My husband has just arrived home after a month long stint working at the Winter Games in Sochi. As a media professional, he had a few hurdles to overcome with housing and food (you certainly read all about it) and sufficed to say, he was as ready to come home as we were to have him.
How many times have you heard the saying, "You don't fully appreciate something until it's gone?" Well, it certainly applied this month.
I couldn't possibly sugar coat my single parent status for the time he was away. The daily grind of getting off to school, picking up, dinner, bath time, bed time, making lunch for the next day, cleaning up, trying to get some professional work done... well, it made for a really. long. day. It was difficult not having another parent around to help balance out the inevitable meltdowns that occurred when we were all tired. And I missed not having someone to talk to about topics other than Frozen and the merits of string cheese and apple slices. Sure, I enjoyed watching a little bad reality TV without being teased and eating cereal for dinner, but overall I was simply exhausted and ready for our family to come together again. I missed the balance on our month long see saw ride.
But upon thinking back on this month as a whole, I would just like to say that my hat is off (on the floor, in fact) to all the single parents out there. Many, many individuals do the solo act of loving, caring and nurturing their children every day, and I am so in awe of them. It is a tremendous thing to carry the responsibility of raising children, and so, so important for single parents to have others they can lean on for support (friends came to my rescue on multiple occasions!). I realize that 4 weeks on my own in no way makes me an expert on things, merely an onlooker from the sidelines.
I suppose this post is one with a two-fold message; one in which I happily welcome my husband back to our family, and another in which I encourage you that if you know a single parent, to help raise them up. To lend a hand when needed or an ear for listening. To support their parenthood journey. It takes a village, right?
-By Ellen Schmidt