Last week, my husband was out of the country, making me a single parent of three small children, one cat, two chickens and a brand new puppy for eight whole days. While I knew it would be a more-difficult-than-normal week, I wasn't quite prepared for all the little things I learned while he was away.
1. I'm kind of like a newborn baby. You know how babies don't sleep when they can sense you are out of the room? Yeah, same thing with my hubs. I wasn't scared to be alone or anything, I just could not, for the life of me, fall asleep at night. Separation anxiety at its finest.
2. My kids are more resilient than me. They love their Daddy something fierce, don't get me wrong. But they kept chugging right along like nothing was the matter. Me, on the other hand, well I cried everyday (they didn't see me!) and had a really hard time.
I only had to survive eight days on my own and it was one of the most exhausting weeks I can remember.
3 .We have a great marriage. The feminist in me wanted to punch myself for feeling so lonely all week, but the more I thought about it, I realized that it was hard because our marriage is good. We share the load when it comes to parenting and taking care of our home, so there was a noticeable difference when he was gone for the week. We spend our evenings together and are the best of friends, so there was an obvious shift when he was out of the country. And I think that's a good thing.
4. When he's away, I get really crazy ideas. The first day he was gone, I went to the hardware store and bought everything I'd need to paint our downstairs. (Total insane person.) The second day, I drove my three girls two hours away and spent the day shopping at Ikea and visiting the zoo. (Holy exhaustion.) Later in the week, I drove to the boonies to pick up our brand new, 8-week-old puppy. (Mental, I know.) Somehow, we survived all of our epic adventures!
5. Single parents win all the prizes. I know there's not a "World's Hardest Gig" award or anything like that, but seriously, I have so much respect for single moms and dads. I only had to survive eight days on my own and it was one of the most exhausting weeks I can remember.