I don’t know. Truthfully, I like my writing to have meaning and purpose, with some hidden magical life lesson ending, but right now, I have no rhyme or reason or method to this madness, much like my life, currently.
My husband is out of town for a week. When we told our oldest (9) that dad would be gone for a week, terror filled her face. I really didn’t understand why. I do a majority of the day-to-day work around the house, simply by default – not because he’s unwilling or incapable.
She proclaimed, “You can’t take care of us, by yourself, without dad, for a whole week!” Surely she sensed the nonsensical tone in my laughter as it filled the room while my eyes rolled so far back into my head I’m certain I saw the inside of my own brain. What does she know? Nothing, she’s 9.
Sometimes, and I only mean “SOMETIMES”, on the occasion, very rarely, seldom at best, do I feel a bit less pressure when dad is gone for the evening. Only having two mouths to please is always easier than three. Those two mouths are much simpler to feed than the larger one. They are satisfied with a box of gourmet Kraft mac n cheese, steamed broccoli and mandarin oranges. My husband won’t even eat frozen pizza. Where he acquired his expensive palate is beyond me; however, moot, nonetheless. We’ll go there another time.
You know, there are things as a mom, that your family just expects you to know? I understand that we have superhuman innate powers, unlike any other human being who has ever walked this great Earth. But one power that I have yet to grasp, is my psychic ability to know when our house has run out of toilet paper. Frustration transpired as I walked into the bathroom realizing it for the first time. “Just use your hand!” My 3 year old yelled to me as she exited, “I did!” Great. Noted. And gross. Never mind this morning when I grabbed a washcloth from the linen closet to wipe her so she wouldn’t go to school with wet underwear (no worries, I threw it in the hamper afterward, I think, honestly, I didn’t really pay attention to where it landed, I just threw it in the general direction). I may have also told the 9 year old she better hold her number two until she arrived to school, with a pinky promise to pick some up on the way home, she conceded. She can be so sweet and agreeable at times.
Now, my husband’s been gone before, so this wasn’t our first rodeo. But last night, it sure as hell felt like it. As of lately, the oldest sleeps just fine in her room, by herself, with the dog. That dog has been our saving grace in that regard. God love her. The 3 year old, well, she’s a whole other beast in itself. However, last night, someone would have thought these two children have never slept alone in their lives. Coupled with the amazingly-horrendous argument the oldest and I just had regarding my parenting skills, I was drained. Who knew a 9 year old would have so much wisdom on being a parent? No one, because they don’t, so don’t let them fool you.
Really trying my damndest to come to an affable resolution all while keeping my cool, I firmly explained to them that I am only one person. I can only be in one place at one time. I will sit in the hallway while you both sleep in your own beds. You both can still see me, hi (insert wave), see, I’m right here! Hello (wave again).
Already feeling like a failure as this bedtime fiasco of a procedure had already taken twice as long as it normally does, the youngest stabbed me a little deeper, then turned the knife a little harder, “We have a mommy and a daddy, but the daddy isn’t here right now and we need the daddy here right now!” For crying out loud, your father has been gone for barely 8 hours.
And, end scene.
I’ll refrain from further details of the two hour long stint it took them to finally fall asleep, but you get the gist.
After around 10:41pm, I found myself in the kitchen, hovered over the counter, overwhelmed with frustration, anger, sadness, replaying the events of the evening over and over again in my head. What could I have done differently and what will possibly come of tomorrow evening? I know for one, I will stop and buy Zarbees children’s melatonin on the way home, as well as toilet paper. I will probably also send my husband a few guilt-ridden texts that he’ll brush off his shoulder and I’ll likely regret later on.
Lately, I’ve grown a new level of respect and appreciation for marriage, working together, single parenting, and most importantly, maintaining an overall happy composure in the presence of our children. I’ve always had grave admiration for parents in general, but even more so, the ones who are doing it on their own. My mother was a single parent to me and my three siblings for much of my childhood. Even when she was married, she was still a single parent. It takes a lot to raise a family. Children rely on our happiness, they perceive our dispositions, and they truly are mirrored images of ourselves. As parents, we have to be strong – no matter what the situation, we have to be complacent, and we cannot cave to the stressors of our lives because our children are always watching, taking notes, and imitating our every move. It is truly, one of the most intimidating roles I will ever play in this theatrical reality, called life.
I’m Becca, mom of 2, wife of 1. I work full-time at the University of Notre Dame, but my best work is done at home, being a wife and mom. I have a Master’s Degree in Student Affairs Higher Education and hope to one day pursue a PhD (maybe when the kids are older). My Bachelor’s is in Media and Public Communication, Journalism, and Public Relations. I’ve always loved to write, but since it hasn’t taken me anywhere professionally, I just do it now to journal, relax, and clear my head; although, I do aspire to write my own book one day. My hobbies are limited and I get my highs from posting conversations with my children on Facebook. As a family, we love taking trips to the beaches of Lake Michigan, traveling to see family, and also unplanned, unorganized, chaotic, but yet fun weekend getaways.