My Life as a Single Mom
August 8, 2007
My husband is a custodian at our local high school. When school is not in session he works the day shift, but during the school year he works afternoons. When he is on afternoons, I take the boys to the babysitter in the mornings while he sleeps, and he is gone to work when we get home. So all of the child-rearing, and most of the housework duties fall on my sholders. We don’t even see him until Saturday. Therefore, for most of the year, I consider myself a single mom.
There are good and bad qualities to this situation. On the plus side, when he is on afternoons I can schedule the kids appointments during the day and he can take them. I don’t have to cook every night of the week when he isn’t there, my boys actually prefer PB &J to a homecooked meal. And, the best part of all, full control of the remote, and unlimited viewing of the sitcoms that he loathes. The downside, I have nobody to hand them off to when my head feels like it is about to split open, as it did last night. Additonally, I can’t so much as go pick up a gallon of milk without having to wrestle with kids and carseats. Even someting as minor as going to a church meeting means multiple phone calls to find a sitter. But the main downfall is of course not being together.
During the shcool year my husband feels like he is being cheated out of our children’s childhood, and I agree. When I was growing up my dad worked afternoons at a factory. We only saw him one or two days a week. Even now I still feel like I got cheated beacuse he was not physically there for us, even though I understand that he worked so that we could fulfill our needs and wants.
Although our job situations are what they are, and will probably not change any time in the near future, I don’t want my boys to grow up the way I did. I try to convince myself it’s not the same. I tell myself to “look on the bright side, at least he’s not in Iraq or somewhere, like so many other husbands and fathers”. I tell myself, “it’s not like you’re a true single mother, and having to work 2 jobs just to put food on the table”. I remind myself, “Fall break will be here soon”. But when little Andrew looks at me and says, “want daddy home”, I realize that fall break can’t come soon enough. But when it does, you can bet there will be a hot meal on the table, and a “CSI” episode on the big TV.