For the past 12 days and nights (but who’s counting??!!) I have been flying solo in the parenting department while my partner has been in a whole other state for work. Now when I say flying solo I need to be totally honest and admit I have had a LOT of help and support from my parents and close friends. Sweet Pea and I have had dinner and been on sleep overs at Nanny and Poppy’s to help break up the time, we’ve had catch ups with dear friends and other beautiful friends have messaged us regularly to help keep us (and by us, I mean me!) sane. So, in the real scheme of things I have been far from alone.
But in terms of co-parenting a feisty, energetic, curious 4 year old I have felt quite alone at times. We have skyped each night with my partner and texted back and forth but it just isn’t really the same is it? Sweet Pea thought it was pretty cool and exciting for the first few nights and after that her enthusiasm started to drop off – Dad was there and we were here and she had “Paw Patrol” episodes to watch that required more of her focus. I would fill him in with tid bits about my days all the time feeling as though I needed to protect him from how I was really feeling, and coping. We were doing fine just the two of us – but by god I was missing him something fierce. I was missing having another adult, my favourite adult, to connect with at the end of the day, I was missing being able to talk about how I was really feeling and have someone hug me and hold me tight and say that everything would be ok. I was missing having someone I love look me in the eyes without a computer screen in between us. I was missing watching crappy TV and being able to jointly pass judgement on those we were viewing. I was missing watching compelling TV and having a like- minded person sitting next to me to debate with. I was missing having dinner with another adult who wanted more than chicken nuggets and tomato sauce for dinner. I was missing having Sweet Pea’s father around to play with her, to discipline her and put her to bed when she just refused to go. I was missing having my partner.
We knew this was the deal when my partner took this new job – it is an amazing opportunity for him and it is a role that he relishes but he will possibly be on the move a fair bit. Having him thousands of miles away for days, and sometimes weeks, at a time will be incredibly hard for us as partners and parents. It will be hard on our girl too who has an amazing bond with her patient, funny and fun-loving dad.
But for now I’m just trying to focus on the fact that in a few hours’ time he will be home with us again – right back where he belongs – and all will be right with the world. At least until he goes again…