Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Survival Week

I'm so happy to be on the other side of last week. It was a rough week for three reasons:
1) We had been in Cincinnati over the previous weekend. It was a wonderful trip and we saw lots of great family and friends (like you, Jan!;) ... but we didn't get home until 11 o'clock Sunday night. There's certain things I need to get done over the weekend to make the week's tasks seem bearable. By Monday, I like to have major housecleaning, meal planning, and grocery shopping off the list. Not usually hard to accomplish over the weekend, but if it's not done when we're both home, we're living in a filthy mess and scrounging for food the rest of the week. Plus, I wasn't prepared for classes yet so I stayed up until 1 o'clock to do lesson plans.

2) Part of the reason I wasn't ready for the week's classes is because I was substitute teaching for a co-worker who got called for jury duty. It's the same class as mine, but four days a week instead of three, with shorter class periods. So although we would be covering much of the same material, it needed to be reworked a bit to fit their schedule. Plus, it was a very .... eye-opening experience. But more about that later. In the big scheme of things, doubling my teaching time meant that I had even less time to get things done at home.

3) Keith left straight from work on Thursday afternoon to run the Bourbon Chase relay race on Friday and Saturday. Originally, we were all going to go and Eleanor and I were going to cheer Keith, Karen, and the rest of the team on. But once I started teaching, taking a day off wasn't an option. Instead, I was home alone and IN CHARGE. It was very frightening.

But we all made it through in one piece. I thought about making this a post about what it felt like to be a single mom for a day, but quickly realized that would be completely wrong and inappropriate. I still have no idea what it would be like to be the sole breadwinner, parent, role model, cook, cleaner, and boo-boo kisser. I do feel certain that I wouldn't be able to handle it. When I was home by myself, I knew I only needed to make it a few days. Eleanor and I even went over to my parents' house on Saturday and spent the night, so my time as sole responsible person was cut in half. And my friend Emily came over Thursday and Friday nights, so I didn't have to entertain myself much either. I only worked a few hours on Thursday and Friday .... because I don't need a full-time job, thanks to Keith.

I did what I needed to, to get through last week. But I knew that I could push off anything not urgent, because Keith would be back and this week would be less hectic. I shudder—nay, curl into a ball and weep—at the thought of being responsible for all of it, all the time. I get so caught up in worrying about all the things I want to get done, and how I could be doing things better, that I don't think I give much credit where credit is due. I have a fantastic support system, from Keith to my family (blood relatives and in-laws), to in-person and virtual friends. Although the thought of being in charge of EVERYTHING all by myself is frightening, in a way it's also comforting because I know that will never happen. I have you, and that means a lot!


Bob said...


I fully understand your feeling about wanted to at least talk about what it's like to do it on your own, even for a few days. Definitely 100% different from being a mom/dad in a two parent household. Glad to hear you made it out in one piece and hope we get to see you guys soon.


M. Lubbers said...

Bob, I know that you know what I'm talking about! I hope Andrea is doing well and you're back to a happy 2-parent household soon!

The next time we'll be down is for Thanksgiving. Up for the 10k that morning? ;)