Single Parenting

Four hours ago, Honey left for his first business trip since Poppy’s arrival. All weekend, he worked on laundry so that I would have very little to do while he’s away and, last night, he picked up groceries that would be easy for me to make for the kids — and a few “comfort foods” (i.e. ice cream) to ease my pain. This morning, he woke early to get me coffee and breakfast, showered, changed and dressed Skittle, helped get breakfast for both girls, and accompanied me as I dropped Cupcake off at preschool. Then he kissed Skittle, and Poppy, even the dog, before he came to stand before me. There were tears in my eyes as I said good-bye. We hugged. We kissed, and kissed again. And with his duffel bag in hand and a small smile on his lips, he waved and went on his way.

I watched him through the window, trying to catch one final glimpse of him through the low-hanging tree branches, memorizing the flip of his hair on his forehead, how he opened his door and slid into the driver’s seat in one smooth motion. I saw him look back at the house, but he must not have seen me standing there beyond the blinds because he drove off without acknowledging me in any way. The way I stood there, watching his car drive out of sight, you would have thought he was going off to war, with the threat of being gone for a long, long time or never returning at all.

I’ve known this day was coming for a few weeks and I have been counting down the days, then the hours and minutes, until the very moment when we said good-bye. Counting down as though I’m counting down to my very own death. Which is silly, I know. I feel stupid for feeling such dread over something that women (and men) have to do every day. But, still. These feelings are real.

And here’s the truth — these days will be hard. Honey is not at war. And he will be home by the end of the week. And as far as I know, my death is still a long time away. But these days will be hard.

Partly because I have three kids under the age of six who still require a lot of me. I am TIRED and need HELP by the end of a normal day, when my husband is home by 5pm. Right now, Poppy has the hiccups (which he hates) and is fussing in a bouncer that he has been in for less than five minutes after being held for an hour and I just want to cry because the thought of having to hold him nonstop until 10pm tonight when he goes to bed feels overwhelming.

And partly because Honey is my best friend and I miss him dearly when he is gone. He brings so much laughter and silliness into our home, so much strength and confidence and fun that we are missing when he isn’t here. I want another adult, my very favorite adult, to talk to over dinner, to watch Netflix with tonight. Don’t get me wrong — I’m an introvert. I grew up as an only child. I know how to value my time alone.  But I also crave  companionship. Especially his.

And also? This is partly so hard because my imagination run wilds and I start to worry about what-if scenarios. What if his plane crashes? What if someone opens fire at the conference he’s attending? What if, while we’re home alone at night, there’s a house fire or an intruder? Cupcake was crying this morning because she didn’t want her daddy to go and I started thinking, what if I have to tell her that he’s dead? What if we never see him again? It’s not an ideal place to be in as I embark on my sojourn into single parenting.

I know I can do this. I’ve done it before  (albeit, with one less kid). It’s not fun. The days are long and lonely and the nights are creepy. But I know I can do it. There are many single parents around the world who have to do this day in and day out. It’s not always easy, but it’s possible.

So I will do it.

I will make it through.

But thank God for the pint of Haagen Dazs waiting for me in the freezer.



7 thoughts on “Single Parenting

  1. Aww I know it’s hard and the anxiety can be overwhelming, but he WILL be home soon! Distance makes the heart grow fonder and your reunion with him at the end of the week will be so sweet and heartfelt! 🙂 One day at a time, Mama.

  2. One day at a time. You can do this. Actually, the way that I look at it when my husband travels is you HAVE to do this. So if as much housework doesn’t get done or you have to go out/order in for dinner then do it. Whatever works for your sanity.

  3. All. The. Feels. I can so relate! I’ve had similar experiences. Through my emotions I try to tell myself to stop being so dramatic but I know it’s just not that simple. And my husband will say “imagine if you WERE a single parent and doing all this!” And I always retort by reminding him that if I truly were ever a single parent on a permanent basis, standards would be a lot lower….lol!
    Hope the next few days fly by and aren’t too bad!

    • Your comment about lower standards made me laugh. I think I would make an awful single parent! My house would be dirty, my kids would eat crap, I’d be cranky all the time, and I would weigh 300lbs because I’d be self-medicating with a pint of ice cream Seriously! But maybe that’s just what happens when you’re a single parent? You let the little stuff go and just do what you must to survive.

  4. I’m not sure how single mommies do it. Last summer my hubby was 400 miles away all week long and I would crave his arrival on Friday nights and have tears when he left on Sunday afternoons. I just had one and one-in-the-belly at the time, so kudos to you to manage with three littles! Hope your week went quickly!! 💙

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