Single Parenting

It’s that time of year again… summer.  Last summer we travelled all but about 10 days outside of Barcelona.  It was the most amazing experience and if I recall we saw something like 10 different countries in that timeframe (it’s all a bit of a blur).  But most of it was without Josh which was a challenge.  I had spent the better part of the summer as a single parent and boy, do I give kudos to those out there that are actual single parents rather than just part time ones!!  It’s a challenge to say the least!

So now that summer is here again, I’m already in single parent mode.  Josh actually had to leave for the US ahead of me which means that for 26 days (with the exception of the 2 days we will overlap on our trips), I’m essentially on my own. It’s nothing new to me, but it makes me appreciate his presence all the more when I’m on my own for extended periods of time like this.

I’m used to the travel.  Compared to many wives I know, he doesn’t travel all that much though it tends to come in clusters like it is now.  He was just away a few weeks ago and now is in the US for 10 days and returns just a few days after we arrive there.  And then he has to go again in August right before our family vacation.  But given that I know women who’s husbands travel every single week, I know I’m lucky that his travel is maybe a few days per month on a normal basis.

However, that being said, I’m thankful that the school year comes to an end on Thursday because making the school lunch is definitely one of those things that I really really appreciate Josh doing.  I did it for Aidan’s first 5 years of daycare/school and then Josh took over.  It’s just not my favorite thing to do at 6:30AM.  I’m also appreciating the fact that he walks the dog in the morning and the evening – something that I normally do in midmorning and afternoon and now have to do a minimum of 4 times per day instead when he’s not here.  I also find that I’m much better about cleaning up the kitchen before bed and folding the laundry when he’s not here to help me out – it’s times like this that I really appreciate all he does around the house!!

It’s also nice to have a someone who can step in when you’ve just about had enough.  I don’t have girls so I can’t compare but boys constantly fight… constantly.  There isn’t a day that goes by where they aren’t bickering about something.  It wears on you, usually before 7AM and then again at 5PM when they get off the bus.  This week Aidan has been trying to do better with the bickering but I think it’s because he has a playdate tomorrow that I’m holding over his head – given I cancelled his other one last Sun 5 mins before he was scheduled to be at his friend’s house, he knows I mean business.  That and he knows we are going home this weekend to the States – he doesn’t want to mess with that either.  Though on the flip side, I found a bunch of wet toilet paper all over his bathroom this morning and when I asked him about it tonight (yes, 12 hours later), he showed me how he had broken the toilet paper holder and had tried to rig it back together with wet toilet paper.  MacGyver he is not, but I appreciate the attempt… though I would have preferred it more without the mess to clean up.  And so with the exception of Liam’s constant whining, I think we are going to be ok for at least this week.

I figure if we can make it to the States on Saturday the next 2 1/2 weeks will be managable because we’ll be so constantly busy there won’t be time for fighting.  And yes, I will be flying with them alone as per usual.  The only trans Atlantic flight Josh has done with us was when we moved here – and this is why on ALL other flights (which cumulatively must be well more than the 10 hrs each way that I fly with them alone) he sits with them and I get to sit on my own.  I’m thankful they are both great flyers because otherwise this would be the nightmare to end all nightmares – it’s a long enough flight on it’s own but to do it without another adult presents all kinds of challenges.  Last year we had trouble LEAVING Spain (not entering it), we almost missed our connection in London and Liam puked twice on the plane (once into my hands, isn’t parenthood grand?).

However, this is the ultimate in all our vacations for the year.  Yes, we go to exotic and amazing places on a regular basis, but nothing can ever compare to going home.  So I think in a way we are all on our best behavior (mommy included – no yelling on vacation!) because we want to enjoy this once a year trip as much as we possibly can.

So here’s hoping the next 22 days go as smoothly as the first 4 have (I’m probably jinxing myself right now)!  Josh we miss you!!!

Besos,
Julie

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