Solo Mom — Ornery Child? The impact of a 162 day long work week?

It may just be me, but I feel like if a mom flies solo for too long, there have to be ramifications on the child. DH has been gone for a third of Aria’s life now. The equivalent of a decade for him or me. 

When you fly solo, you are the whole army. There is no relief unit, no cavalry fresh and ready to swoop in and set things straight. There is only a tired, blood-soaked infantry. 

You operate in survival mode far too much of the time. What can I do or give my child so I can rest or gain relief from your cries? A habit of appeasement takes root and the child begins to reign. 

You give in to get a moment’s rest, but you never really do rest. 

162 days without sleeping in. 162 days of packing breakfasts and lunches, of providing walks or entertainment, of holding you when you cry. 162 days without the baby napping longer than an hour at home. By the time you wind down to follow suit, she calls your name. 

Never fresh. Never enough energy to really reset things. 

Go ahead. Take Poland. Have Crimea. 

A 162 day work week. 

I am in such a habit of appeasement, 75% of the time now I let her lead me to the fridge and show me what she wants to eat. My only saving grace is getting to put together an elaborate lunch box full of fruits and veggies and nutritious dishes for then ten and a half hours you are at daycare 5 days a week.

Occasionally I brave the storm and assert how I want things. 

I succeed with a lot of other things just by replacing and redirecting. Head on collision almost never works. 

Trying to pick your nose? Here’s a Kleenex. 

Headed for the trash? I tell you it’s “Caca” and make a gross face. You step back. 

Trying to walk hands free in the street? I force my hand on you or pull you up screaming. 

Don’t want to get in the car seat? Here’s a cracker. Or when I don’t have one, I just muscle you in 😦

I let you take your time walking out the door and almost always take you on a walk when you ask. Sometimes it makes me late for work or a meeting. Shrug. 

162 days into my workweek. Five sick days, two real trips to urgent care for an emergency injection of my Addison’s medicine. Five times hired a babysitter, four to get done projects for work, once to sleep. 

I can be late for a meeting to make our morning smooth and pleasant together. 
I do wonder if I’m bending too much to your wants and directions. 

I’m sorry at home your diet has devolved to milk, yogurt, fruit, cereal, cheese, and blue corn chips. 

You seem so happy and vibrant, though you have your moments. It seems wrong to elaborate on those moments for an audience. Ms. Terry knows what I’m talking about 😉

Anyway. I hope I’ve done okay by you, even if I’m stumbling more and more the longer this workweek drags on. 

Your grandma just flew in to help. 

The cavalry is here! 

She’s going to cook and spend time with you. Maybe I’ll get to sleep in, or sleep through a 2am meal! 

Tomorrow I have work to do. I won’t have time to rest, though I’m going to try and keep it short. I’m so tired. 

I mentioned how a month after DH left, my charter network slips into three regions and laid off two dozen people, leaving me trying to sort out and keep constant the support previously coming from six people, right? I have no idea how I’ve survived this deployment. I’ve cried at work a couple times. I’d promised myself I’d never do that at this job. 

I just hope I’ve done right by you through it all. I think I’ve done my best. I’ve given you all the boundaries I’ve had strength to put up. 

Daddy’s coming home soon. I’m lucky in that. Maybe he can make right anything I’ve messed up.

Maybe between him and grandma, we can have family meals at the table again. 

But who knows, maybe all this will set you up as CEO material!

Who knows? 


One thing I do know. 

162 day work week. I need a weekend!


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