Monday, June 3, 2013

Going It Alone...for a week

My hubby just returned from 8 days away. It was a well deserved vacation and while I don't begrudge him one last second he was away...boy was I happy to have him back.


Because - surprise, surprise - being a single parent is hard.  I have a serious new found respect - actually let's be honest - I am in complete awe of parents who do this solo ALL the time.

I found myself constantly trying to figure out how and when I was going to get everything done.

In anticipation of him going away I had planned several activities to keep the girls and I busy. One the first night I met one of my friends and her two kids at McDonald's for dinner.  After dinner we hit up one of the local elementary schools that was having their annual carnival and a great time was had by all...

awww...aren't they cute when they get along?
everyone needed to hand in their own ticket...very important.

I mean how can you not have fun when you get cotton candy that is bigger than your head!




But all too soon it was time to go home and I was left with two cranky, tired kids in full-on sugar rush mode. I couldn't wait to get them home, throw them in a quick bath to get the sticky cotton candy off them and put them to bed.

Halfway home I realized I needed to go grocery shopping. I usually do the shopping after the go to bed when I can take my time...but I was on my own.  There was no choice but to drag the kids into Safeway with me.

They were not impressed...

By the time we were finally home there was no time for a bath just a quick wipe down. And of course after they were in bed I had to deal with making lunches (ugh!) and getting all their stuff ready for the morning before I could finally sit down for the first time.

A fun evening tarnished by household reponsibilities...

By the time the weekend came around I was hoping for some down time but oh no. We had gymnastics lessons, swimming lessons and three yes THREE birthday party invitations. I tried to do it all - really I did - but in the end I had to tell my oldes that she was going to have pass on one party.  There was just no way I could make it happen.

She was disappointed but settled for a little one-on-one time with me and a bribe of a Starbucks hot chocolate while littlest was at her party.

And I'm glad because this short time I got to spend sitting across from my girl and just catching up was some of the best time I spent all week.


She really opens up without her little sister around because she knows she won't get interrupted. We chatted about all manner of subjects and I soaked up every second.

By the time we were done swimming lessons on Sunday night we were all just done.  No one even had the energy to go out for dinner. Instead we went straight home to our jammies, bowls of soup and a movie.

I know they are exhausted when they both go to bed at 8 with no arguments...and I don't hear another peep out of them. I was exhausted too...unfortuatnely the worst part about life without hubby is that I simply can't sleep.

I'm tired...physically and mentally...but when I try to go to sleep it just won't come. I can't tell you why.  I have the bed all to myself...I can sleep diagonally if I want...but it just wasn't working for me.

For most of the time I spent solo I was running on 4-5 hours of sleep per night.  And that made everything a little harder...and my fuse much much shorter.

By the time Tuesday rolled around I was in desperate need of a break. Thankfully my mum stepped in and agreed to pick up the kids from daycare and watch them for the evening.

I went to the movies because what I needed more than anything else was a stretch of time where no one was talking to me, making requests of me or asking me any questions.

Dear god...what is with all the questions? That might be the most exhausting part of life as a single parent - no one to share the question load with.



Those few hours spent not talking completely re-energized me. I knew I could make it through until hubby came back to us. Which he did just in time...because this pretty much summed up night 8:

He returned late Thursday night after the kids were in bed.  The next morning littlest crawled into bed with me - as had become her habit - and was delighted when hubby reached over me to squeeze her had.  She scrambled over me and into his arms in a hurry.

Their hug was followed by "Daddy you face is too spiky! It feels like a swordfish!" That's what you get when you don't shave for a week.  Oldest was only slightly less excited - claiming "I knew you were back" when she saw him for the first time.

The best part about that morning...he took them to school.  For the first time in 8 days there was someone to share the responsibilities with. And he picked them up too...

So to all the single parents out there I bow down to you for I now know (just a little bit) about how  hard it is. But I have to say that there was one little unexpected perk for me...I didn't have to share any of the hugs, kisses or cuddles that are usually split between hubby and I.

I got to keep every little bit of love all to myself...and that made every tired, grumpy, feeling sorry for myself moment totally worth it.




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