IN OTHER WORDS | The Days Feel Longer Now

Not yet a week into a two week stint with my husband gone for work. The days feel longer now. Yes, it’s getting dark at 5 p.m., yes, I haven’t been feeling well, but it’s his absence that makes it hard.

Before he left, the kids had nine days off for Thanksgiving, which is insanity. That first morning back to school was brutal. No Dad to drive so Mom did double carpool. This week we are making it on being gentle and doing the bare minimum.

After over a decade, I know at least that. When single parenting, don’t over do it, bend some rules, go to bed early, cancel anything that isn’t urgent, and practice self-care. The kids need extra. Equilibrium is upset by so many things, just the schedule change alone, then weather, then Dad being gone, the holidays coming, it’s a potpourri of potential stressors for sensitive boys like mine.

When my eldest came in from the bus today looking haggard, wouldn’t even give me a hug, just chugged a glass of milk and retreated to his room, I busted out the cookie batter. I’m no fool. It’s drizzly and gray, being twelve can suck. A cookie is a good thing.

When my youngest shoved his head into my office couch moaning, “Mom, when will you play a game with me? When, Mom? Mom? When?” I finally got him to agree to go outside to play and I was so relieved that, when I heard a giant crash on the way out I didn’t react in anger.

“Mom, I need you NOW!” I cursed out of earshot and then went to help him.

The kitchen drawer was annihilated all over the floor. Can opener here, spatula there, cats in heaven with new toys to pounce on.

“I guess the nails were weak,” he said.

Ya think? “It’s OK, bud, I’ll take care of it. Go play.”

Our kitchen drawer is now duct-taped closed; the essentials are on the counter. My husband can fix it when he gets home. Remember, I don’t do anything that isn’t urgent. I practice self-care. I’m going to have a cookie and it’s almost bedtime.

Comments

  1. It’s the whole “pick your battles” thing, isn’t it–sort of constantly triaging what actually needs to be dealt with, what can wait, and what is a fire (sometimes literally) that needs to be put out. Very smart of you to focus on self-care, too.

    Hang in there, Mama!

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  2. Oh man, 9 vacation days!

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  3. Here’s to hoping the rest of the time passes quickly for you.

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  4. and the shitstorms seem to come all at once. It sounds like you have a beauty full understanding of how to deal in your best possible way. Hugs.

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  5. Thanks for all the support.

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