Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Going it Solo: When the Husband Travels

In my opinion, there are few experiences harder for the mother of young children than when her husband leaves town.

I start dreading my husband's impending business trips as soon he [reluctantly] announces them.  I calmly pencil in the dates on my calendar and try to be very matter-of-fact about all of it.  After all, it's usually just a few of days.  In the big scheme of life, that's a mere blip.  And yet those couple of days seem to stretch out endlessly.  They last much longer than the typical workweek (don't even get me started on weekend trips).

Maybe it's because when your partner is absent, your "workday" goes from a typical (often grueling) 12 hour day-- 6 a.m. (when babies wake up) - 6 p.m. (when spouse gets home), to a non-stop 24 hour day.  You no longer get that comforting sense of relief at 6 p.m., the feeling of sharing the responsibilities (yes, yes, and the joys), when Daddy comes home from work.  Dinner, bathtime, bedtime, overnight duty, breakfast, etc: It all falls on you.

Does anyone else barely sleep when their spouse is out of town?  I check the baby monitors way too often throughout the night, and whether it's my imagination or not, my children always seem to sleep horribly when he is gone.

Perhaps going it solo isn't as hard for parents who are lucky enough to live near their own family.  Then you should at least be able to count on your sister to bring over a pizza and keep you company for the insanity that is trying to get a toddler and a baby down to bed at a decent hour.  Or for your mom to come over for an hour so you can run to Target without strapping two children in a germ-covered shopping cart.  But alas, like many of you, this Frantic Mama lives far from her family.  So getting a sitter for a couple of hours helps.  A visit from a friend is also much appreciated.  So is coffee.

Hats off to the single parents of the world.  Clearly, their everyday jobs are far more challenging than mine.  And I am sure there are fathers out there whose wives travel while they stay at home.  I'm sure that's tough too.  I can only speak for my experience, and I've gotta say, "going it solo" is one of the more trying aspects of my life.

So, I'm off for now-- frantic-er (and tired-er) than usual.

~Frantic Mama

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