>I have been single parenting for almost two weeks now as M is on his grande tour of Amazon offices. A few observations for spouses who travel:
1. Never once, now matter how true it may be, tell the spouse at home that you’re tired. She (or he) doesn’t want to hear it. She’s been alone with your kids for days on end, and tired as you may be, tired on the Eurostar just isn’t the same as tired in your own bed into which several small children have made their way in the middle of the night. And peed.
2. Bring an extra suitcase for gifts. Maybe two.
3. Pretend you’ve been eating tuna out of a can, even if you’ve eaten sushi in Tokyo and a pain au chocolat for breakfast in France. Every little bit helps.
4. When you get home, before you collapse into a jet-lagged slumber, leaving your spouse essentially on her own for another 48 hours… throw something sparkly at her.
I told M I love him, but I just don’t like his kids. Does that make me the world’s worst mother? My own mother in law swooped in and came to stay for a few days — a true godsend. But my boys, Bennett especially, pride themselves on showing her what a crappy parent I am. He likes to say, within MIL earshot, things like: “Why are you telling us not to yell? You always yell. You yell all the time. That’s why we don’t like you.” You can see what I’m up against.
By the time M got home from last week’s trip I was in true dishrag form; I could barely string a sentence together. This week is a little easier. Even though Bennett devotes a full hour a day to whining about his finger, Francie has been home sick, and I had to do some work despite being on maternity leave, I’m in better shape. It may have something to do with the fact that I know he’s coming home …with a suitcase of chocolate.