Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Made It

Husband D was in Asia for 2 weeks. 2 long weeks. 2 very long weeks. 2 weeks in which Wisconsin had lots and lots of snow. But he returned a few days ago, and we all appear to be in one piece.

I'm trying not to whine, because in this economy we are so very grateful to both be employed in fun, flexible, interesting jobs that manage to pay for all of our expenses.

But just between you and me: 2 weeks of single parenting? So not my cup-of-tea.

In some ways, I'm glad it is so hard. At his last job, I would talk to other wives and complain about our husbands' trips overseas. Many, many times, I received the reply, "Actually, it's easier when he's gone. One less person to clean up after."

I don't have that experience. NOTHING is easier when he is gone. Me thinks that having a tremendously wonderful husband who helps with cleaning, child-rearing and other household duties ...and who also travels a bit...is loads better than having a husband who doesn't do any of those things.

The scary part, for me, is how much the kids step up when he is gone. They become little adults. My daughter manages things that no 9 year old should be responsible for. Seriously, one of these trips, she is going to turn to me and say, "mom, don't worry - I just logged onto the on-line bank account and paid the mortgage for you."

Once he's back, they revert right back to their childlike ways. But I can clearly see how so many children of single mothers become such over-achievers. Exhibit A: Lance Armstrong, Michael Phelps, Barack Obama. It's a very strange thing to watch as your children start to parent you. And it really does happen in a short 2-week period.

I'm sure that in some way the experience of desperately missing your husband with every cell in your brain and body is a good thing...especially after 14+ years of marriage. It's so easy to start taking each other for granted in the regular old day-to-day life we lead. A short absence makes you painfully aware of all the wonderful reasons you married the amazing guy in the first place.

At least that is what I'm telling myself....because he is headed back to Asia next month.

And I just looked at the calendar - funny, it appears that Christmas is next week. So funny. Next week. Really? If I write in my Christmas cards that I was a single mother for half of December...will people understand why they are getting them in February????


Diva Mom Vicki said...

See, this is the beauty of ecards. I know Miss Manners is turning in her grave, but we started sending them last year out of financial necessity and holy cow, not only did my bank account appreciate it, but my stress level decreased significantly! (And for you 'green' people, less trees died thanks to Hallmark Smilebox!)

Glad you made it through another trip to Asia! Single parenting is tough!

Bridgett said...

I'm with ya. husband's a consultant and just found out that all next semester, it's like 4 days gone, 3 days home. And "gone" is Nebraska. Not in the zone of "please come home early" like his trips to central Illinois are (not that I've ever said that, but it's nice to think I could).

This week, I'm 8 months pregnant, it is icy snowy for St. Louis, and he's teaching a class (leave by 7:00, home after girls are in bed, study for tomorrow, sleep). It's better in that he filled the van with gas for me last night; otherwise he might as well be gone.

My girls do not spring into action. They whine.