I’ve been a single mom for over a week now, and let me tell you, this is not a state I would be happy in permanently. And it’s not like I’m dealing with diapers and night feedings, my kid is a teenager! I can’t even imagine how much more difficult it would be if she were small and utterly dependent on me.
My husband went to California on business and then took some time to visit with his sister and her family. I was all for it. I wanted him to have a break, particularly since his company was paying for the airfare. Everyone deserves a break from their normal lives once in a while. Most people call that a vacation, but when you’re taking your family with you it’s not the same kind of break.
I was okay for the first week. It was kind of like a stay-cation for me and my daughter. We didn’t really do anything we wouldn’t normally do, but we could have, and that meant something. There were, however, a few downsides that I hadn’t anticipated. The biggest was meal preparation. And by meal preparation, I mean cleaning up after meals.
I don’t like to cook, but that’s one of my jobs anyway. The problem is I know how to multi-task; most women do – men don’t. (Look it up if you don’t believe me.) That means I can do other things and still get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour. If dinner were left up to Andrew, we’d eat, but not until after I’d lost my patience and maybe stomped off to bed. The reason I don’t mutiny about cooking is that Andrew typically cleans up, by which I mean he washes pots and pans, the stuff that requires a bit of muscle to get clean. This week, I’ve been cooking and cleaning up.
The other thing I’ve been soloing on is being my daughter’s chauffer. This is what Saturday looked like: I took her to the mall first thing to shop for a dress she doesn’t need until January, but just had to look at during the worst time to visit the mall, the week before Christmas. Then she needed to get to the movie theater to meet friends, the theater that’s not accessible by bus, and I had to pick her up when it was over. She couldn’t wait for someone else to drive her home because there was very little time to eat dinner before we had to leave again to get her to an indoor soccer game, a twenty-minute drive from home. After all that is it any wonder I insisted we stop for ice cream on the way home? It wasn’t for her, it was for me. I wanted recompense for all my hard work.
My husband will be reading this blog while he’s away. I am not writing it so that he’ll feel guilty. Really, truly, I am not. I’m writing it to say, next time you see a veteran from our most recent war, or any of them, stop them and tell them how happy you are to see them home safe, and how, for the sake of their spouse, it wasn’t a moment too soon.