- Single moms/dads/caretakers
- SAHMs/SAHDs with partners who work 24/7
- Moms or Dads whose partners travel for work all the time
- Military moms/military dads
- Anyone else who spends days and nights on their own caring for kids
- Parents and families who live long distances from other immediate family members and support systems
I put this picture up on my Instagram stories last night as a half-joke because my husband’s been on a (one night, one point five day) golf trip this weekend. And I captioned it “Dad’s away for a golf weekend we’re fine I swear.”
In reality, he will have been gone for a total of about 28 hours. Kind of pathetic for me to complain. But whenever he goes away it feels like an eternity. So behind this half-joke picture is a mom whose anxiety is through-the-roof high.
…whose spending the entire time watching the clock and coaching the seconds to tick by just a little faster…
…whose setting the tiniest goals for her own sanity (just make it to nap time, just make it to bedtime)…
…whose engaging in the great mental debate of whether or not to spend the 45 minutes getting the kids ready to leave the house and get out for a bit vs. staying home to avoid all aspects of the real world so no one has to see my single-parenting…
…whose sleeping with all lights inside and outside the house on and the TV on, and actually not really sleeping at all because of the fear of being alone in the house overnight with the kids…
…whose chewing off all of her cuticles and putting bandaids on bloody fingers because it’s the epitome of the manifestation of her anxiety…
Literally my world stops and time stands still because of how much anxiety I have doing this on my own. I am SO grateful that most of the time I get to do this life with my best friend, the greatest dad, and the handiest helper. So I suppose it’s SUPER selfish of me to throw a tantrum when he asks to get away for a little bit, or when he works late nights and has meetings leaving me to handle dinner and bedtime on my own.
I’m not quite sure my whole point in all of this but I think there are a few. First, behind every happy photo or what looks like a put-together mom could be something entirely different. I try not to judge or compare; I know we are all doing our best. And second, I think it’s important to normalize NOT being ok all the time, admitting when you need help (usually I’m the first to call in grandparent reinforcements, it just so happened that this weekend all grandparents were busy!), or letting go of things that aren’t going your way.
And, lastly, I try my best to put mind over matter and keep the most positive outlook, to enjoy the QT with my QTs, to not be afraid of leaving the house because I know it’s better to be out and about playing and interacting with others rather than hiding in my own safe-haven of a home going stir crazy and allowing myself to dwell in my anxiety. Sometimes it goes well and sometimes it goes poorly. But the thing is, it ALWAYS goes. I try and find peace in that.
Bottom line, SO. MUCH. RESPECT. for the people who do this all the dang time. And if that’s you, I hear you and I see you and I feel you. You are a freaking superhero!