Husband returns after 7 weeks: What I’ve learned as a solo parent

In 44 hours my hours my husband returns home after being away for seven weeks – most of that time in Russia — and I am literally counting down the minutes until the plane lands.

Seven weeks is a pretty long time to be alone with three kids without any reinforcements in sight. I won’t call it single parenting because I haven’t had to worry about making money to buy food or pay rent, but I think solo parenting is a fair statement.

Besides taking care of three kids, one dog, and four Koi fish, I have been organizing and packing up a house to sell. I’ve been hiring and overseeing workers and going room-by-room eliminating items and boxing everything up so it looks to potential buyers like we don’t live here anymore.

I’ve had a babysitter come only once in that time for me to get away. I think I needed her to come more often than that.

Here’s some of what I’ve learned during the last seven weeks:

  1. It is scary to be alone and be the only person responsible for your kids. My parents live 2000 miles away. My husband was in Russia. We would be SOL if something happened to me. I have light bulbs all over the house that need to be changed but I don’t want to climb a ladder without another adult in the house.
  2. Getting homework done, dinner, bedtime are the most stressful parts of the day. That’s when you need reinforcement — someone coming through the door to help. I used to drink coffee at 2 or 3 to get me through to when Michael would come home. Now I drink coffee at 5 to get me to 10 p.m. without stopping.
  3. I don’t mind sleeping in the house alone anymore. I used to be paranoid but now I’m just too tired to imagine bad things happening.
  4. I set two alarm clocks just in case.
  5. I don’t mind taking out the garbage anymore. I used to hate the task. Now I just don’t care.
  6. I really needed a babysitter to come once every seven days to give me a break. Every Sunday I seemed to be completely out of patience.
  7. I go to bed earlier without him here because watching TV is a lot less fun. I have no one to chuckle with or be shocked with. (I have saved a bunch of shows on the DVR for us to watch together.)
  8. I am exercising more without him here just to deal with the stress of him being gone.
  9. I have done something seriously bad to my shoulder carrying a couch from the playroom to the front of the house for bulk garbage day. This wouldn’t have happened if he were here.
  10. I tip workers more without him here. I am so appreciative of the help that I keep tipping people.
  11. My kids say I am yelling and crying more. I think this is probably true but understandable. (If I wasn’t trying to sell a house this wouldn’t be nearly as hard.)
  12. We can’t figure out how to connect the printer back up and for some reason Rose’s iPod won’t connect to the internet anymore. (But the internet is working for everyone else.) Michael could fix this with no problem if he were here.

I think being apart and having to do everything myself will make me more appreciative of having his help. I hope that he has missed us as much. (He says he lost 10 pounds in Russia because the food was so bad. I have a wonderful week of menus planed for him – including stuffed crabs, salmon, steak, mushroom risotto, ziti with asparagus and prosciutto.)

But for now it’s 9:34 at night and this solo-mom needs to swap a load of laundry, fold a load of laundry and wash my dishes from dinner before I can go to bed. Good thing I had my coffee at 5.

What are the hardest parts of solo parenting or single parenting? Do you think you would miss your spouse if he/she were gone that long? What things would you miss their help with the most?

88 comments Add your comment

B

March 4th, 2014
5:23 am

You lost me at afraid to change a lightbulb w/o an another adult in the house.

What would you do if you were single and living by yourself?

catlady

March 4th, 2014
6:53 am

Theresa, I think you are going to get blasted on this one.

First, your children can fold laundry, sort laundry, and wash dishes. That goes without saying.

Second, Michael does not “help” you. It is BOTH your jobs to take care of things.

If changing a light bulb is such a scary thing, do it while the sitter is there! And heaven help if something REALLY scary happens.

Finally, and I could go on and on, thank your lucky stars you are not doing all this stuff by yourself, every day, with no end in sight, in a 4th floor walkup with leaky sinks and poor heat,no car, sickly kids, AND make a living.

I am glad you learned important things. I know everyone will be glad to be back together. Have a great reunion.

single mo m

March 4th, 2014
7:00 am

Thank you for not referring to yourself as a single mom. It burns me up when married women refer to themselves as single moms when hubby is a away working or when they whine because hubby won’t help out with the kids. If they had a chance to spend a day in my single mom shoes where I worried about how to support my kid after losing my job and still not being able to find one or how I have no dating life because most men don’t like the prospect of raising another man’s child I’m sure they would be thsnkful for their worst day.

motherjanegoose

March 4th, 2014
7:25 am

I have never been a single mom, so I cannot fathom the pressure.

