a shout out to single mothers
For those who aren’t aware, my husband’s job requires him to travel. Sometimes he’s gone a few weeks a month, other times he goes months without going anywhere. It’s not so bad when he travels, because sometimes we get to tag along. It’s a free hotel, with free breakfast and 50 dollars a day to spend on other meals. This trip, however, we didn’t get to go. He’s in Cincinnati, OH for some advanced degree training. What that translates into for me is BOOOOOORING. In fact he sent me a text that said, “This wouldn’t be so bad if I wasn’t so so so bored.”
Me, on the other hand, haven’t had time to be bored. I’m doing this solo. Usually, when Matt goes out of town, he leaves on a Monday. And if he does leave on a Sunday, it’s in the evening. Welp, not this time. He left at 8 AM Sunday… he’ll be back Friday night. Boo.
Between Bella-sitting and the kids…sheesh. Not to mention when Claire says to me, “I want Daddy to come home. When is he coming home?” or “Daddy misses me. He’s coming home tonight.” I then have to explain to her that, no, he’s not coming home tonight. But he does miss and love you.
I suppose my problem is that I’ve gotten too spoiled. When Matt’s home, he gets up with the kids in the morning. Plus he helps with the kids during the night if they are being ridiculous. Not to mention he gives them baths so I can clean the kitchen without Luca trying to climb into the dishwasher, which he does regularly.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ve got good kids. But 6 days. Alone. Without Matt. Well, it sucks. There’s no other way to put it. It just plain sucks.
Besides, I miss his company.
I was raised by a single mother. I’ve seen first hand how day in, day out it’s a 24/7 job. The only break she got was when she went to work (which is hardly a break) and when we’d stay at Grandma and Grandpa’s. We didn’t get to take many vacations. She went to college on the weekends. She spent her nights doing homework and studying.
Some of my fondest memories are laying in my top bunk with our door open, watching her sitting at the computer, typing away, with her headphones on and singing Sarah McLaughlin or Blue Rodeo.
I don’t really know if I was a good enough kid for her. I mean, I can’t imagine how difficult it had to of been for her. Even with me being on day 2, I’m ready for Matt to be home. It doesn’t help the fact that both the kids are coming off colds and it’s been raining. But still. Seriously. Being a Mom in general isn’t an easy job, so throwing in being alone to do everything…cooking, cleaning, bathing, teeth brushing, entertaining, keeping peace, reading, disciplining…how do they do it?
Really? How do they do it?
Perhaps it’s because it’s the only choice they have?
For me, my dad wasn’t around because Mom asked him not to be and he respected that. He’s not a dead-beat, he’s not a criminal, he’s not a bad man. In fact, he was a Green Beret in the Vietnam War. He was a short lived romance and that’s it. No future there, so why make it painful? I thank him for being a sperm donor and for respecting Mom’s wishes so that there was no extra weirdness growing up. Lord knows there was enough weirdness. OK, maybe not weirdness…the word just isn’t coming to me now.
I know Carly and I haven’t delved into why we’re Sisters from Different Misters, but if the title isn’t explanation enough, you can know the short version. Carly’s dad died when she was very, very little. I’ll let her go into that more if she chooses. I came in the wake of the aftermath of sadness that follows such a tragedy. Like I mentioned before, my father is probably a really great guy. But he has his own life and his own kids. I respect that. And to be completely honest, it doesn’t bother me in the least that I don’t communicate with him. I just don’t need that extra drama. I have enough fathers as it is. (The count is technically 4, but I only communicate with 2. One is a complete boil on the backside of the devil and the other has been excused.)
OK, so where was I? Single mothers. I know the best one there is. Mine! I think part of the reason Carly and I are so close is because of her. And I think the fact that I’m a good mother is because of her. She tells me often that I’m a better mother than her, but I say, bullshit. My mothering is her. All of the mothering that I do is directly from her, because everything she taught me comes out into my parenting. She’s a great grandmother to my kids. She is so patient with them and me…
Mom, I know you’re reading. Please, never doubt yourself as a mother. I find it hard to believe that we would have turned out this well if you hadn’t been a great mother. Your first born is in grad school…graduating in two weeks! Your second born is a mother of two, a nurse and wife! I honestly think that you can sit there and pat yourself on the back, because this, this life you’ve created for us…it’s amazing. Single mother and all.
So for the next 4 days I’m going to play a single mother. But I, in no means, will compare myself to the hardworking single mothers like my Mom. Because I have no place to even try.
I don’t say this often, but I think this warrants this phrase: God bless single mothers. Mine especially.