With the nature of the Railroad, as a few other professions, I find my husband is more often unavailable than free to help me juggle the children.
Unavailable comes in many forms: sleeping, waiting for a call to go to work, sleeping, or just being completely gone out of the state for days. These statuses are also unpredictable, so I just plan to do most things by myself with our two kids. I like to call it Solo Parenting, because I don’t speak Spanish regularly and it seems less lonely to me than saying I have no one to help.
Here are some facts about solo parenting I’d like to share. Feel free to share them yourself if they hit home with you.
1. I am not a SINGLE parent. Mostly, well, because I am married. Yeah it’s hard to juggle a preschooler and a toddler in the grocery store at peak grocery store time. But I have support in other ways, like financially. Unlike a single parent, I have another adult within my household that provides income. I have a partner emotionally when he is around. We still make decisions together.
2. I’m either going to be 30 minutes early or I’m late. That’s it. They either have to poop right after I buckle them in, or they were angels and I had not included that in my daily equation. There is no “Divide and Conquer” because it’s just me, so you get what you get.
3. Irony of it all… I married my best friend, I hardly see him. Borrowed this from Kerry, a fellow RR wife. Think about when you haven’t seen your best friend in a while. I might be kinda grumpy. Sorry.
4. It is difficult for me to commit to anything outside normal babysitter hours, like drinks or dinners, etc. And forget the movies. If you wanna come drink in my kitchen with me after the kids go to bed, we’re probably best friends already.
5. I live by routine. I have to. My brain would explode if I didn’t, or I’d forget to change my kid out of his pajamas before sending him off to school. Same thing, same order, everyday.
6. My life is controlled chaos. My kids don’t listen, I have my own things going on on top of making sure my kids live everyday. Like I have to track when I eat, because I will spend so much time doing all the things that I will forget to feed myself anything more than a pot of coffee.