This may not compare but I have taught for years and was off during the summers. At that time, I could kind of see what it was like to be a stay at home mom ( for 2-3 months). I always thought it was SO much easier than going to work and being a mom. I never really had patience for stay at home moms who say they are just as busy as those who work. Perhaps I am wrong. That being said, what if you were a solo parent with a full time job? Some on this blog are just that and I am thankful I am not.

I am a very independent person and travel alone. It does not bother one bit to stay in a hotel solo, eat solo or fly solo. Many women say they could never do this. I remember my Dad once telling me, “Do not take a cab alone.” UM…should I walk from the airport?

One point I agree on is that I DO tip workers who help me and the older I get, the more I take the help.

In our house, I was the one who drew the line with homework, bedtime and chores. My husband did not grow up with many rules so he did not know they existed. At his house, dinner was on the stove. If you did not make it home in time and everyone finished the last morsel…you went hungry. At our house, we sit down together and dinner was a time to re connect.

I DO set two alarms on my phone but usually wake up before they go off. I also get a wake up call at the hotel.

I would miss my husband but not for the day to day things he handles, with the exception of technology. I have NO idea about it and would be sunk. My kids have helped me though.

PS…can I stop by for dinner…haha!

motherjanegoose

March 4th, 2014
7:33 am

OFF topic and a quick question if anyone cares to answer….or just ignore and proceed…thanks!

Yesterday, I received a baby shower invitation from the mom to be. She has married into my husband’s family and they live over 1000 miles away. We went to the wedding this past summer and obviously gave gifts, for which I never received a thank you note nor an email etc. For the invitation, it lists myself and my daughter. This made me laugh, as the mom to be would not know my daughter if she was on their front porch. She has never met her. Since I ordered and sent a nice gift for the wedding and got no response, I am going to send something smaller for the baby shower…just to be polite. Do you send your own baby shower invitations…her address label is on the return address? I have not seen this before but am out of the loop. Perhaps she does not know? She seems like a nice person but I was kind of surprised.

Macy

March 4th, 2014
7:56 am

Does any of this give you any respect for those who have raised kids alone? I have a healthy respect for all the single moms out there. I have several friends who are single parents. I’ve seen the struggles. And I’ve helped when I can. I’ve babysat for free, fed their kids, kept them overnight, etc….

Being a single parent is incredibly challenging. Especially when you have not received one bit of support from the kids father. This includes child support. It ain’t easy, and you should appreciate everything you have, and quit gripping.

Mother of 2

March 4th, 2014
8:14 am

I suspect that your ceilings are quite a bit higher in AZ than we have here in GA, so the light bulb thing doesn’t surprise me. My husband and I lived separately before every move, typically for 6-12 months. He went ahead of us to scout out the new state and get settled in at work. He would work 12 hour days, so it was better for the kids and I to stick to our known routine, which made it easier on me. I remember the exhaustion most, but my husband was also exhausted with his new job, so we were in the same boat in different locations.

Have a wonderful time becoming a whole family when your husband returns. And good luck with the move – that’s probably the most stressful part.

Mother of 2

March 4th, 2014
8:22 am

Motherjanegoose, your invitation is very unusual. I would probably send a small gift out of politeness if I was in your situation. Thank you notes are not out of style, so there is no excuse for not sending them.

Tom

March 4th, 2014
8:45 am

as others have said the “I don’t want to climb a ladder without another adult in the house” is a little on the pathetic side! I’m almost afraid to ask if she’s showered during this time…

motherjanegoose

March 4th, 2014
8:54 am

@ Macy…just asked a dear ( older) friend and she says you include every female in the house. Technically our daughter lives in an apt in Athens and the young mom to be has never met her and probably does not know this. I am going to order something on Amazon ( free Prime shipping) and be done with it. I do not want to be rude.

Also, I do know that SAHMs can be busy but going to work and being a Mom is a lot more work to me. I am not trying to be disrespectful. I shuttled kids to summer camp and worked there part time myself. It is not the same as knowing you have to report to work each day. IMHO. Of course, I was not volunteering with 5 groups each week, that is something I do not know about, While working, I only volunteered with one or two things.

TWG, I hope that your relo to NYC is everything you want it to be and that you are very happy there. I am happy I do not have to do it but you are entering a brand new stage in your life, with lots of possibilities!

