9 Days



Dan is out of town for 9 days. 
Nine days.
 He has never been gone for that long before. 
My friends that are military wives look at me like a parent looks at a child who has been whining for far too long when I reveal this.  I expect sympathy and they think “oh only for 9 days?”
They know what it is like to be a single parent for months at a time.
But for me this is huge. 
It used to be when Dan when out of town for three days at a time that I would stock up on all the groceries and supplies we would need while he was gone so we wouldn’t have to make any trips to the store. 
Like you might stock up before a long winter storm. 
Taking both kids to the store was a hazardous experience. 
Tantrums,
whining,
begging,
mom losing her patience. 
But the kids are older and I can even leave them alone for a short while to run and stock up.  So I approached this time differently. 
I am taking each day at a time.
And we have had our share of unexpected excitement in the home. 
Our own sort of adventure.
A hamster on the loose …
Ainsley our dog sniffs him out…
a safe return to the cage …  
Ainsely finds open container of fish food …
Ainsley eats fish food (yuk) …
Ainsely finds box of chocolates and eats them …  
Malcolm our other dog throws up (at three in the morning!) …  
Malcolm dog throws up again (when I am at work) …
I have a flat tire … 
(Clearly Ainsley is having the time of her life and Malcolm is simply sick.)
We are half way throw the week of Dan being gone.
What I have found is that for so many of the things I expect Dan to clean up or rescue me from that I can actually handle it. 
I suppose I knew that, I really do not like being a woman who needs her husband to do certain things for her.
But I have found that Dan and I have gotten into a rhythm.
I wash the laundry and fold it and he puts it away.
He helps the kids with homework after school and I read with the kids before bed.
I cook dinner and he cleans the dishes and kitchen afterwards.
I pick up around the house and he takes out the trash and recycling.
He takes the car to the shop and I stay at home.
He finds the babysitter and I pick the place we are going out to (or vice versa).
Being a single parent is hard!
I realize that the workload and expectations are different when you are doing it all by yourself, but it is still hard.
I have grown in my appreciation for all of those single moms and dads out there over these past few days.
It is a lot to juggle work, the kids, pets and a household.
I was embarrassed to have to call a fellow mom last night to inquire about the dress code for Harry’s school performance and the time he needed to be there.
I want to have it all together. 
But I lost the paper and I felt like a delinquent parent.
Harry often cannot remember directions and plans due to his ADHD, so I feel like I have to be on high alert, remembering for him.
So I called another mom with a second grader, and she was so gracious when I said, “I feel like a horrible mom not knowing.” She said “you’re busy, we’re all busy don’t worry about not knowing.”
They say absence makes the heart grow founder.  It is true but it is also true that absence makes for one tired mama. 

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