September 7, 2011

Work Widow


It's that time of year again. Fall. It is a time I've been dreading.

Don't get me wrong, as far as seasons go, Fall currently holds the coveted spot as favorite. I seriously L.O.V.E. football. It's like crack to me. I love Fall foods, all things pumpkin related and flavored are some of my favorites. I love chili and grilled cheese, and soups and stews and getting up early on a Saturday to make my mom's red beans and rice that take ALL DAY LONG to cook properly. The days get a little shorter, the leaves turn beautiful colors, and because I live in the south, the temperature is perfect for strolling outside, sitting outside or doing anything outside. It is a welcome relief from the misery that is a Southern summer.

It is also the time that Chris goes back to school.

He is an adjunct faculty member for Southwest Community College and two nights a week he teaches business classes until 8pm.

He has done this for as long as I have known him, and I have always been supportive.

I used to do my grocery shopping on Tuesday nights, come home do some light cleaning, hang out with the dogs, maybe have a glass of wine, cook dinner and wait for Chris to come home so we could eat. Thursday went much the same, minus the grocery shopping and adding in some heavier cleaning.

Now the dynamic has changed. We have a five month old, who is very demanding and God help us all, thisclose to crawling.

After picking up the bug from daycare, I rushed home to begin a two hour whirlwind of single parenting before Chris got home.

She naps from 6-7 so during this time, I wash bottles, and her food containers, do some cleaning, switch the laundry, try to give some attention to my dogs, possibly think about what to make for dinner, make bottles for that night and the following day, make up her food for the next day and maybe change out of my work clothes (if I have time).

At seven she eats her bottle then some solids. After, I can put her in her pack-n-play or her bouncer but this tends to be her fussy time of day and she's pretty used to having parental attention.

Last night was a challenge. After she ate I had to put her in her bouncer so I could feed the dogs and cats, get her nighttime bottle out to heat up, prepare her nursery for her nighttime routine, fill her humidifier with clean water, get her bath all ready (has to be juuuuuust the right temperature and bubble to water ratio) and get her towel and pj's all laid out. This all takes about 25 minutes. Last night she fussed the entire time she was in her bouncer. She didn't cry, but she was doing that whiny eh eh eh, aaaah, eh cry that she does. The one that says, "Hey mom, I'm not seriously pissed, but I'm annoyed enough to let you know about it and if you don't rectify this situation soon, I'm going to get seriously pissed!"

I snatched her out of her bouncer just as she hit the pissed stage. Shew. Headed that one off. I got her undressed, we did the naked baby dance and played in the bath for an extra long time.

Her Daddy got home just in time to read her a story before I rocked her to sleep.

Then, she slept. And I was exhausted. I have bronchitis (yes, again) so I'm sure that didn't help, but still...

It was one night. ONE. NIGHT. y'all.

Dinner never got made, hubby stopped and got Zaxby's on his way home (yeah, because that's healthy).

I'm dreading Thursday already.

I can't complain too much though because although I'll shoulder most of the parenting burden two nights a week I know Chris is doing this to give Evie and me everything he thinks we deserve (which is in his mind, the world), to help build up our savings so we can have good downpayments on a new car/house and more money for our Evie Savings Fund (car, college etc). He is also giving up a lot too. He is missing time with his kid and wife and I know that is hard on him.

So from now until Christmas break, two nights a week, I'll be a work widow.

I don't know how single parents do it. You have my highest respect. When do you eat?

Maybe Thursday I'll figure out the dinner thing.