Real Life

March 4th, 2014
8:57 am

Sorry but no sympathy here. Afraid to change a light bulb? Do your children do absolutely no chores at all? Only had a babysitter once?
Only seven weeks? My father, a B-52 pilot, during the cold war was gone for weeks and sometimes months on end. My mother, like many military spouses before and after her learned to cope. She changed light bulbs, oversaw homework, cooked meals, etc. She asked neighbors with teenage boys for help with moving stuff when needed. And most importantly she did not position herself as a martyr. And when my father died in 1968 while serving his country, she continued on, again without the complaints you have included in your laundry list. There are many spouses today that deal with what you are complaining about for much longer periods of time. Why not find some and see how they cope? When my husband was a government employee he was often gone for 3-4 months at a time. I coped as well–including supervising 4 moves in 3 years. You are coming across as whining and petty. Deal with it or hire someone that can help you deal with it.

HB

March 4th, 2014
8:58 am

You’re scared to climb a ladder because you could get hurt but have no problem carrying a couch alone? Why couldn’t your older kids help with the couch? Or laundry? Or get their homework done on their own? Why didn’t you ask workers to change the lightbulbs? Were they not a big enough deal to be worth it? If so, then why mention them here? I’m sure it’s been difficult, but it sounds to me like 1) you’re making it out to be harder than it was by focusing on little nothing stuff, and 2) your martyrdom led you to make it harder than it should have been, focusing on the help you didn’t have (family thousands of miles away) instead of enlisting help you do have (kids, friends, workers, sitters). That makes it hard for me to have much sympathy for you.

HB

March 4th, 2014
9:07 am

MJG, the long distance shower sounds like a gift grab — send a gift, don’t send one, send a card when the baby’s born, whatever you want. Nothing you do will be rude. I believe traditionally the grace period for wedding thank you notes has been one year, so they have a few more months.

xxx

March 4th, 2014
9:09 am

You are completely co-dependent.

A reader

March 4th, 2014
9:15 am

“I am exercising more without him here just to deal with the stress of him being gone.”

Must be nice to have time to exercise. The only time I have is between midnight and 1AM which is way past your bedtime of 10PM.

V. Lyons

March 4th, 2014
9:18 am

Sorry, Theresa, you get very little sympathy from me. You’re too old to complain about things like changing light bulbs (requiring a ladder I suppose,) taking out the trash, etc. I understand moving is difficult but I’m sure you could have enlisted or hired help.

DB

March 4th, 2014
9:39 am

I have no words . . . I simply cannot relate to living in that much fear and being afraid of so many things. Life is too wonderful to spend it fearing mundane things. I know you didn’t mean it this way, but it’s coming across as if Michael’s sole purpose in life is to make things easier for you. He’s been in god-forsaken Sochi for almost two months — BLECH. I hope he’s coming home to a warmer welcome than “Thank God you’re home, the light bulb needs replacing!!” :-) Hopefully this period has been a growing period for you — see, you survived. All is well. Moving on . . .

It’s hard to work up a lot of empathy, honestly — although Michael may not have been there, his salary was still maintaining the household. You weren’t out the door every morning at 7:15, dropping the kids off to babysitters and school, working 8 – 5, fighting traffic back home, fixing dinner, paying bills, etc., etc. I have a friend, a single mom with three kids, who was told in January 2013 that she had a form of cancer that had a less than 10% six month survival rate. You want to talk about terror? Not being able to sleep at night? She (and we) were so fortunate – she attacked it aggressively and we did get a miracle — after numerous hospital stays (we’ve lost count), pain, fear, constant nausea, she beat tremendous odds, but not before losing her stomach. It’s a lifestyle change, but she’s slowing coming back, and her kids (all in their teens) have learned a lot about empathy and self-reliance.

I realize that hearing about single moms with cancer doesn’t really address your concerns and fears, but maybe it will help put things in perspective? Enjoy having your family together. and give Michael a warm welcome home. :-)

DB

March 4th, 2014
9:42 am

@MJG: In this case, there’s no way in hell I would send a baby shower gift. To answer your question: YES, it is completely tacky to throw a baby shower for yourself!!!! And it’s rude to invite people that you KNOW aren’t going to come — THAT is just gift-grubbing. Don’t give in! Don’t perpetuate the insanity! :-) Send a nice gift when the baby is born.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

March 4th, 2014
9:55 am

Wow. I’m so glad that everyone is better than me.

missnadine

March 4th, 2014
10:01 am

Anything beyond 3 weeks is excessive. I traveled all the time, a couple of times at 3+ weeks. I would not take a job that took me away from my family for more than 3-4 weeks at a time, but everyone has their own limits, and for some, family is less of a priority.

