Mommy Mondays are really just an excuse to show off pictures of my baby. Feel free to ignore all the text.
(Important Editorial note: I have no idea what it's like to be a single parent. I have a lot of help in my life, even when The Gorilla and I are apart. I am not within 100 miles of the single parent category, and my thoughts below are meant strictly for those with a traveling and/or workaholic co-parent.
Also, we ALWAYS have a housesitter at our home when we are gone for more than one night. Not to mention the people who trek in and out of our house on a daily basis regardless of if we are in town or not. In case you were wondering. Or in case you are a bling-ring type of burglar and aren't aware that we have killer turtles in the backyard.)
The Gorilla and I are back together after nearly two weeks apart while he was shooting his movie and I was at the lake. Constant travel is a way of life for us, both together and apart. The Gorilla's career, close-knit friends and and family scattered throughout the country, and multiple homes means we spend more than you average amount of time in an airport.
But having a child brings a whole new dimension to this separation. It's one thing to miss the companionship of your spouse, but it's another thing entirely to miss your kid or to handle an infant on your own when you're used to another set of hands.
These last two weeks were the longest we've spent apart since Pigtail was born. I can't speak for my husband, but during those two weeks I experienced hours of frustration, moments of zen, and midnight meltdowns. So, pretty much like any other two weeks.
Sanity. You might be surprised at the amount of will it takes for me to think rationally sometimes. (Or maybe you're not surprised at all.) When I'm on my own, I have to plan ahead in order to stick to my daily goals and, more importantly, I have to learn what to let go of at the end of the day.
When The Gorilla gets home at night, I sometimes use the after-dinner hours to pick up the pieces of whatever task while he takes care of the baby. When he's gone, I find that I'm beat down exhausted once Pigtail is down for the night, and I don't have that surge of late-night energy. I have to be okay with less items checked off the to-do list.
Also, and this is important yet sensitive territory, you can't let your tired and suddenly solitary mind go into a tailspin over "What is he doing tonight?" or "Why am I stuck here while he's having all the fun?" or, or, or...pick your poison. Everyone has their own pathway to volatile mind hell. Over the years I think I've experienced (and picked a fight over) them all.
I don't do that so much anymore. I've (mostly) learned to re-direct my thoughts when they point down the looney path.
A smartphone. Makes it so much easier to be apart. We can send pictures or even voice recordings in an instant. We don't have video on our phones, but that might just be the next step. After all, who else appreciates every single minutia of detail about Pigtail? No one except her daddy.
The pictures on this post are all actual photos I took for The Gorilla on my iPhone while we were apart this trip.
Now, everyone has a phone. Cell or landline. Use it. The Gorilla and I talk every day, usually multiple times a day. Constant communication is so vital in a relationship. I think there might be a book written about that. I'll look it up and get back to you.
In other Pigtail news, she cut her first tooth late last week. Holy Heck I thought that thing was never going to come through. It reiterated for me what an easy and mellow baby she usually is, and how I have no business dispensing any thoughts on parenting.