I'm leaving for a conference tomorrow. I'll be gone for four days. And I have guilt.
No, I don't have guilt about leaving Thing 1 and Thing 2 for four days. Between school and visiting grandma and grandpa, they probably won't even notice I'm gone.
I have guilt about leaving Superman to be a single parent for four days.
I don't know how actual single parents do it. I really don't. I've had to do the single parent thing for two days before and it was dreadful. At first it seems fun. I plan out activities that we wouldn't normally do when daddy is around, but you can only plan out so much of your life. And god forbid you want a little time alone, to say go the bathroom!
Two of my best friends are Navy wives. One just finished being a single mom to three kids (ages 10, 2, and >1) while her husband was gone for six months. The other one's husband has been gone for a few weeks here, a few weeks there, for the last six months and is getting ready to leave for his six month deployment, leaving her a single, working mom of a 4 year old. Unfortunately, I live far, far away from these ladies, so I can't offer them the occasional babysitting or help with their kids. I can only offer them my ear when they need to complain and opportunities for adult conversation, even if it is over the phone or via facebook.
Even still, as rough as I know they have/will have it, then I think of those people who are single parents all of the time. Through divorce, or death. Especially through death.
An old friend of mine passed away unexpectedly last summer, and he left behind a widow and young daughter. I often think how hard this year must have been for her. Not only did she lose her spouse, her best friend, her companion, her lover, but also her partner in parenting.
I know sometimes I get so frustrated with Thing 1 and Thing 2 that I have to turn to Superman and say "you need to deal with them right now, or someone is going to get hurt." And he takes them and deals with said situation while I go calm down in the other room. I already deal with feelings of mommy inadequacies and I have him to turn to, what if I was truly all alone?
So Superman, I'm sorry to leave you for four days. I hope the boys are angels for you and that you barely have a chance to miss me because you are having so much fun. But, if they aren't, and you start cussing me under your breath, remember this:
1. I am going to Wisconsin (not Florida). I guarantee you are having more fun than me.
2. Four days with two 3 1/5 year olds may seem like an eternity, but it's not. Remember that it could be much, much worse.