Last week was a difficult week for many reasons, namely the fact that I found myself in a solitary position for many an important occasion and feeling a little like a single parent. Not for one minute would I like to even attempt to claim that I know how it feels to be a single parent because I don’t and I know that I am very lucky to have an occasionally absent husband. It’s just that when he is absent, I feel it like a truck has hit the house, scattered clean and dirty washing all the over the spare room, emptied the toys over the living room floor and turned my kids into non-eating, non-sleeping machines of terror.
Last week I tackled a nativity performance, a hospital appointment, a late train, two works dos and one football training session. It’s a lot in one week, I think. My the time the baby was throwing up on Thursday night I found myself asking P whose turn it was to take time off work to care for him. It was his!
Venturing out to work on limited sleep is never easy but when you have left the shackles of domesticity behind- and a puking baby- it is certainly a little easier to bear. I felt I deserved to go out to work and leave a little of my responsibilities with P- after all, he had been absent for so much this week. It got me thinking though, have I any right to feel so angry when my husband is not home to share in the care of our children? Perhaps I did, but what about the millions of single mummies who do exactly the same, EVERY day without the option of going to work when the baby is sick, knowing they are in good hands with Daddy?
Wow. Being a single mummy is not easy. My own sister did it for nearly ten years, on the other side of the world and with only limited support from back home- we did what we could but Sydney is a long way away. at the end of it all I have nothing but respect for the mums- and dads- who go it alone for their kids. My own mum was on her own with three of us for a period, my step-dad on his own with one.
I hope it never happens to me; I’ve come to realise just how much I rely on P. Although, I do hope that he has finished gallivanting about for one year. Its nice when his dinner doesn’t get burnt.