Thursday, July 14, 2005

The unraveling (or Single Mothers of the World, I Salute You)

Tomorrow, my husband returns from nine days of academic conferencing in Europe. Oh joyous day!

I cannot fathom how single mothers function. I have such respect for them. It's only been a week and I am exhausted.

Mornings are getting myself and both boys fed and packed for day care/camp/work. After working a full day, I pick up the boys from day care/camp and go home to a hastily prepared dinner. Between dinner and the boys' bedtime I try to get the kitchen in order and get as much of the next day's dinner prepared in advance as I can. Though the older boy gets himself ready for bed, I still have to move the younger through the potty, diaper, pajamas, toothbrush routine. Then one-on-one reading to each boy, goodnight songs, hugs and kisses, requests for water and then my firm and exasperated ultimatum: "Not another word. See you in the morning."

It's 8:30 by then. I try to take care of business (return phone calls, do work for the non-profit board I'm on, touch base with my doula clients) and address the most pressing of household concerns: does the older son have clean underwear for tomorrow? are any bills overdue? is the cat litter box overflowing?

Before I know it, it's 10 p.m. For whatever reason, the older boy is waking up early this week -- 5:00 early -- so I try to get to sleep quickly and clock at least seven hours' sleep. Except that my brain is so busy I can't sleep. I've even tried our doctor's suggestion of keeping a notepad beside the bed to write down "to dos" on. My list grows as I supposedly empty and quiet my head but the buzz goes on.

My sanity at this point is hinged to the promise of my husband's imminent return. I hope never to be deprived of that promise.

Not to mention, it is my spouse, my parter in this life path, that makes me feel like an individual, rather than some generic servant. He appreciates the parts of me my children aren't even aware of or couldn't care less about. He makes me laugh and forces me to think and helps me lighten the freak up.

Well I'm going on about 6 hours' sleep this morning; before I completely dissolve in sentimental and desperate tears, I'll stop.

I expect my next post will be back to the more standard doulicia fare.


Blogger Julie said...

Oh, honey, I'm so sorry! I hope you get your well-deserved break when he gets back.

7:52 PM  
Blogger doulicia said...

many thanks. He's back, tho we're still waiting for jetlag to resolve. Who knew?

2:53 PM  

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