When My Husband Goes Away, I Finally Get My Way

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single momIt’s 9 p.m. and I’m tucked up in bed with a box of cereal, a jar of peanut butter and a laptop maxed full of downloads. The kids are calm, satisfied and breathing audibly in their room. The thermostat is exactly where it should be. Everything I need is just where I’ve left it. My whiteheads are popped and my hairy bits plucked into submission.

The good news is I’ve just had eight days of “me” time, give or take several hours with the children, moving at a pace chosen by yours truly.

The bad news is my husband is due home in the morning.

Ah, alone time. I never used to dream of it, pine for it like the boy next door or a bag of Reese’s Pieces. I was always a people person, evolving into a couple person: reow! But somewhere along the timeline of our marriage my subconscious began airbrushing the other human beings from my fantasy bed. Even as a mom, once desperate for another adult with whom to share the daily grind, I’ve begun to cherish my freedom. My reactions, hearing news of my husband’s impending departure, have segued through the years from panic and depression to mild disappointment, neutrality and finally euphoria. Recently, while celebrating our 10th anniversary, my husband and I considered what we could do in future to keep the flame alive. I suggested he go away more often.

Sometimes romance is in the eye of the beholder.

I can’t be alone in feeling this way, however callous it may sound. I couldn’t be the only mom in the sisterhood to relish sofa suppers, basking in the angelic glow of my twitter feed. Am I alone in preferring to graze on nuts and berries rather than cook the meat-and-two-veg that’s required when there are two of us around?

Call me a saddo in sweatpants and no bra, but sometimes I prefer silence to the pleasantries of married life. “How was your day, dear?” [grrr] “Whatcha reading?” [grits her teeth] “Remind me what we’re doing this weekend – every hour from Friday evening through to Sunday night?” [gaaaaahh]

“Let’s get it on.” [feigns sleep]

I guess I just take it all for granted.

It’s a good problem to have, as they say. If I had real problems, I suppose I’d welcome the daily banter and civilized mealtimes. I’d go back to hiding my design magazines inside the Economist and keep my jeans buttoned throughout the day. I can hack it, if it helps keep the flame alive.

I just happen to know what else helps more.

(Photo: BananaStock)