I read something this week though that really struck a chord with me, and I felt it warranted taking the time to address the reality of this deployment journey we’re on. I am not a single parent. I am a solo parent.
I am not alone. I have a partner in this; he’s just unable to be here with me in this time. I have the utmost respect for those who are single parents because, as a solo parent, I touch the very tip of the iceberg in regards to doing this alone. At the end of the day though, I have my rock and my support system in my husband – no matter how far away he is. I thank those who celebrate my little victories doing these things solo, and I’m endlessly grateful for my cheering squad, but I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and honor those who are actually single parents…because you’re the real MVP here! So, in that vein, I’m going to take this Friday to share some of my true, honest, and (at times) horrifying solo parent confessions thus far this deployment.
// I confess that I always fight an internal battle whether to check on the boys when crying at night.
99% of the time, these little turkeys are just fine. They share a room by choice, and they have their ridiculous little squabbles. Sometimes though, I enter and happen upon a horrifying scene like that of Wednesday evening. The blondie decided to go on a fishing expedition…and not a little one, mind you. He had fistfuls of you-know-what, and this mama had to try to rein in her own gag reflex whilst changing, cleaning, and disinfecting the havoc. It’s always a risk walking in that room after dark.
// I confess that I sometimes resent Ryan’s deployments.
Do I want to deploy? Hell naw. Emotionally, I couldn’t be separated from my beans or my fur babies that long. And heck, it’s hard enough being on this side of the deployment. That being said, sometimes I resent his freedom (relative, mind you) from toddler demands, midnight wakeups, and the aftermath of little ones really struggling with the reality of deployments. Doesn’t that sound selfish? Oh well…
// I confess that my cooking game goes downhill immensely when Ryan leaves.
I don’t know about other parents’ children, but my kiddos eat like birds. It’s always a bit hit-or-miss as to whether they’re going to eat the dinner I cook. I’ve also reached the stage of pregnancy where A) I have zero room for food, B) I have no appetite whatsoever, and C) my nausea has returned. Thus, I do a lot of scrambled eggs, noodles, and sandwiches for the boys. They also love smoothies, but my pregnant butt packed the blender, soooo oops.
// I confess that sometimes my proverbial “rope” is a little shorter than it should be.
There was that time last weekend when I took the boys to the dog park with Danny and, despite my warnings, both boys managed to emerge from the park covered in dog poop. (I feel like this is a theme in my life.) Or, there was the time when Porter simply refused to put his jacket on to get ready for school, so I faked out a toddler, got in the car, and pretended to drive away. Or, there was that fateful trip to Target where I cried in the parking lot. I’d hazard a guess that 80% of this is hormones, but I think that any mama can attest there is a limit.
// I confess that as crazy as these kids make me, I miss them the second I drop them off at school.
After our four-day snowpocalypse last week, I was so ready for the boys to go back to school so I could focus on work and get things ready for our move in 10 days (wait…what?!) Then, the second I left, I sat in the car with an aching heart because I missed their goony little faces and ridiculous antics. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.
Being a solo parent during deployment is hard. It’s exhausting. Most days it pushes me to the very brink of sanity. But it also challenges me to new levels, and it brings me closer to these little men. I love watching their personalities bloom. I love being able to help them through this difficult transition without Daddy, and I love when they come and cuddle me, knowing mama just needs a hug. So yes, solo parenting is hard. But would I do it again? In a heartbeat.