J, is a project engineer for an automation company who supplies for the automotive industry. He works long hours, and spends very little time at home, aside from the weekend that flies by so quick. J also has to travel for work to oversee installations of their projects, provide tech support, and so forth. The trips away from home varies in length. One trip can be six days, the next, a few weeks with weekends at home or a month coming home just one weekend.
What I know of this life is glamourized by the veterans who have gone, or is going through the same situation. They put out a picture of the perfect husband who provides from never being home and a housewife dressed to the tee, baking, getting homework done, clean home and well-behaved children.
Let me tell you though.. that shit is a lie!
I’m confused, obviously. Conflicted between being a supportive partner who wants her guy to be happy and to achieve goals for himself, and needy partner who can’t handle motherhood alone.
It’s pretty overwhelming to have to manage everything at the home front 24/7 and have absolutely not a minute to breathe. No there isn’t family or friends to depend on. We moved 3.5 hrs away from all of that to chase the dream. It’s so hard to find the balance between being supportive and bitter because really, only one of you are working towards your goals. It’s a bit hard to do it at the same time, when you’ve got three children, two of them under two.
I spent the last three days drained. The crying, the whining, the fighting, the never ending demands of little midgets who rule every bit of you. I mean, who’s the adult here? I’m pretty sure that’s just a title..and whatever power you think you have over three children is laughed off by their evil little minds that are so clever and manipulative. You win some, you lose some.
But in all the chaos of part-time single parenting, here is what I learned..
1. Forget Routine and Expectations, seriously
No, you cannot have plans and not break them. No you cannot think you’ll clean after dinner, and get it done. No you cannot expect a toddler to not get up on her high chair 20 million times, while she’s eating. No you cannot expect your 1 yr old to sit in her high chair for every meal time and have that go smoothly. No you cannot go out to grab a few things are the market, without someone having a temper tantrum or spilling something, or Pooping, or puking. There is no point to scheduling.
2. Take-out, for food
I swear the last time J was gone, we ate nothing but take-out.. our garbage and recycling literally filled with Chinese food boxes from chicken wings, Tupperware of noodles, and pizza boxes. That’s all we ate at every meal. You cannot cook a nice meal with two children, under two. Are you crazy? How do you even? I cooked maybe once – it was taco.
3. Take-up drinking
For someone who stopped drinking after having her first child, I’ve become a light-weight. But I feel like if I take it up again, my tolerance will get better right away because the amount of drinking I should be doing for the amount of craziness it is to get through one day equals to about $24 — three bottles of “girls night out” pink juice with a hint of alcohol for the weak tolerance, people.
So $24×5=$120/week, 15 bottles/week..yes I’m finally an alcoholic! Perks of motherhood 😆
4. SCREW CLEANING
Your house will never actually be clean, because who has time to do that while you’re dying from every other chore of being a lone parent? So screw it. I should start using the dishwasher. We’ve lived here a year and like every other Asian mom out there, my dishwasher is merely for drying dishes and storing large pots. Shame!
5. Small trips
Party city, Wal-Mart and The Superstore has become our go-to place during the weeknights. I swear, these places either save me from wanting to strangle myself from the stress, or it’s heaven on days where I can find something for distraction.
6. Video chat
Thank God for technology. Having to ability to video chat, allows for the mixed emotions to still be shared on the table. Crying, screaming and face time, like he never left.
7. Zero fuc*s
You are absolutely out of your mind if you thought you’d still live your normal, while the other adult is gone. Nope! Everything is chaotic. You don’t get to be a responsible adult, and get shit done. Nope! You get to be a sloppy, teenager, babysitting little siblings, who eats noodles, for two meal times and miss breakfast because you’d rather sleep some more. All rules, all schedules, everything is literally out of whack. So just live it!
Honestly at the end of the day, you kept your kids, alive and together. They’re probably traumatized from all the demonic screaming you did all day, but the peaceful quietness that come after they close their eyes, is the perfect feeling of worth it for the sacrifices you make as individuals in an adult relationship.