We have a problem in our house right now. My husband is going on a business trip in less than two weeks, and I'm terrified. Not that anything will go wrong with his trip; nothing like that. I'm terrified because for the first time -- ever -- I will be left alone with our daughter for days on end.
I'll be living the single mom life. Just for a week.
I'm scared out of my mind.
How do single parents do this day in and day out?
It's not that I've never been alone with my kid. There was my whole entire maternity leave, and the period when I was only working part-time, and hundreds of other moments. We're alone for hours and hours all the time, and we're fine.
But we've never been alone for more than a day. By nightfall, or at the very least the next morning (if he had to work late), Daddy has always returned.
With him has come the yin to my yang. I'm the disciplinarian, but he's the patient one. I'm the maker of pediatrician appointments and checker of homework, but he's the one who goes out in the backyard to play catch (or at least the one who really seems to enjoy it when he does).
We have a pretty good system of co-parenting going on, so good that I don't know how to fly solo.
Moms do it all the time. But am I one of those moms? I have asked myself this over and over again since he first told me about the trip months ago. I've worked myself up with worries about what could go wrong.
Will I oversleep and then have to tell my boss I'll be late to work because I have to drive her to school, only to get back home and realize I forgot her lunch, forcing me to run BACK to the school? Will we have a fight over something (her shower, her homework, her messy bedroom, you pick) and will I end up screaming like a crazy person because there's no calm voice backing me up? Will she get sick of me and want Daddy?
Will I be a complete failure?
I love my kid, and I try to be a good mom, but these are the thoughts marching through my head, getting ever louder as we check off the days on the calendar approaching his trip.
I can't do it.
I am a bad mom.
Making it harder is how good my husband seems to be at all of this. He's never expressed these sort of worries when he's been left alone with her. I've gone on several business trips since she was born, leaving the two of them home alone. I don't have to leave him lists or call 20 times to check in; he's a wonderful father whether I'm home or not.
I wish I had the same faith in myself. Instead I stand back and admire all my single parent friends. I mean that sincerely. They are incredible women and men who seem to have the patience of Job and more. I look at them and while I hope that I can rise to the challenge, deep down ... I'm terrified I won't.
Single moms, tips, please! Do you ever feel this way?
Image via clevercupcakes/Flickr