I am very old school when it comes to keeping track of stuff, so on Saturday I got down our wall calendar and updated it with the husband’s travel commitments. I highlight the days he’ll be away in yellow and this is how March looks –
Anybody who has ever solo parented knows how hard it is. I always get lots of sympathy from people but the bit that isn’t talked about, or understood unless you’ve experienced it first-hand, is the re-entry period after the traveling spouse returns home.
If it’s only a few days separation it feels like a bit of a holiday. The girls and I eat easy meals and they may stay up a bit later as I know that the OH will be home soon and help me to get things back on track. However, for longer separations I am more careful and organised. Things can’t afford to get too far off track as I don’t have anyone to help me right them. Dinner is eaten at an earlier time as we don’t have to wait for the OH to get home before we eat. As a solo parent it’s me who sets the timetable and makes the rules.
And that’s the problem upon re-entry!
After an extended time running the show single-handedly I get accustomed to how things get done – which is MY way. I don’t have to consult with anyone on anything. What I say GOES. So, when the husband returns home from a long trip there is a period of readjustment for me. All of the little irritants that I ignore most of the time get right under my skin, just like they did when we first shacked up together all those years (decades) ago!
It’s not just me, but the Missies also take some time to adjust when their dad returns home. I’m sure he gets sick of being told “that’s not how Mum does it” and that the readjustment is a challenge for all of us.
April could be a bit tense in this house……