Childrearing

Anonymous Mom: I Envy My Part-Time Parenting Friends

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catpillowAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

Sometimes I really, truly, honest to goodness HATE my part-time parenting friends. Before everyone goes nuts, hear me out. We live in a really small community. I mean REALLY small. My husband drives a truck and I work full time. The bummer of this is that while my husband is gone two to three nights a week, I am at home, with my kids, in no mans land. By. My. Self.

For us, it works that he’s gone a couple nights a week. I think he might drive me nuts if he was home ALL the time. When the hubs is home he is definitely a super dad and will play with the kids so I can cook in peace or fold laundry without have it thrown in the air. He’ll even take over bedtime duty so I can sit on the patio and drink a beer.

But every morning, I get up before the sun and get myself ready for the day and then I have to go get up a 5-year-old and an 8-month-old. That can be an hour long process but we’re not finished yet. I put them in the car then drive 15 miles to the babysitter before turning around and backtracking five miles to work. I work from 7:30 in the morning until four o’ clock in the afternoon. Once I’m off work I go herd up my boys and drive 15 miles back home and then its snack/play time. Then it’s supper time, followed by baths, stories and bedtime for the boys at eight. When they are down I get to do the laundry, clean the house, wash dishes, pay bills, blah blah blah. I do this crap routine every. Single. Night.

All but one of my girlfriends has split families where they only have their kids two to three nights a week and every other weekend. When they call me or I call them we’ll shoot the shit for awhile and they’ll tell me how last night (when they were childless) they got their hair done, or nails did, or went to the movie, or out to supper and it was SO AWESOME!!!! And OMG’S!!! What did you do last night?!?!?! I swear, if I bit my tongue and harder it’d bleed and that’s when I tell them, same old stuff, played with the boys cooked supper, did chores and went to bed.

During these conversations it’s not uncommon to find out that three or four or more of my friends got together on a childless night and went to a concert, or out to dinner or did a mom’s only thing. I sit here like, WTF, what about me? I usually end up saying something along the lines of, “Wow, that sounds like fun. Give me a little heads up next time. I’d love to go.”

Then I get something like, “Well… you always have your kids.”

It is getting harder and harder to not respond to this without saying no shit Sherlock or something equally snarky. Trust me, I know that I ALWAYS have my kids.

Babysitters aren’t always a possibility for us. Our 8-month-old has some medical problems so it’s safest and best to have someone watch him who is close, knows both what to do and when to give him his meds when my husband and I go out. Unfortunately my parents live over an hour away and my in-laws, God bless them, just can’t get it right when it comes to the schedule/meds. There is one gal who is really good. When she’s available, she is happy to come over and watch the babes, but babysitters are expensive and she is in high demand by many couples with medically needy children.

I know it sounds petty and awful, but I would LOVE to have a couple nights/mornings without my kids. That means I could get my hair cut, or go see a movie I really wanted to, and not have to get up at five freaking a.m. every single day.

I know, I know, I’m a mom. I have kids. That’s my life now and blah blah blah. But I can’t be the only one who has looked at my friends that co-parents or part-time parent while listening to their tales of what they do with ALL their free time and thought to myself, I really effing hate you.

Yup, it does work both ways. I know that too. I have a friend that is a part-time parent and nothing would make her happier than having her child at home every single day. She is constantly telling me how blessed I am and how lucky I am to be married to my children’s father and in one household. I try to be grateful for what I have, but sometimes it is so hard.

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(photo: LittleStuff.me)