Most of my adult life has been lived out like a single person, now parent, even though i’ve been in a relationship for over 7 years. I spend almost 60% of the year without my husband and its all i’ve ever known. Its something that i have to get on with because i have no other choice. Although sometimes having that break makes you appreciate things that little bit more.
In the beginning it was all new and exciting. As my husband was away every two weeks it meant that our honeymoon period lasted longer than the average couple. I remember when he would leave me little gifts when he left for work and would come running towards me with flowers when he got home. Although i now have to buy my own flowers and the little presents he leaves me are usually a shed load of dishes, a lovely toilet skid mark or his dirty pants on the floor, i still feel the same way about him now, as i did then.
It can be very tough doing it all on your own and I take my hat off to all those women who do it, day in day out, with no partner to lean on. I also have a new found respect for my mum bringing me and my three siblings up single handedly before she met my stepdad. She is a very strong women and deserves more credit than i give her. She is also my bestest friend and helps me out when i need time away from babying sometimes.
I surprise myself with my ability to multitask my way through the day trying to remember all the changing bag items and getting out the door on time. I attempt to navigate my way through the day until i have to repeat said checklist for the night time routine. Its exhausting, especially when the only time you have to relax is in the evenings and you go to bed way too late, only to wake up way too early. I still haven’t quite got the balance right just yet, but i’m working on it. Sometimes i just want to close all the curtains, shut the world out and live in my pj’s whilst Ernest whiles away the day kicking his legs and getting hangry.
There are so many women out there who live this so called single parented life and i do wonder how we manage it? They aren’t a stranger to having to put their child to bed on their own at night either. It can be quite a lonely life at times and its true what they say, you could be in a room full of people but still feel alone. If i just want to have a rant, or attend a social event with my husband its not always possible to pick up the phone or for him to be there when i really need him. But that’s what i signed up to, and i’m sure its not a barrel of laughs for him either. He travels a whole day just to get to work and survives on only a few hours sleep after doing back to back 12 hr shifts without a day off.
It’s great when he’s home so that he can share some of the day to day tasks. However, somehow i can never fully switch off but I guess because i’m on my own with Ernest for longer, i get slightly anxious about giving up all the responsibility. I used to find that i would ask my husband to bath Ernest and then i would find a reason to hang around and tell him what he needed to do even though he was quite capable. If I could hear Ernest making a fuss downstairs in the morning, rather than enjoy my lie in, i would get dressed and go and take over because i could settle him better. I want him to help but then i moan when he does?
Its really hard to let go and i’m trying to stop myself from jumping straight into auto pilot. It probably stems back to when Ernest was very unsettled and my husband wasn’t coping too good. My natural reaction now is to take over the situation, good or bad and just deal with it. I definitely think that babies pick up on tension so as much as i can, i want to provide a happy home. Like most couples we aren’t perfect and we have days where we get irritated at each other, sometimes for reasons unknown!? I would say it’s mostly a culmination of being tired but i think it happens more often now than it did before Ernest came along.
I am the worst person if i haven’t had enough sleep and the littlest thing can tip me over the edge. So the mix of having a small baby and lack of sleep doesn’t always go down very well. Sometimes i do feel like even though my husband is home, he doesn’t do as much as he could do, but i think thats more about me being tired and nit picking. If i asked him to help i know he would jump right to it, but it would be nice not to ask sometimes.
Lately i’ve found that writing this blog has meant i spend many evenings concentrating on my virtual life and not my real one. I think with anything you do, you will always encounter negativity as well as praise but sometimes that can outweigh all the hard work and effort. I put alot of pressure on myself to try and get something ready in the hope that someone might read it or god forbid enjoy it. I had a little wobble and planned to just stop writing altogether as you can put so much time and effort into something for minimal reward. My husband quite rightly pointed out to me that i should be doing it for myself, not for others. I worried way too much about what people think, that i got to the point where i didn’t even know what to write about anymore.
This week for the first time in nearly three months i haven’t worried about making sure i had a post ready and i’ve lived in the moment. You can quite easily get wrapped up in making sure you have the perfect picture, that you miss something special.
We’ve had an amazing few days enjoying our beautiful surroundings and seeking out new places. Although going to the beach with a baby who wants to put everything in their mouth has put me on edge, I love nothing more than when my husbands home and we can do things together as a family. Its never the same when you are doing it on your own, although it gives me alot of time to sit and watch the world go by. I always joke with my husband that when its a sunny day and we are exploring somewhere new, i feel like i’m on holiday. We really are so lucky to live where we live.
I’m going to try and do more of what i love and make the most of the times i have with my husband and our crazy little family. Ernest growing at a rate of knots and the dreaded return to work is just around the corner. But thats a whole other story.
“Make me strong in spirit, courageous in action, gentle of heart, let me act in wisdom, conquer my fear and doubt, discover my own hidden gifts, meet others with compassion, be a source of healing energies, and face each day with hope and joy” – Abby Willowroot