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Mothering Single; F*cking sucks

by Deborah Cruz

This morning, I was awoken extra early by my hysterical 5 year old. She had a nightmare.When I went to her side and comforted her, in my half asleep state, I asked what her nightmare was. Through hyperventilation and tear stained cheeks, she blubbered, “I dreamed that Daddy could never come home.” She was absolutely frightened and overcome with sadness. Truth be told, we live with this fear every day of our lives. We have a commuter marriage. Which means he lives in another state 5 days a week for work, and I live here with our girls. I’m not sure that anyone can fully grasp this concept, unless you’ve lived through it. Our lives that were so closely knit and intertwined has devolved into two people who talk on the phone, forget what we’ve told each other or others we see on a daily basis. I don’t know how his day went every day,what he ate, if he’s sick or well. He’s missing first teeth lost, first days of class, all the every growing lists of children growing up. Me, I’m left alone and lonely.It’s a crap situation for all involved and I know most of you know the story. But when Bella had this dream, it made my heart seize with fear. The weather’s been bad , roads are icy and she was just so convinced that she never would see him again that I HAD to call to be sure he was OK. He answered, from the road, on his way to work. I told him what was going on, and she spoke to him.He squashed all fears and told her that he would see her tomorrow.He heard, what I was seeing. Our little girl distraught because she thought she’d never see her Daddy again. It’s a hard pill to swallow, even for us pros who have been doing this commuter marriage hell for 11 months.

They finished talking,he hung up and the next thing that happened was unexpected. I received a text from the Big Guy.Basically, I was told that I needed to move NOW versus our plan of us joining him when school was done for the year. I know you have all read the toll this commuter marriage has taken. It is hard. Most days, I want to chalk the whole thing and just go to him but there is a reason why we are doing this whole ordeal..the girls. Bella is in a great school with friends.In the beginning of school, this was not the case.She’s in kindergarten and it was hard in the beginning to form those bonds. I know some of you are thinking, but its only kindergarten. Well, last year at this same time, it was only preschool and it was in Virginia. I can’t do it to them again,however miserable I might be. This is their home,this is their town,this is their neighborhood, this is their comfort zone. Sure it sucks balls that the Big Guy doesn’t live with us on most days. Obviously, I hate going to bed every night without my husband, consoling children who are crying for him and doing it all by myself. Single mothering is hard and quite frankly, I fucking hate it! I’m pissed at the whole world that I have to do it. I’m married for Christ’s sake,this is NOT what I signed up for. But if we go now, I leave my own house to live with my in laws. We all know that people have their routines, its not going to be easy for any of us to all live in the same house. I’d say even on a very short term basis it’s going to be very near impossible even on good days. They are used to doing what they want,they’ve not had little kids living in the house in 30 years. They shouldn’t have to have to have another family cramping their style. You know how crazy kids can drive us and we’re their parents. Not to mention, we have our routine and that’s going to be completely disrupted.I’m used to doing what I want in my own house.Watching what I want, having impromptu dance parties,singing at the top of my lungs, coming and going, folding or not folding my laundry. Everything will be under a microscope. Freedom will be limited. I’m pretty sure I am going to need to be medicated at some point to deal with the stress.

The Big Guy just knows that his heart wants the girls and me with him. My heart wants the same, but my head is telling me this will be a mistake of epic proportions to go now.We can’t afford an apartment or another house until the one we have sells. That’s why the in laws offered that we could stay there. But, I’m sure they have their reservations too. And they are allowed to feel those reservations.It will be disruptive and difficult for everyone involved. But what do I do? He wants us together, and the heart wants what the heart wants. So,am I supposed to be the bad guy and the voice of reason? Or am I supposed to give everybody instant gratification but it may very well end badly in the long run? I’m so conflicted. And yes, in case you were wondering, the transition will be hardest on me. Aside from still having to do most stuff by myself because the Big Guy is gone all day at work ( 11 hours) I will have to be doing it all in somebody elses house, in a strange town,while my house sits empty waiting to be sold.I just feel like our lives have been in a state of upheaval for so long that I just about can’t stand it. I feel like if much more gets piled on me, I may freaking lose my shit. Every time I get a handle on the load of shit the world has piled on, somebody or something walks over and says hey let’s add this and see if it breaks her. Well, guess what? I’m tying to stay positive and keep my eye on the finish line but it doesn’t help when my partner says “Ahh, if its too hard just quit.” Why wait until I’ve ran over half the marathon to tell me that I didn’t need to run it at all? I need an all knowing person to tell me what to do.Jenny,Laura, Sarah, you’ve been where I’m at, what are your thoughts?

What would you do? Do you take the hard route and get immediate gratification or do you tough it out  alone and do it the best way? Very interested in hearing everyone’s thoughts.

