Single Married Mother

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Single Married Mother

Raising a child is hard enough when you have a two parent household.  Add to the mix a traveling husband or a partner that works insane hours, and you are pretty much a single married mother.

Perhaps you have a husband that is just lazy who adds no parental assistance, and who might as well be out of town.  You are all part of this club because you are all doing it alone!  I am often asked by friends and strangers how I do it alone and remain sane?  To give you a quick background, we moved to Florida from New York 7 years ago for a job opportunity that required my husband to travel during the week, often Monday through Friday.  It was definitely tough at first but now I almost feel like I couldn’t live any other way.  I know it sounds weird to say that but if you share a similar family situation, you know what I am talking about.  For those who have their men around at night for dinner or at least bedtime, keep reading and you may actually be asking your husband to hit the road too. Welcome to this honest look at my motherhood:

There are both positive and negative aspects to being a single married mother and I have learned to love the positives.  Feeling frustrated is a part of motherhood, regardless of your marital status.   It’s okay to be aggravated and it’s okay to have a bad day or even a bad week.  Having a spouse that travels all the time or works late every night definitely adds to this stress since there is no break for you.  The kids are with you all day, barely leaving you enough time to take care of your simple needs, like going to the bathroom.  The sky gets dark and then comes dinner, followed by cleaning up dinner, which in my house usually involves 1000 grains of rice stuck to the floor, then bath time, bed time, then chores around the house.  Finally, around 10PM, you get to relax, maybe take a bath and read a book.  That is a long day!  Our job is 24/7/365.  You have the flu; you have to tough it out.  You fell down the steps because your housekeeper waxed the floors too well (I am convinced to this day it was done on purpose by the way) and can’t walk; you have to tough it out.  Your cramps are so evil one month and you are so bloated only to discover that your husband used the last Advil for his hangover and put the bottle back empty; you have to tough it out.  It’s one thing to get irritated and have your husband there to talk to or take it out on, but when you are alone, it’s just you, and that can lead you to too many chocolate donuts and too many Xanax pills.

So after a while, you become an expert at raising your kids and running your household while hubby is out of town all week.  He finally enters the house and you are really excited to see him. Suddenly though you notice the suitcase in the middle of the hallway that will probably sit there until his next trip, the mountain of receipts poured on the kitchen table, along with his blackberry, cell phone, chargers and wallet.  Your clean, organized, quiet house is no longer.  All that aside, it’s nice to have your husband back, not only keep you company at night but to help you with the kids.  As the night progresses however, you notice that dinnertime and bedtime take longer than normal, the kids are running around yelling, the kitchen is a mess and Daddy just promised to play Wii after bath time, even though you have banned Wii for the day due to bad behavior.  All of the sudden, you don’t feel as relieved as you thought you would.  Your world, your zone if you will, has just been taken away.   Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband and am super excited to see him for numerous reasons, but the reality is that there is an adjustment period that needs to occur.  The key is respect and it’s easy to forget that in a marriage, which we all know.  Both parties need to respect the other’s situation during the week.  Your husband or partner needs to realize that you have been alone, handling all aspects of parenthood and household duties from the time you have woken up (or more likely been woken up), to the time you hit the pillow, barely having enough time to brush your hair or eat a decent meal.  He also needs to respect that you have a whole system running in the house and it works.  You need to respect that he has been alone all week in a hotel, far away from his family, expecting to relax and enjoy the weekend.  You’re both exhausted and soon realize that it almost becomes a competition.  Let me just say that there is nothing worse than telling your husband you are so tired from the day you had only to hear, “yah, me too…I had a ton of appointments today and then had to take 5 guys out to this steakhouse and they kept ordering bottle after bottle…I could collapse right now”.  At that point, I usually just hang up the phone.

When I tell people my husband travels, they usually tend to feel bad for me.  Not only do I tell them I am used to it by now but I discuss how I actually prefer it.  I usually get, “REALLY?” Well, for starters, I am very independent and like my space.  I have plenty of play dates and socialization throughout the week so I am not dying for adult conversation at the end of the day.  Of course my husband is my best friend and I miss him but we almost have different lives during the week and it works for us.  To some, it’s weird but to us, it’s our normal.  There is something so relaxing to me about being in the house by myself, while the kiddies are fast asleep, safe in their beds.  My husband isn’t pacing around the house on his cell phone, the downstairs television isn’t blaring, and everything is just the way I like it…perfect for a control freak like me.  It’s just Mama in the house and I can do whatever I want, watch as many episodes of The Real Housewives as I want, go to bed whenever I want, make whatever I want for dinner…you get the point.

Being a single married mother isn’t as awful as it sounds so please don’t feel bad for me, because I certainly don’t.

