We've always lived far away from relatives and close friends, and sometimes, particularly if you've got one heckuva challenging mother-in-law, it's not such a bad thing.
But if you've got a cool set of parents or some great friends who just so happen to have kids your age, it really sucks.
I'm quite envious of all my friends and even some family that have loved ones close by, mostly because they're often afforded free respite and much needed breaks, sometimes even overnight ones (sounds heavenly!), that we've never had the good fortune to enjoy. But when I'm due with a baby, my fourth one here in a couple of weeks, I really wish we had family and closer friends nearby.
I realize that this isn't particular to just sometimes single moms, but to any mom who lives far away from her friends and relatives. It's quite commonplace now, regardless of whether your husband travels or not, so this is something that I know many of us can relate to.
With Margot, we had a couple of neighbors who were "on call" and willing to come over and sit with our kids so my husband could accompany me to the hospital. As it turned out, my water broke in the middle of the night like my other two pregnancies, but I didn't really have contractions, so when 11 a.m. rolled around and we headed off to the hospital, we were able to call our regular babysitter to assist us and didn't have to make the 2 a.m. phone call.
However, that meant that my husband had to head home pretty soon after Margot was born to be with the other kids.
This time around we'll be doing the same thing, though with all the rampant sleep issues plaguing our home, I'm afraid at the thought of what my poor neighbor will have to endure. It certainly won't be an easy sleep on the couch and wait for word from us. Then again, I'm pretty sure I'll be occupied with other things to be thinking about while I'm pushing a baby out.
We've also asked our regular sitter if she would be willing to be "on call" as well, because she might actually fare a bit better with my kids than the neighbors, whom my children know well but haven't spent as much time, particularly doing their daily rituals, with. However, we've yet to figure out how exactly I'll get myself to the hospital if my husband happens to be gone. Our friends are all two-parent households, but if someone has to drive me and someone has to stay with my kids, then they'll have no one to tend to their own children.
Like everything else, it seems as though it's much easier to overthink and over-plan everything. And sometimes, it can make you more worried than you actually need to be.
Photo from Flickr/cod_gabriel