Today marks the start of my annual stint as a deer hunter's widow. All though I've been through this drill, for a decade now, every year it sneaks up on me. It's a family tradition that will continue until my husband is too frail to be trusted with a weapon & I anticipate that to be many decades away from now. Pre-marriage & after marriage, but pre-munchkin, I looked forward to this time of year because it always meant a certain opportunity for a girls night out.
Not so much anymore. Our lives have progressed & the majority of my girlfriends are wives & moms. Sometimes relationships are about compromises between giving your all & giving too much. Were walking a fine line. My hubby's trips up North bring about the same feelings that come when he's away from home on a business trip. The stress of the day-to-day responsibilities fall squarely on my shoulders.
I become a single parent & hope, perhaps unnecessarily so, that my normally "reliable" 13 year old vehicle doesn't decide to break down. Honestly, knock on wood, it rarely has. My needs move to the back burner & all is focused on getting through the work day, then tending to the minute by minute needs of my child with little rest. It's times like these that I shift into a higher gear & find more stamina. "Mommy, play with me" becomes my main agenda item for each day & evening.
Perhaps it's the anticipation of the unknown. I always get through it. My heart goes out to all the truly single parents for whom a whole different level of pressures are navigated. I'm not sure I could ever do it & yet they do it because it's their only option - there is no other choice at the given point in time. They dig deep & find that extra strength from within and on their own...every day - not just on occasion.
On the one hand, munchkin gets lots of "Mommy & Me" time, but on the other hand, I feel a bit neglected in the process. As a parent you always want to put your best foot forward, be energized & 100% available for your child. Every parent also needs a few minutes a day where they can just "time out" & for me that is when my munchkin's finally lights go out.
It's no coincidence...my last few fortune cookies have read:
"Don't lose track of your feelings." - Unknown
"The person closest to you is more important than you realize." - Unknown
"You stand in your own light. make it shine." - Unknown
Life is a constant exercise of juggling priorities. We know that in the end, we'll just find a way to make it all work. It may mean unplugging for a while & forgetting about what we could be accomplishing if we just has more time. The bright side?! It's daylight savings weekend. We get to roll those clocks back, so this mom will get an extra hour of sleep for sure & that's positively priceless.
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