Abby

March 4th, 2014
10:02 am

Theresa, at this time, you should spare a thought for the young military wife who’s husband is deployed.

Techmom

March 4th, 2014
10:07 am

I’m sure this was meant to come across as more of a “I didn’t realize how much stuff my husband does” or “I am so grateful I am not a single mom because this ’solo’ parenting is tough enough!”, especially since you’ve had sick kids to deal with as well but it does make you sound like you aren’t capable of doing it. I grew up military and so it was nothing to go months or even a year without my dad around and we survived. My mom would complain about missing my dad but not about having to do every day stuff. After a layoff a few years ago, my husband took a job in a city 3 hours away so he was gone Monday-Friday. I work full time but thankfully I work from home. I had to juggle things and deal with all the household stuff but at least he came home on the weekends. It certainly made me thankful he wasn’t deployed to Afghanistan or that I was not a single parent. The worst was having to deal with our rental house while he was gone. Finding new tenants, painting and repairing after the previous ones moved out, etc. but I did it because it needed to be done (then again, I do that even when he is home… hmmm).

missnadine

March 4th, 2014
10:08 am

@motherjanegoose – not sure if your daughter has graduated from college yet, but if not, I added a couple of comments last night to yesterday’s topic, which I think might interest you.

Techmom

March 4th, 2014
10:10 am

@MJG – no gift. There is absolutely nothing rude IMO about not sending a gift if you cannot attend. If you WANT to send one, then do it but there should be no obligation simply because you received an invite. I also am disturbed by baby shower invites that come from the mother-to-be, the grandmother-to-be or for 2nd or 3rd children, especially when it’s only a year or two after the first child was born. I will usually give a gift to my close friends when they have additional children but having another baby shower is simply a gift request in my eyes.

A

March 4th, 2014
10:20 am

@MJG, I wouldn’t give a gift either. You’re not attending the shower and the bride is too rude not to have acknowledged your wedding gift. Re: TWG’s woes, not a lot of sympathy from me either. I’m sure it was tough and challenging at times, but you don’t have 3 infants or toddlers. The light bulb fear was TMI. Since you’re moving, just hire a handyman for day and have him do those odds and ends. If my husband were gone for 7 weeks, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a cakewalk, but I’d like to think I’d manage and ask for help when needed instead of complaining about everything.

single mo m

March 4th, 2014
10:26 am

I wonder if Theresa ever lived on her on her. Maybe if she did, her opulent lifestyle allowed her the luxury of ringing up a bellhop if she ever needed anything.
Scared to change a light bulb? Lady, I’m a single mom that had to repair a broken ceiling fan hanging from 9 ft ceilings above steps. The only way to reach it was carefully balancing a ladder on the steps and praying I didn’t fall and paralyze myself. Sure I could have hired a professional but as a single mom, money doesn’t flow through my household freely. I had to fix it myself because it posed a hazard (the ceiling fan was hanging by a wire and it was only a matter of time before it came crashing down on someone’s head).

I’m really curious as to what you did prior to having kids. You seem very co-dependent like another poster pointed out and very needy.

I hope your kids put you in a fine nursing home when the time comes for you to need one. There is no way you would be able to make it after Michael passes on when it’s his time.
For your sake, you better treat him like a King because you would probably commit suicide if you were reduced to single parent status.

Macy

March 4th, 2014
10:27 am

TWG – we aren’t better than you, by no means. No one here is better than anyone else.

You have a weakness. You rely on hubs way too much for simple things. Learn how to do it yourself. Be brave and step out of your comfort zone.

Be thankful you have Michael’s income, and that you don’t HAVE to work to support your family. Instead of whining, look at what you have. you have a roof over your head. You have 3 beautiful children. You have a wonderful husband who provides for his family. You take too much for granted.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes for a minute. Imagine doing all you do without Michael OR his income. Imagine one day, he walks in and says he no longer wants to be a part of your family, and poof he’s gone. Along with his income. Talk about terror!!! Imagine having to support yourself, and those three kids on less than $50K a year. Then imagine being laid off in the economy, and getting a whopping $300 a week unemployment and try to pay your bills. Try to keep the house, the bills, the car, food on the table, etc.

