Having a spouse who takes a lot of work trips is not the same as single parenting.
It's just not.
This opinion of mine may very well be an unpopular one. Still, as a woman whose husband recently started traveling much more for work, about 2 – 3 weeks out of the month, I feel that I'm allowed to have thoughts on this, and I've permitted myself to share them.
What I can't speak to is what it is like to be a single parent, which is why I wouldn't dare ever compare having a busy, globetrotting husband to raising kids on my own.
When he is gone, things are harder.
That's a given.
Life is more hectic, and I rush around like an amped-up version of the typical basketcase I am, and I have very little time to keep up with the laundry, cleaning, or sometimes to even park my biscuit on the couch for more than two minutes before being beckoned to tend to a need.
BUT, at the end of the day -- and because I secured one of "the good ones," also throughout the day -- my kids feel the love of two doting parenting though their father is physically distanced from them.
Two plane wings may have flown him away from me, our home and his three children, but his heart, it's always with us, and that's something that most (not all) single mamas are sadly lacking --
a partner, man or woman, who, though miles away, is never too far.
Never to far
send a quick text,
help with the big parenting decisions,
have important discussions,
tell jokes over facetime,
share about the day,
and so much more.
Someone who is "all-in" this parenting gig with you even when they are not physically with you.
And that, my friend, differentiates those of us mamas with frequently traveling spouses and single mothers.
All moms are badasses.
All moms are hardworking.
All moms are giving their children everything they've got.
And, all moms are impressive AF.
But, single mothers, they are exceptionally special.
They find within them what us married, and joint parenting folk must rely on each other for – strength.
I may be sitting on my bed right now with all three of my love nuggets drifting off to sleep only for me to join them in about two hours to sleep very uncomfortably at the foot of the bed and by their stinky toes so that we can all be together while Daddy is away, but Daddy will be back, and that gives me solace.
For single mamas, they are their own solace, and that requires incomparable spirit and grit –
the kind none of us should claim to have unless we have or are living it.
If you are a single mother, please know you are seen, respected, and hugely admired.
If you are the consistently traveling, but loving spouse of a hardworking mama, please know that you are seen, respected, and immensely appreciated for your willingness to stay connected to your family while you are gone.
If you are the mama with the traveling spouse, I see you, I feel you, and I am you.
Keep up the excellent work; just don't compare it to that of single mamas who are out there killin' it too.