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What I Learned While...

What I Learned While My Husband Was out of Town

Last week my husband was out of town. All week. That is rare for us. And I am so very thankful that he does not travel regularly. I would be bald.

I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to do everything by myself, but I geared up for it. Besides, I figured if single parents everywhere do it day in and day out, I shouldn’t complain about five days alone. And so we sent my husband off to Chicago in a flurry of hugs and kisses and hunkered down for a week of being a family of four.

And you know what? We survived. However, there were a few things I learned while he was gone.

I like my husband more than I thought I did. That was a welcome tidbit of information. Okay, okay, I knew I liked my husband. But I’m pretty independent. I didn’t figure I’d miss him that much. I mean, it was only five days. As it turns out, he’s pretty nice to have around. I think I’ll keep him.

It is very lonely without another adult around. I know this sounds like a gimme, but I usually love any opportunity to be alone. However. Having three kids underfoot is far from alone. And as much as I may enjoy their company (cough, cough), their companionship is just not the same as someone who is of drinking age. The last day my husband was gone, we got on the phone and talked nonstop for about thirty minutes. That’s when I realized that I was starving for adult interaction.

Bathtime is the pits. Hub always does the baths. I know; I’m spoiled. I’ve been told. But I love him for this. After being on bath duty for a week, I have a renewed appreciation for his willingness to own this chore when he’s around.

I am not a fun parent. I knew this before, but never have I felt so inadequate as I did last week when 6 p.m. would roll around and my husband didn’t arrive home to entertain the kids. You could tell they felt it, too, because they would start to get all rammy when the sun went down. I think my son actually tried to take the place of my husband. He was wrestling with his sisters and chasing them around the house. And I actually allowed it because I figured at the very least, it might wear them out so they’d go to bed easily for me.

It’s easier to parent alone in the summertime. When I’ve been alone in the past, it’s always been summertime. It’s not so bad in the summer because it doesn’t get dark so early and the kids are usually outside playing until bedtime. Plus there is always a group of adults converging on the sidewalk as they supervise their kids so I’m not so lonely. But in the wintertime, when the sun goes down at 5 p.m. and you realize there’s no one coming home, an eerie darkness settles over the house. I know the kids felt it, too.

Suffice it to say, there were four very happy people in the house when my husband arrived home on Thursday afternoon. Hopefully, work won’t call him away for quite some time. Or at least until the summer.

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