My dad traveled a lot when we were growing up. Mom worked a full time job, and when she came home, she fixed a healthy meal for her family, even when dad was away. We didn’t hit the drive throughs or have frozen food, we ate a meal, sat at the table and talked. She was never afraid to change a lightbulb. She HAD to do it when he was away, or else we sat in the dark. We also had chores. There was a list of chores we had to do on the table every day. If they weren’t completed by the time our parents got home, there was hell to pay. Mom didn’t pick up after us, nor did she clean our rooms. We did!!!

THEN, and only then can you complain about how pitiful your life really is.

If a group of people all sat around a table and everyone threw their problems into the middle of the table. You would gladly take your problems back in a heartbeat.

When you write these insane topics, think about what others are doing to take care of their families. So your husband has been gone for 7 weeks. Think about the military personnel who are gone for OVER A YEAR.

So, again, be very thankful for what you have, and quit whining!!!

single mo m

March 4th, 2014
10:28 am

typo: on her own

Real Life

March 4th, 2014
10:30 am

MJG–no gift at all. If you are invited by the honoree to a shower you could not possible attend then you are simply being asked for a gift. A polite note saying you are unable to attend and wishing the mom-to-be health and joy is all you need to do. Family or not, gift grabs are simply unacceptable.

Becky

March 4th, 2014
10:41 am

The only thing that I won’t do while my husband is out of town is deal with a mouse trap..A few years ago he was out of town and I saw a very small (black) mouse run down the stairs..He came home the next day, set the trap and left again..A couple of days later, when the mouse was trapped, I threw the entire thing away..He never could understand why I didn’t just take the mouse off..

Theresa, I don’t think that any of us think we are better than you, we just (most) have learned to do a lot of things that you seem to not want to do..Make the kids be more independent and follow thru with what they have to do..

single mo m

March 4th, 2014
10:44 am

Something tells me that if the kids got sick with something minor like a cold while Michael was away, she would call 911 rather than trying to deal with it herself

Denise

March 4th, 2014
10:46 am

See, I don’t see TWG as whining as much as realizing how much she has had to deal with alone as opposed to what her situation would have been like with her husband. This is in no way comparing her situation to military moms/wives or single parents. She is sharing HER experience. Just because it is not as difficult as others’ – in your opinion – that doesn’t mean it wasn’t for her. I also believe TWG has had a growth moment…not being afraid to sleep alone in the house with the kids is a big deal for some mothers. I have a friend that, when she and her husband were discussing separating, was going to move out of their home (even when he wanted her to stay in the house and was going to pay the mortgage) because she didn’t feel safe (in a great neighborhood) in the big house alone with her 2 kids. I think it’s nuts because I live alone but hey, I’m not used to having a man in the house and feeling secure in that man’s presence and feeling insecure without it. Also, having just moved alone (to TX and now into a new home in TX), it is no simple feat to handle everything with just ME much less with 3 kids, especially if there are emotions tied to the move. For me, I didn’t want to move at all but I wanted to keep my job so…. Emotions plus logistics made it more challenging. My situation and TWG’s may seem like child’s play to YOU but it has not been to either of us and our feelings and experiences are valid. Hell, I even feel a little jealous of Theresa…she knew Michael was coming back and I am still sitting on the couch alone and in silence with no TV because AT&T can’t get my U-verse working. ;-) (Silver lining, TWG, silver lining! At least you’re not in the quiet!)

WitchyWoman

March 4th, 2014
10:48 am

@ Theresa…I’m not going to put you down like some of the others are doing. I could, but I won’t. What I will say is that I understand. I totally get how frustrating it can be trying to move, having sick kids, and doing it solo when you normally don’t have to. I get why you don’t want to get injured while your husband is away(even though it happened doing something you probably have done before). I shift and move my furniture by myself all the time and would think nothing of moving a couch. I get not liking to take out the garbage. I do, but usually it is something my husband does. In most of the neighborhoods I have lived in, it has been rare to see a woman out the trash kind out for the truck. I understand the feeling of loneliness when you are use to a companion.

