Sunday, August 13, 2006

Alone again, naturally

There was a time not too long ago1 when I loved “alone time.” There were a million things that I would enjoy doing in my alone time – long baths, reading, walks, sunbathing, watching crap on TV. Now, however, I find that I hate alone time or at least hate what the present-day incarnation of “alone time” actually is. Alone time now means that I am alone with D. Jr. for LONG STRETCHES of time – it does not mean that I am soaking in the tub with essential oils and the European edition of Cosmo. Far from it.

I should back up, I guess. I am currently in the midst of anticipating/dreading 4 days of upcoming “abandonment” by D. Sr. this week. D. Sr. is leaving for California on Tuesday morning (at a time so early that even D. Jr. will not be awake) and coming back Friday night at a time so late that no one - not even Petey Pablo, canine - will be up waiting for him.

This isn’t the first time D. Sr. has had to leave us for business travel, but it will be one of the longest stretches. Also, D. Jr. can be such a little hellion now that I am already exhausted thinking about my approximately 96 hours of solo parenting. When you factor in the joys of Petey, somehow doing all the crap that needs to get done in a week, and the fact that I don’t really have anyone available to either break up the monotony of my days or even help out much, I am really dreading it. It is a challenge - trying to get "comfortable" with the feelings that come along with no adult stimulation for HOURS or even DAYS at a time . . . in a weird way the blog will be a lifesaver, I’m sure. Also, difficult is getting used to the potentiality of always being interrupted no matter what you’re doing by crying, poop, injury, etc. This "alone time" reality means that quick showers are always the mode and long baths never are.

Needless to say, then, this type of alone time does not resemble anything from my past. The only “down time” I get is when D. Jr. naps and goes to bed for the night and I normally spend this time trying to shower, to clean the house, do laundry, pay bills, make formula, do phone calls, etc. – all that incidental stuff that just doesn’t get done when he is awake and charging around the house, poking the dog and examining electrical outlets. When he finally goes to bed for the night, I might get a chance to read or watch TV, but not for long as I try to get to bed early. Why? Because if D. Jr. is up in the night (sadly a frequent occurrence lately2) it’s my problem and mine alone. There just isn’t another adult to switch off with.

I feel bad whining and complaining about this, but what can I say? It’s just SO HARD – tiring, exhausting, more than a bit stultifying – and I can’t find the bright side of all this “alone time.” I know a lot of single parents do this all the time and all I can say is hats off to them and thank God for quality children’s television programming. I also feel bad because I know that my “complaining” (I prefer to call it “expressing my feelings about reality”) makes Dustin feel bad, but to date he has not had to be the single parent for days in a row so he doesn’t really know what it feels like. I know that he’s not on a pleasure cruise – it’s work-related travel – but I have to admit that I am envious and resentful of the fact that he gets to spend 4 days in sunny California in a premiere hotel and eating at fine restaurants. His upcoming “reality” would be my fantasy. He admits that he enjoys himself – especially the consistent and uninterrupted sleep – but that being away from us is really difficult and challenging and he’d much rather be at home (I think he just says that so I’ll shut up!!).

The last time I had true “alone time” (as in time spent without D. Sr. and D. Jr.) was last week for a couple of hours and it was spent out of the house. I went shopping for an undergarment that I can wear under a dress to an upcoming wedding – an undergarment whose sole purpose is to reshape and redistribute all the fat in my torso that has not gone away since birthing D. Jr. After trying on about 10 of these things, I wasn’t exactly feeling bright and happy about myself. It was a really crappy way to spend my alone time – no wonder Momily had to buy a bottle of Pinot Grigio just for herself that night. I guess my point here is that where my alone time may result in bulimia, D. Sr.’s alone time results in getting rid of the dark circles under his eyes and enjoying quality sushi. Not that it’s a competition or anything about who suffers the most . . . but if it was I’d certainly be the winner. THPPPT!

So, all I can do is get through this week while I miss my husband terribly and try to find some coping methods (booze, blog, bad TV - in that order). This will be the first time that D. Jr. and I are alone together where we have both the car and D. Jr. being in good health (knock on wood!), so it should be better than previous times. Hopefully, we can attempt to get out of the house in the days and Momily can drink alone at nights and all will be well. Either way, you can expect to read more about it soon.

1 The recent realization that D. Jr. has spent more time out of me than in me has put me in a bit of a time warp, so I’m not entirely sure how long ago these carefree days actually were!
2 I can’t complain too much about this – D. Jr. usually is usually up only once in the night wanting a bottle and goes back to sleep right away. The issue is that I have a very hard time falling back asleep. UGH!

~Image source:


At 10:48 AM , Anonymous Shannon Marchand said...

This isn't really a comment for the site - more just to say what (I hope) goes without saying: give us a shout if there is anything you need or we can do to assist while you're single parenting this week. Shannon

At 10:55 AM , Blogger Momily said...

thanks - this might include, "you bring the tonic, i'll supply the gin"!!

At 12:13 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salma Says:

Ditto for me Ems. Just holler if you need some company. Has Little D ever been to BPs Pasta Tuesday? Start em young!


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