I have an amazing husband who is supportive of everything I do, who works hard to support our family and whose business allows me the opportunity to stay home with my kids, while building mine.  When he is home, he is very helpful, hands on and loving.  I feel very blessed, very lucky, and wouldn’t change anything about my life!  For all you moms out there who are reading this, kudos to you!  No matter what your family dynamic is, motherhood isn’t supposed to be easy and you are kicking butt and taking names.

Comments

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  1. 3

    Susann says

    This is my life as well, except I’ve always called myself a part-time single mom. I especially liked the recognition of needing an adjustment period after hubby returns; it can be difficult to include him once again into the daily grind of *my* routine without making him fell like a visitor in his own home.

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  2. 5

    I'm So Fancy says

    Ha you stole my line! I’m a single married parent. And you are right. I’m constantly reminding H, “look buddy, you can’t refuse to participate in the running of our home and then nit pick. No cake and eat it too.”

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  3. 7

    elizabeth says

    wow, I could have written this! Only I work FT as well, so that just adds to my insanity.

    But he knows not to even start about how hard it was to decided where to go to dinner!!!

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  4. 9

    OHN says

    Yep. Same here too, and I also love it. When his “office” calls and says that they have intel that a suspect they have been looking for, is back in the area, I know he is on cloud 9 as he twirls out the door. I am too, as it means I get the bed to myself, I can eat a Hershey bar for dinner, flip on my Kindle and snuggle up with the animals. When the kids were little, we had our little routine and hubby would reappear and throw off the mojo. We DO love him, it’s just an adjustment from our “normal” When he takes several days off to regroup at home, it’s great at first, then after a few days I am hoping that call comes and there is yet another dirtbag whose free days are numbered. Actually I should write thank you letters to jail.

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  5. 11

    Vinobaby says

    Motherhood is rough no matter what your status may be–congrats on getting into a routine which works for you. And it’s funny, no matter how much our Hubbies may/may not be around we always wish it was a little different. Mine usually works from home and I am actually jonsing for some space apart. I love it when he goes out of town once every zillion months or so–ice cream in bed, girlie tv–heaven. Keep kicking butt & taking names…

    Cheers.
    vb

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  6. 13

    Skinny Mom's Kitchen says

    I have a hubs that is mostly home at night and is very hands on however when he does have to travel for work I do feel this slight sense of excitement that I will have complete alone time once the kids go to bed. So I do understand the need for that peacefulness once 10pm rolls around :)

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  7. 15

    Lee says

    It’s great to know that many of us have a similar fate. My partner works away from home for 4-6 weeks at a time and now that we have two kids has really taken some adjusting. I too run a very tight ship when he is away and it seems to all go to crap when he is home. I am going to try to embrace the positives!

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    • 16

      Mommy Masters says

      4-6 weeks must be difficult but as you mentioned, you obviously have a great routine going, which is so important to keeping sane. Yes, it all goes out the door when hubby comes in the door! lol Thanks for reading!

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  8. 17

    Sarah says

    I must admit, I’m freaked each time my husband is away on business. He generally works late every night, always past 7pm often past 8 and sometimes after 9.
    He only goes away occasionally at the moment, but today he’s started in a new position, which could mean he’s abroad a lot more.

    I think you hit the nail on the head for me, I’m not very independent. I think that’s because, although I’ve been living in a ‘foreign’ country for a almost seven years, my language skills are still not good enough to mean I feel in control of every situation.

    But I have found myself saying, “You’re home early!” at 7:30pm so I suppose I will get used to it!!

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    • 18

      Mommy Masters says

      At first, I felt weird when my husband traveled, i.e uncomfortable if you will. Once you get into a routine and figure out what works best for you, it will be hard to adjust to them actually being home. In terms of your language skills, your writing is wonderful and I’m sure in time, you will become more confident. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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  9. 19

    Jaci @ Ravings of a Mad Housewife says

    I wonder if having my husband gone all week would be easier for me than having him come home later…and later…and LATER each night. If I know he’s out of the picture and it’s all on me–gear up and get it done–my nights actually go better! But if I’m expecting him to come home at 6:30 and “help”, then I find that I’m angry and overwhelmed and ready to fall apart when he walks in the door at 7:30.

    I suppose there’s a lesson *I* need to learn in that–maybe always have the attitude of suck it up and get it done? Always pretend that it’s all on me? Because let’s face it–IT IS–and something about my hellish evenings needs to change.

    Hmm. You’ve given me something to think about here!

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    • 20

      Mommy Masters says

      Hi Jaci. It’s definitely easier when you know you are alone and have no other choice to do everything than hope you get the assistance, like you said. Sorry about your bad evenings-I say get into a routine that works for you and if your husband comes home to help, great, but if not, it wouldn’t change how things are done. You will find that eventually, it gets harder when they cramp your style. lol. Thanks so much for reading! Keep me posted on how it goes!

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