Many of your readers are or at least claim to be totally independent and in some cases act as if they could care less if their significant other was around….which is weird since they married them. It makes them feel good to put you down for having fears or in their minds irrational fears. None of them live in your skin. You just needed to vent….like we all do sometimes and you chose this platform. Soooo today instead of validating myself by making what you feel invalid, I will just say from mom to mom, wife to wife…… I understand

p.s. I know I will get eviscerated for my comments and that’s ok. Enjoy your time with your husband

WitchyWoman

March 4th, 2014
10:50 am

@ Denise..I guess we were in the same state of mind

Scooby

March 4th, 2014
10:55 am

Single mothers actually do this and more on a daily basis. They have to worry about having money for food, rent, children’s clothing, doctors etc. Every. Single. Day. No husband is coming to rescue them in 7 weeks.

Techmom

March 4th, 2014
10:56 am

P.S. TWG – since you only hired a sitter ONCE while your husband was gone, you should totally get one for this weekend so you can go have dinner- just the two of you! I’m sure the next few months are going to be equally as crazy (tho hopefully he’ll be able to come home some weekends) and you deserve a time to reconnect.

janice

March 4th, 2014
10:59 am

humm…you’re afraid in arizona…….guess you haven’t heard stories about the big-bad nyc……if you’re living in the city, you won’t need your cars cause it will cost a fortune to garage them. things are way more expensive in ny! just think you’ve got ice and snow and single digit temps waiting for you.

Techmom

March 4th, 2014
11:02 am

TWG, you must be stronger than you realize, there’s no way I’d put up with the crap that people give you on this blog. I’m sure it doesn’t pay enough for the grief you receive!

LS

March 4th, 2014
11:15 am

What a rough life. Changing light bulbs, taking out trash, and sleeping in your house without your husband at night? You have just confirmed that many stay at home moms are helpless.

A

March 4th, 2014
11:38 am

And, are you going to be happy to see Michael because you genuinely missed him or you missed all the odd jobs he does around the house? Maybe that’s something to think about before he gets off the plane so he doesn’t come home to a list of chores after being away for almost 2 months!

HB

March 4th, 2014
12:42 pm

Seriously, Theresa, you seem really bent on throwing yourself a pity party and trying to gain sympathy (really working at playing up your hardships — koi and lightbulbs?). I get that you’re tired and frustrated, and it’s understandable, but as people here have pointed out, you can do a lot to make your life easier. Instead of getting defensive with “glad everyone’s better than me”, why not take some of the comments to heart, step back, and make productive changes that will make it easier for you and the rest of the family to get through this move? I get the feeling that you want validation of how hard you work and aren’t getting it from those around you. If so, that really is rough, and I’m sorry. But wallowing and bemoaning all these little things isn’t going to bring the sympathy and validation that you seem to crave. Take a fresh look what needs to be done, delegate tasks to the kids and those you hire, and get the validation from a job well (and smoothly) done without overtaxing yourself instead of from trying to make a point of how hard everything is.

Sk8ing Momma

March 4th, 2014
1:18 pm

Shh!!…Hiding for cover…Don’t tell my hubby: I’m actually more efficient and “better” when I’m solo with the kids.

I run a tight ship. My personality is Type A to the extreme. Read: I’m highly structured and THRIVE on order. When it’s just me and the kids, I’m 100% on my own and I don’t have to consult with anyone else or work anyone else into the flow of my day. I’m actually happier when I run things on my own, especially during this season of my parenting. My kids are older than yours, 12yo and 14.5yo, so that may have something to do with it. This includes being able to leave them, together or individually, @ home alone when necessary.

Sk8ing Momma

March 4th, 2014
1:22 pm

Just wanted to add…The biggest problem when my hubby is away is DRIVING. We live in metro Atlanta and almost everything requires a 25 minimum drive. Trying to get two kids to their respective destinations with one driver is sometimes a challenge. Thankfully, we can carpool to almost every event/activity my children have to attend. Carpools are lifesavers…Not sure what we’d do without them!

Old friend

March 4th, 2014
1:23 pm

T, how do you put up with these hyenas? Moving sucks, even without 3 kids, a dog, 4 goldfish, and a husband on another continent. I’m so excited to see how well Michael’s career is going, and I wish you all the best with the move and getting settled in New York!

