Category Archives: Single Mama

Then and Now

Mike travels for work on occasion.  Sometimes he goes to New York and sometimes he goes to London.  When it’s New York, it’s usually a three or four day trip, but when it’s London, it’s usually a week.  A very long week.  This week, he’s in London.  He’s been gone since last Friday.  Sigh.

Editor’s note:  When I tell people that Mike is going to London, they almost always ask, “Are you going with him?”  Is this actually something parents with two small children, a dog, two fish and an algae eater do?   (Note to self: Feed fish.)  With a week’s notice?  Of course I want to go to London.  I also want to get in and out of Target without buying a “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” movie. 

When the boys were younger, Mike’s trips were a challenge difficult unbearable.  Once when he arrived home after a week away, I literally broke out into a fever after keeping my s–t together all week.  Then there was the week when “mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy” happened.  That was unfortunate.

Editor’s note: Single Mamas are rock stars. 

Now that the kids are older (and they’re out of diapers and they sleep past 5:00am), Mike’s trips are totally manageable.  Of course, now that I’ve said that, a piano will fall on my head.  All kidding aside, between school, activities, and homework, we have a predictable structure and a steady rhythm, and the week has gone by fairly quickly.  In addition, the house is a lot less messy and there are fewer pairs of socks scattered on the floor.

Editor’s note: I always thought the kids made motherhood so damn messy.  Apparently, the husbands are in on it, too.

Best of all?  Shopaholic binges while spouses are away are guilt-free because any Mama who singlehandedly puts two crazy monkeys to bed for seven nights in a row deserves a new pair of shoes.

Still, there’s a downside.  The weekends are lonely, my bed is almost always full of uninvited men, I have to take the trash out (oops, I forgot), and the boys miss their Daddy something awful.  For a long time, Mike could’ve been in Barcelona or the bathroom.    (Actually, there was a trip to Barcelona once.  And, no, I didn’t go with him.)  At such a young age, the boys did the “out of sight out mind” bit that babies and toddlers do so well.  Whoever provided food, milk, and a warm bath was all that mattered.  (Similarly, I did the “out of sight out of my mind” bit that Mamas do when they feed, rock, and change poopy diapers all through the night only to be woken up before dawn and forced to finger paint.)  If the boys acted out (and they did), they had no idea that it was because they missed Daddy.  They just sensed something was different.

Now, Dylan and Riley know exactly where Daddy is.  Literally!  Mike programmed his hotel into Google Earth, so the boys can explore the streets of London on the computer.  They also know precisely how long he’ll be gone…sort of.  Riley doesn’t quite grasp the concept of time yet (although I have to give the kid some credit for identifying George Washington on a one dollar bill this morning), but Dylan is all over the calendar.  All week he’s been saying, “After today, four more days,” then, “After today, three more days,” and so on.

Thankfully, after today, Mike will be on his way home at last.  (Grateful Mama!)  With all of the changes between then and now, though, one thing remains the same:  On Saturday morning, when Mike is jet lagged and the kids are whiny and they need to eat breakfast and get dressed and packed up for soccer, I’ll be on my way to a well-deserved pedi cure.

Do you or your spouse travel for work?  How do you and/or your kids handle it?   

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Filed under business travel, Grateful Mama, shopaholism, Single Mama

Shout Out

Just when I thought I’d recovered from spring break, Mike left for a weeklong business trip to London.  I’ve been on my own with the boys since last Saturday.  A year ago, these trips terrified me.  Riley was still a baby and Dylan was too young to understand Mike’s sudden absence.  It was just so hard.  It still is, but a year later, the boys are older and more understanding, and I guess I am, too.  I hate to be a Complaining Mama, especially when there are so many other things in the world to worry about, so I’m dedicating this post to everyone and everything I’m grateful for this week.

First and foremost, I’d like to give a shout out to all the Single Mamas in the world.  It is so hard to be the one – the only one – to get up with the boys in the morning, get them through the whole day and evening and then be the one – the only one – to put them to bed.  On some nights, by the time we get to the teeth-brushing portion of bedtime, I want to strangle them with the floss.  When Mike is out of town, I’m reminded of how fortunate I am when he is home to be able to walk away from the madness when I need to.  
Next, my inner circle.  My in-laws and sister-in-law, who live nearby, go into “stand-by” mode when Mike goes out of town and I love them for it.  They’ve come over almost every day this week to distract the kids and me for a few hours.  My parents, who live in Massachusetts, call almost every day, and my friend and fellow Mama, Karen, calls me at least half a dozen times a day to make sure I’m still standing.  As isolated as I sometimes feel, I’m definitely not alone.
Sudafed.  Riley caught a cold last weekend and has systematically passed it on to everyone in the house.  Even Mike has been complaining of a sore throat in London.  The only thing harder than being a Single Mama is being a Sick Single Mama.  Sudafed has been a good friend this week.
Retail therapy.  I know what you’re thinking.  Shopaholic Mama is at it again with the emotional shopping.  Well, I needed it.  I found a sun dress at Macy’s on the clearance rack for $29.99 (original price was over $100!).  I bought it and I’m not returning it.  It was worth every penny and every ounce of guilt!
Dylan and Riley.  Despite the sporadic bouts of wrestling, hitting, screaming, and whining, the boys have been really good this week.  When Riley cries out for Daddy, Dylan tells him, “It’s okay, Riley.  Daddy will be home in a few days.  He loves you and misses you.”  And Riley.  He gives really good hugs and he’s slept until at least 6:30 every morning this week.  My boys are taking care of me as much as I’m taking care of them.
Finally, I need to give a shout out to Mike.  My globetrotting husband is working his butt off for us.  I may be a Single, Sick, Shopaholic Mama this week, but I’m a Grateful one, too.

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Filed under business travel, Grateful Mama, Shopaholic Mama, Sick Mama, Single Mama