The end of single parenting
Our writer shares how after a week of sprained neck, computer malfunctions and car trouble, she is glad to have her husband home again.
My husband left me last week for an 8-day business trip. While it is not the first time he has been away, it is the first time he will be away over 2 weekends, leaving me with 2 kids, a house and a host of general activities to manage.
I decided to start my “Single” parenthood off in a relaxing manner.
He left early on Sunday morning, before the kids or the sun was up. I went back to bed and by the time I woke up, it was mid-morning. My kids and I decided to spend a nice Sunday swimming and having lunch by our condominium pool. The water was cold but the kids didn’t mind. We swam to warm up our bodies.
I was lulled into a dreamy holiday mood with the sun on my face and the kids in the background. After lunch, the kids returned to the pool and were splashing around in sibling harmony. All was good.
Suddenly, an urgent call: “Mommy, mommy! I can’t move my neck!”
What?! I was instantly tossed out of my dream state. Like most 6-year-old boys, my son has a talent for getting into situations that challenge me to manage my own state. In this case, not to panic when I saw his head bent perpendicular to his body.
Luckily, we have a neighbour who is a paediatrician. She recommended that we consult a doctor immediately and get an X-ray just in case. The doctor we saw was extremely nice and gentle to my poor son who was wincing in pain, but keeping up a brave front.
After spending the entire afternoon at the hospital emergency, my son was pronounced to have a minor sprain in the neck, but good to go home. He was very relieved his initial fear that he would become a “freak” was unfounded and very excited to show off his new neck brace to his friends and sister.
That, was day 1.
Even the technology conspires against me.
Day 2. I’m working from home to monitor my son’s neck and ensure he doesn’t get into more “trouble” – they can’t be still even with a sprain neck, can they? And of course, this is the week that my computer and printer decide to kick the bucket. I could not print anything on or offline. My wifi keeps getting disconnected and each time I upload something, it either erases or takes forever.
Usually when I encounter a technological glitch, I yelled for my husband to fix it. But of course, he is not around this week.
My husband takes my daughter to school every morning. It is their ritual. With him gone, that task fell on me.
On the morning of day 4 that my husband was away, the car engine sounded funny. Hmmm, I thought, better get my husband to look at it when he’s back. Fortunately, my daughter’s school was only a few minutes’ drive from the house. I dropped her off, came back to the car, and the blasted engine wouldn’t start!!
I still had to drop my son to school, and go to work after that. What the *&%$P!!! Should I call AA (Automobile Association of Singapore)? What does one do in such situations? I should have paid more attention when my husband was instructing me on all this ‘stuff’.
After several desperate SMSes, and waking my husband (who is in a different time zone) to ask him who I should call, we resolved the situation – the car battery had to be recharged. Duh!!
I promised myself there and then to be a better student when he coaches me on the intricacies of car trouble, technological connections and other matters concerning our home.
Daddy’s coming home today.
My kids have really missed their daddy this week. He does spend a lot of time with them, coaching, playing and tending to their needs. They’ve missed his silliness, and big shoulders to cry on when they have a boo-boo or hide behind when Mom’s angry with them.
Me? I have found new appreciation for my husband's role in our family unit. Aside from being extremely useful when it comes to the maintenance of the car, IT and electrical parts around the house, he has always been my great rock to lean on during difficult moments in my life. And I have learnt this week not to take his contributions too lightly or for granted.
He is on a plane coming home to us today; landing 10 minutes before the day is over. I am glad my "Single" parenthood has come to an end; that there is someone to share the trials and tribulations of this illustrious profession.
Whether you have anything planned for Valentine’s Day or not, it is still a day to reaffirm your love and commitment to your family unit and to each other.
So to all of you, Happy Valentine's Day!
And to my husband, it’s good to have you home, babe! Happy Valentine’s Day!