*Since writing this post, I have spoken to my friend Jen and bounced it all off an empathetic ear of someone who’s been where I am at. Thank God for girlfriends. Love you Jen. The Big Guy and I have decided that we have to do what’s best for our girls and ourselves, which for now, still means living in separate residences.But the house is going on the market in the next couple of weeks versus the original early spring date. And we’re working on maybe utilizing a work from home option occasionally to get us over the hump. In the mean time, keep us in your prayers:)

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Bruna 2011/01/20 - 9:51 pm

Deb, you never cease to make me feel things when I read your post! I can only imagine how hard it is for you and your girls to be so far away from Dad. I don’t know what I would do in your shoes. Part of me would just go but at the same time, part of me would stick it out. I would not want to live with my in-laws and they’re nice. When it’s not your house, it’s not the same. I don’t think you’re being selfish. I think your decision is a good one.

Keeping you and your family in my prayers always.
You know I love you, girlfriend!

TheJugglingAct (Belinda) 2011/01/21 - 2:37 am

I know it’s a hard situation you’re gonig through. I don’t know if you remember but my husband leaves home by 4:00 a.m. and doesn’t return home until 7 pm or later most nights, 5/6 days a week. Not the same, but tough just the same. Personally, I would try to stick it out with what you’re doing now. It’s not easy, but as you said, quick gratification will come at a great cost. My dad lost his job 8 years ago and my parents lived with us for 5 years. It was rough on all of us. I love my parents but it was something I wish we had never had to do. Now we live in a 2 family house and it’s easier but I’d love just a bit more distance. Go with your heart and wait until its the optimal time for everyone. So sorry your dealing with this. I’m hear if you need someone to talk to.

Truthful Mommy 2011/01/21 - 4:17 am

Thanks.We talked it out and we know it has to stay this way a bit longer.The other option would NOT work, for any of us. I hate that you have to go throught the single mothering too. Its a bit much at times.Hang in there. ANd I will too, Thanks for your kind words.

Mommyfriend 2011/01/23 - 10:37 pm

In your corner, hugs. I know this is so hard for you, your strength amazes me. Just remember, this isn’t forever, this is for right now. Praying for you.

Coolwhipmom 2011/01/27 - 1:50 am

I am so sorry, sweetie!! I can’t even imagine living apart from my husband all the time. It must be incredibly hard. But I also can relate that it would be super hard to live with your inlaws. That sounds stressful. I really hope your house sells fast so you can make the changes you need to quicly!! I’ll be praying for you guys.

Robin McClure 2011/02/05 - 2:28 pm

I just stumbled across this and can half-relate. We don’t have children, but my husband is a truck driver. Which means I don’t see him for 3 weeks at a time. When I do see him, he can be home one day for every week that he’s out.

We’ve only been married a few months and we know it won’t last forever, just until he can get a local job where he’d be home every day. We’re hoping that he can a semi-local job (home every weekend) in about 7 months. (This is better than the year before we got married. He was in Iraq for a year-long tour.)

I can go with him occasionally since I freelance, but we have to find someone to house and dog sit and we have to be able to afford it. (Feeding just him on the road is $700/mth. Throw me in and it’s about $250/week. Then take into consideration the cost of having someone house sit and it adds up quickly.)

When I am home, his family is pressuring us(me) into having kids. We’ve only been married a few months and despite the scientific unlikelihood of it, there’s the side that I don’t want to be a single mom. (His sister is 21 years old and she and her husband just had their first kid. While shopping for Christmas stuff together, she complained because her husband was going to be gone overnight. I couldn’t think of anything to say that would sound remotely sympathetic.) When he IS home, his family complains because we only spend a “few hours” with them (read 4pm to 11pm). I’m going crazy.

All that to say I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’m so grateful we haven’t started a family yet (though I can’t say I would honestly be sad if we accidentally did). It sounds like the two of you have done what you can to balance it out and keep in touch. It also sounds like you don’t have to put up with it for that much longer, so that’s good, too.

Good Luck! (And sorry this was so long)

Mrs. C 2011/02/07 - 9:37 pm

I can relate to this. We’ve had a commuter marriage since April of 2010. I feel like I haven’t slept in a year. I am balancing school for myself, as well as the activities of my sons. My 6 year old son has been acting out lately and is driving me crazy and I don’t have my husband here to lean on. You took the words right out of my mouth when you said “This isn’t what I signed up for.” That phrase has run through my mind plenty of times. I am glad that your family is working on a way to resolve this.

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[…] commuter marriage and all the upheaval that has come with that. The moving, the separation, the hurt and finally, the reunion, we have survived as a family. It’s been really […]


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