Single parenting is not for the faint-hearted. I have done it multiple times before, but every time it brings in new challenges, and somehow there is always enough grace to carry me over.
Living with the man I love and raising children together comes with a lot of blessings and heartbreak. I am blessed to be doing life with this man I love, admire, and respect. We have many differences that are sometimes hard to complement, but at other times I am thankful he has what I don’t. Hence, having him gone for 3 weeks had me scavenging for skills I lack that he fulfills.
They say it is good to have a break from your spouse. It gives you time to reflect on your relationship and maybe have some extra time; time that is usually taken up with reporting information to each other. Is there a couple who does not report back to each other? A text or a phone call, “Hey, I am here with such and such and doing such and such and it will take such and such time”; “Hey, you are picking up the kids today, right?” And so on. There is indeed never a dull moment, especially when there are a thousand things you both are juggling and 3 dependent kids who are relying on you to fulfill your responsibilities.
So, my husband took off 19 days ago. When that happens, I know I always have to be extra prepared, extra organized and have everything together as much as possible. In general, when anything unexpected comes up, my husband is my default savior. So when he is not around, things get tricky. For instance, dropping off and picking up the kids, making sure they don’t go hungry at home and at school, guaranteeing that all the babysitters are in place when I am at work. The busyness really takes you over subtly and even a reminder on your phone can slip your mind. Like one time, in the middle of the week, my son’s school decided he would have a half-day, but I was at work. I was stuck!
I was so proud that particular day, though. I dropped my son off at school, my daughter was dropped off at the sitter’s house and pick up from school for both of them was in place. And then, surprisingly, I got a call from my neighbor that my oldest was playing soccer in the backyard with seemingly no one else around. I sent an instant SOS text to my friend and everything fell into place. Thank you, my good neighbor, for your watchful eyes. Thank you, my good friend, for being willing to watch my son. Oh, how thankful I am!
And then we faced another challenge. I had given my house key to my son in case there was ever a time he got locked out of the house. I took the house key out of the set of keys that I carry. That morning I drove my husband’s car and carried his set of keys. Everything was fine until later that evening we all got back home and left again. Now, being the person of habit that I am, I took my set of keys and left the house. Only this time, the house key wasn’t attached to it. The house key was in my son’s backpack that was now inside the house.
I started badmouthing my husband about that one day when he had me dig out the key I had hidden in the garden. I was mad that my husband was not around to help me. And, I was just plain mad for ever giving a key to my son. I was just mad, mad, and mad for not being super organized. That hapless day even the garage door was locked. Of course, we don’t have one of those garage openers yet! I mean what good is that spare key in the garage when you cannot even get in on a day like this. Well, we had to call that pricey LOCKSMITH. I was mad that all the money I earned that day went into hiring a locksmith. I yelled at the kids. I yelled at myself. I yelled at my husband.
When we got in the house, though, God’s grace really covered me. All of a sudden my negative thoughts and feelings were overcome by gratefulness. I was thankful that I had the money to even call a locksmith and provide normalcy and security to my children. I was thankful that I am still healthy and employed to make the money I had lost. But, the biggest lesson was: When you are in a hurry: SLOW DOWN and take DEEP BREATHS. Slowing down and breathing slowly really give my brain more oxygen and clarity to think better. YUP
And, my husband is back! We are so thrilled that he is home with us. I thank God for bringing him back safely to us.