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Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Week as a Single Mom

Now before I begin this post I want to say that I acknowledge that this is not really what its like to be a single mom.  I'm fortunate enough to only be on my own for a full week, rather than a long term situation.  Also, there isn't the added financial stress, but this past week has been difficult enough and I can't imagine how incredibly hard it is to actually be a single mom. 

Last Saturday morning it was still dark out.  The alarm went off in a way that seemed more forlorn than normal.  Shawn quietly rolled out of bed, but I was wide awake.  He was leaving; headed to Maryland for an entire week at the National Fire Academy.  Everything he needed was packed so his departure was quick.  Emily slept right through it, but I got up, kissed him goodbye, and watched out the window like a little child until I couldn't see his truck anymore.  Then I headed back to bed, or tried to anyway.  

Before long Emily was up and raring to go in full toddler glory and I had plenty to do to keep my mind off of my traveling husband.  Shawn arrived at his destination uneventful and by the first night nothing felt out of place.  At that point it felt no different than Shawn being gone at the fire station for a shift or two.  Even the following day seemed normal, but by Monday the single-ness was becoming noticeable. 

Now, six days into this week as a single mom, I am exhausted.  I feel secluded, tired, and even bored.  My daily cycle is one that consists of waking, work, taking care of the dogs and Emily, and sleep.  Fortunately I haven't needed to go to the store, because I haven't had time during the work week to fit that in.  I also haven't had the energy to do much more than sit on the couch once Emily goes to bed.  Heck, my own bed time has creeped up a good hour or two.  What else is there to do sitting at home by myself?  Sure, there is the TV, and sure I have a book I've been reading, but I am still bored.  

God, I am bored.   

Frankly I am just too exhausted to fight the boredom.  What does one do after you've exhausted yourself playing with a one year old, washing dishes, cooking, doing laundry, and picking up toys?  I honestly don't know how women do it alone and not go insane, let alone have time to have an adult life.  Jokingly I told Shawn that if I ever was single I'd never have time or energy to find another significant other. 

Fortunately Shawn arrives back home very late Friday evening.  In his absence I learned a heck of a lot... Firstly, its not easy to do everything on your own.  Even the little things, like washing the dishes, become a monumental task when watching a baby simultaneously.  Somehow I can maintain a clean home, but it comes at the cost of most of energy.  I still have yet to figure out how to run errands when I work all day and must come home to fix dinner for Emily and feed our puppies.  By the time she's done dinner there's not enough time to run to the store and back before its her bedtime.  I've not even made it to the bank in a week and made it to the post office only once since Shawn left.  

The whole household would fall apart if this arrangement were my everyday life.  

Thank god its not.  And I commend and fully appreciate the work and effort that anyone who lives that lifestyle must put in. 


Kristin said...

I feel like this when my husband goes on training exercises. I actually find the long deployments easier because the kids and I get into a routine, and I get used to doing it all on my own. But during only a week away, I go crazy because I'm used to having him there to help, and I know he'll be home in a few days. Sure, I'm all supermom when he's deployed, giving birth on my own and still chasing my older son. But a weeklong training exercise? I'm a wimp!

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