The Single Issue

My husband was a single dad this weekend.

HA.  NOT.

Dad’s kind of breakfast.

He was at home with the kids while I went away for a few nights, He was in no way a “single dad.”
Yet, I wonder how many of us refer to ourselves as single parents when the spouse is gone.  Mr. Sexy used to be out of our home daily from 4 am to 7 pm. I was asked if it felt like I was a single parent.  My answer is: Heck no!  My husband came home every night. I texted him all day. He was working and bringing in an income so I could be home with the kids. It was always strange to be asked if I felt like a single parent.

I may hit some hot buttons with this topic.  While it’s not a huge deal, it’s still something I hear from people and I’m thinking about it today as I left Mr. Sexy with all 3 kids this weekend.

Sometimes it’s a weekend, sometimes it’s a week, sometimes it’s a few years that one spouse is out of the home.  Work conference, get away weekend, and deployment are just a few examples. But none of that makes either spouse single.

I understand taking care of the kid(s) alone day in and day out would feel lonely.  Before I met and married Mr. Sexy I was doing the single mom thing.  I consider it a huge blessing we got married when Michael was very young.  Thinking about my personal education, a steady income and Michael’s future was a lot to juggle on my own.  Not to mention the day to day tantrums, grocery shopping, bed time stories and so on.

I was a single mom.
I was the source of my income.
I was my housekeeper.
I was Michael’s disciplinarian.
I was the chef.

There was no other person coming home to us at the end of the day.
There was no one to tell me good night as I turned off the light.
There was no cash flow coming from anyone other than me (ok, well, I was on welfare so the government did their part too).
There were no love letters in my email, no love notes in my mailbox.
When I had a bad day, there was no significant other to text, email or call about it.

Am I making my point?

Denai at 32 weeks.

Mr. Sexy and I found out I was pregnant with Denai the morning he had to leave for three weeks.  Military stuff.  He wasn’t allowed to cancel or postpone.  Three weeks was a long time.  I missed him so much it felt painful.  Taking care of the two kids and growing one was exhausting work for me. I didn’t get to talk to Mr. Sexy whenever I wanted.  Most of the time his phone was off.  But I texted him as if he were able to read each one so he would be fully updated when he had some time to talk. I wasn’t working outside the home, yet there was still a cash flow in my bank account so I could do the grocery shopping. I looked forward to Mr. Sexy coming home every day – as did the kids.

In no way was I a single mom during those weeks. My husband was away and working hard to provide for our family.  I don’t know many single parents who can say that.

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6 thoughts on “The Single Issue

  1. I love reading your take on this. I think too many people, especially military families use the term 'single parent' loosly when their significant other is deployed. I'll prob cause controversy by saying this but I agree with you, just because you are doing it all alone for a few weeks or months doesn't mean your a single parent. (I probably have no right saying any of this because I don't have kids)

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  2. I admit, I say that when hubby is gone on an especially long shift schedule…. but in my heart, I mean I KNOW that I am not. So it is a term used loosely … that perhaps should be eliminated. because my mom truly was a single parent, so I do know the difference. It's just that it can SEEM that way when he is on his 4th straight night and I haven't had a break in 4 days and you can just get to the point of Oh Lord, give me strength!! LOL
    And… He always does. 🙂

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