Last week, I cried more times than I showered. I barely slept, didn’t wash my baby’s hair once and ordered in every single meal for five days straight. This type of behavior might prompt some questions such as, was I not feeling well? Did I not pay the utility bills and run out of electricity and hot water? Had I lost my mind? The answers are no, no and pretty much. Last week, my husband went on his first business trip since we had our baby and I went from my normal state of lazy parenting into straight up survival mode. And I did it without grace and without basic hygiene.
When John first told me he was headed out of the country for a week, I was upset. We hadn’t been apart for more than two nights since April was born and, besides the fact that I was going to miss John, I had no idea how I was going to take care of April without his help. John does daycare drop off and pick up, he distracts April when I put on her diaper and he entertains her while I shower. So yes, some things were just going to have to wait until John returned home from his business trip.
Now I know that many people raise multiple kids on their own, my mother in law being one of those people, and they are amazing but I am a special kind of lazy. The kind of lazy that waits four hours to go to the bathroom because it’s upstairs. The kind of lazy that used to order food delivery from the burrito place downstairs. The kind of lazy that took a cab five blocks from my dorm room to class in college. Yes my friends, that kind of lazy.
The most shameful part of this story is that I wasn’t even alone all week. I had lined up a steady stream of sleepovers to ward off boogie men while John was away. On the fourth night of sleepovers, when my mom came to stay with me, she asked me if I had been washing the guest bedroom sheets after each guest. HA! Had I been washing the sheets every single day? I hadn’t even washed myself.
I am not proud of the things I did while John was away. It was like that movie Alive where the Uruguayan rugby team is on a plane that crashes into the Andes and resorts to cannibalism to survive. Only very different. A hot meal was always a phone call away, and I wasn’t stranded on the top of the mountain. Still, I felt like I was living on the edge and waiting for someone to come save me.
When John returned on Friday, I vowed to myself that I would always appreciate him and be nice to him. And I was, for about 48 hours until Sunday morning came and I didn’t get to sleep in for the second day in a row. I had already forgotten that, when John was away, I had no hope of showering let alone sleeping in. So I would like to raise my glass to all the single parents out there. I don’t know how you do it but I hope your glass is a little, ok a lot, bigger than mine!