Me

March 4th, 2014
1:29 pm

I think posters on both sides have valid points and I hope you really didn’t imply – or we infer – incorrecty what you attempted to state . I guess I will say be thankful for all that you DO have. Yes, it’s a struggle but no one ever guaranteed life to be fair or easy. I will say this. I don’t feel to be better than you; only to say that what you find abnormal are things with which some of us have already dealt.

beth

March 4th, 2014
1:38 pm

I understand Theresa and think I would be exatly the same. In our house, there are unwritten “rules” or way of doing things that work for us. I NEVER take out the trash and my husband NEVER cleans toilets. That’s not to say that we are incapable because both of us could do these tasks if we wanted, but we have just sort of settled into roles that we are comfortable with. I also don’t change lightbulbs… he is taller and it just seems easier for him to do it so when they burn out, I wait for him to change them. He doesn’t bathe or brush the family dogs etc. My husband is the master of everything technical in our home while I am the master of keeping things organized. I’m sure it sounds crazy to some of you, but if the dogs come in covered in mudd, they would go to the garage until I can bathe them. And if a lightbulb burns out, it stays out until hubby can change it. It works for us.

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a partnership where each person has “their own” specific chores. And when the other person isn’t there to do his half, it can feel like alot of extra work. And that’s because it is. I think using the kids to help out more is a good idea though. But then again, alot of times, kids create more mess than the help. lol.

And God Bless single moms and mom’s whose husband’s travel alot. We have turned down several chances for increased salary because of the necessity for increased travel. We have just decided that is not how we want to raise our family.

Techmom

March 4th, 2014
1:39 pm

For those who followed yesterday’s blog about paying for college- check this out:
http://www.ajc.com/news/news/national/nj-cheerleader-leaves-home-sues-parents-college-tu/nd5H7/

This girl is suing her parents to get them to pay for her college. She isn’t considered emancipated so their income goes into determining her financial aid eligibility. They say she chose not to live by their rules and moved out on her own and therefore it was her choice.

malleesmom

March 4th, 2014
1:39 pm

Wishing safe travels to Michael as he heads back home! I do agree w/ Catlady – you kinda set yourself up on this one. Sorry. I am sure you learned a lot during Michael’s absence. I expect you learned a lot about what you can handle especially during the relocation. That being said…put the kids to work. Each one of them is capable and smart. Give them tasks and be done. Will they be done perfectly? probably not, but that has to be okay sometimes. Much of what you described are life skills they need to master anyway. When the redhead traveled, I too found myself going to bed earlier, not worth staying up late. I did not sleep well though so I envy you that. Yes the relocation adds a wrinkle to the chaos but just wait until you get to NYC. Deep breaths.

malleesmom

March 4th, 2014
1:42 pm

@MJG – no gift in my opinion. You’re not being rude.

motherjanegoose

March 4th, 2014
2:11 pm

TWG…I do not mean to be snarky to you at all. Sorry if I came off that way.

On the heels of yesterday’s topic…I worked all through college and took care of myself. My parents were 2 hours away and they lived their lives. I was used to handling most anything.

I married right after college and moved with my then Navy husband 1000 miles away from family. I knew some wives who had NO contact with their husbands for months as they were on a secret deployment. We did not have technology 30 years ago. They were on pins and needles all the time. That was not me but my husband was gone for 2 weeks about 2 months after we got there and usually a few times a year. Lucky I worked, so I had some friends!

Then, we had a 2 year old and moved to Atlanta…again no family. I never depended on my parents nor his. My sister moved here when our daughter was a baby and we have helped each other out a lot. She is not nor has every been married and does not have children. We are both quite capable.

Sometimes we get used to what we are used to and forget what other people deal with:

Other cities that tell me the traffic is awful…get ready! Well, if everyone is moving along at 55 mph during rush hour, I am thrilled.

I feel spoiled with all the food we can purchase here in Atlanta…the variety, freshness and pricing. When I run into a grocery store in ND, it makes me sad. It costs too much to ship all that produce up there! Nothing looks good to me.

We can get quite a bit of house in ATL. My New Jersey clients tell me what they have and what they paid….yikes!

Even school lunches…I have eaten in very small schools and it is sad what they offer compared to the choices in Gwinnett County GA.

Folks here are fussing about the weather…yes it is only 40 today. Some states have not seen 40 in months.

My neighbor complained for years that they had to go to the beach every year with her inlaws. They inlaws rented a huge house and everyone was invited to stay FOR FREE. I could not imagine it. Never, have I been invited to the beach for free! On the flip side, if you prefer to go alone and pay for your own trip…do it…be a grown up.

Thanks for the tips about the baby shower. I am going to buck up and send a SORRY WE CANNOT ATTEND via Facebook. I will send a gift when the baby shows up this summer. I just needed some non bias opinions and this is a good group. Have a nice day all!