Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I Can Never Be a Single Mom (even for a little while)

The husband of a friend of mine is doing some "time" in Afghanistan as part of his military medical stuff. Even before he left for Afghanistan, he was almost never home as he was busy being a hot-shot doctor. And now that he's gone, well, obviously he's never home. Watching this incredibly strong woman, and many others I know, leads me to believe that I just couldn't function in that role, the one of single mother.

Last month, Chuck came down with something bad. He went to work, but came home around lunch feeling ill and I immediately banished him to the downstairs. I can't risk getting sick and can't risk him infecting the little ones. Plus, he needs to rest anyway, right? But a quarantined Chuck meant that I had zero help in the afternoon. No help getting boys from naps to playing to dinner to bed and then to the babysitter's in the morning. Which sounds ridiculous when so many women I know do this all the time. Can I not do it because I've been mom-raised with a husband who is home by 3:30 p.m. or was this just innate in me? Who is to know? All I know is that I have heart palpitations just thinking of me having to do this all alone, all the time.

And even worse than a husband who only sees the kids at bedtime and on weekends, is the husband who is gone halfway around the world and doesn't see the kids (or the wife) for a year or more at a time. There are so many things that have become "Chuck's jobs" just because I expect him to do them. Things like taking out the trash, plunging the toilet, cleaning out drains, fixing electrical things, cleaning up floods, all things yard-related, all purchases electronic. What in the world would I do if Chuck weren't here?!

I should talk to my mom about this. (Not now, of course, as conversation with someone in Japan is not that easy.) She spent a couple of years as a mom of four while my dad was stationed far from us. The worst had to have been when Emily and I were 6 and 8 and the boys were 14 and 16. I mean, honestly--I have no idea how this was done.

P.S. I don't usually think of myself as a weak woman. I feel that in most things I am strong, independent, and capable. There are lots of things I can (and do) do, whether I want to or not. This single mom-hood is just not something I'd like to try. Ever.

P.P.S. It goes not unsaid that I'd miss Chuck not just because he helps me, but also because I like him.

P.P.S. How awesome that I'm posting this during Spring Break when my husband is home all the time?! Ahhh, the life of a school teacher's wife.


  1. oh my - i totally wrote this long comment and then cut it. whoops! i'm so not writing it all again. it's not a huge loss, but still. . .

    and you do have it good. you are definitely not a weak women - just a spoiled one. :) kind of. i'm pretty spoiled, too. ben hardly works more than 40-hours each week and that's a pretty sweet deal.

    where did dad go when i was 6?!

  2. This post hit home a little bit to me because I feel that I am often a single mom. Some people say, "You knew what you were getting into" and that is true to some extent but until you have a husband in med school you don't know how much he will study, etc.

    I really feel for your friend whose husband is away in Afghanistan- now THAT is hard!! I hope she has family or close friends around to help her out!!

    I bet it is great to be a teachers wife and have him around but I think another great thing you do is be so organized with his job, your jobs! I'm always impressed with how well your house seems to run and all the things the two of you are able to accomplish!