed your opportunity, neener neener neener!). As far as I'm concerned, he can't get here soon enough.

Last week was a really busy week for him at work. More than once he didn't come home until well past midnight. That was the primary reason for our extended trip to Grammaland - I figured, if I was going to be home alone, anyway, I might as well not be home.

I feel like I haven't seen him in months, and I'm worried that the kids won't recognize him when he does get home. And, I have to admit, I'm jealous that he can leave for a few days, while I can't be away from Claire for more than an hour, and MG would freak right out if I tried to leave for much more than that. It has made me think a lot about single parents.

How on earth do you do it? This has been one of the hardest weeks of my parenting life. It's psychologically so different to know that there's no one coming home soon. Yesterday was interminable. I felt like it lasted for at least 47 hours. It wasn't because we just sat in the house whining at each other all day, either, although it felt like we did that for a large percentage of the day... We actually managed to get to the hospital to see Karen's new baby, Nameless, who is the smallest baby I have ever seen in real life - 5 pounds, 15 ounces. He made Claire look huge.

I can't imagine what it would be like to do this alone - to not have another adult to empty the Diaper Genie once in a while, or to open the sippy cup full of milk that accidentally got left in the toy room for a week, or to fool into changing the really horrible diapers. After one week of it, I am ready to lose my tiny mind. I find myself lacking patience, snapping at MG, letting Claire cry longer than I normally would... The house is a mess. I have no motivation to change that fact. And we've been eating complete crap. What's the point of cooking something when the only other person here to eat thinks that buttered noodles with Parmesan cheese are the height of culinary perfection?

I've always respected single parents, but I never had any idea just how hard it was. My hat is off to all of you who have done this alone. I honestly have no idea how you manage(d) it.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I feel like a single mom too when Matt's away on conference or reviews or the like. Usually I'm working when he travels so that adds another dimension of fun to the mix. I get up around 5 or 5:30 to get myself ready and the car loaded up. Then I get Katelynn ready, give her sippycup of milk and we are out the door by 6:15 to 6:30. I get her to daycare right when it opens, get her settled and go to work.

I would do my best to take a short lunch or come in early so I could leave a wee bit early to pick her up. Then once we were home I'd have her on a strict schedule to get her in bed by at least 8:30. Once she was down I'd do some prep work for the next morning, clean up, talk to Matt on the phone, etc and then be asleep by 9pm to do it all over again the next day.

I am fortunate that Matt tries to be gone as few days as possible. Last May he was gone for about 4 days and I felt like I was going to lose my mind, I was so exhausted.

I know what you're thinking: "At least you have work to break things up. You're not around her 24/7." And to that I say "Yes, absolutely!" That does keep me sane. I wonder how single moms manage everything too. For me, I get through 3/4 of his trip and am like "I cannot do this anymore!!!" and then the next day I discover things really aren't that bad and I find some sort of a groove. Before I know it Matt's home.

Just sharing what my experience is like. That's all. :)