Because of the holiday schedule, my son spent about 2 1/2 weeks with his other mom from Christmas through New Years. So now, he and I have had 2 1/2 weeks together.
Two and a half full weeks with my little man! Two and a half weeks of school drop off and pick up. Two and a half weeks of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Two and a half weeks of homework, bedtime stories, movies on the couch, baseball on the wii, board games, puzzles, and streaking through the living room after a bath (him, not me). Two and a half weeks of little feet sneaking across the living room in the middle of the night and sliding under the duvet next to me. Two and a half weeks of little feet kicking me in the spleen and whacking me in the nose before the alarm goes off in the morning.
I started knitting him a scarf and had hoped to finish it before his other mom picked him up this evening. But I only got half way done. I’d hope to teach him a few chords of guitar, but mostly he just strummed along and got used to the feel and sound from the amp. We did manage to go ice skating. Made several of his favorite meals. Did a few craft projects together. Practiced some new math and reading skills. Finished reading “Ramona the Pest.” Almost managed to finish reading “Ramona and Her Mother.” Stayed up late on a Friday and/or Sunday night. Sleep late on Saturday and/or Sunday morning. Went to visit the grandparents in NYC. Had a playdate in Brooklyn. Went to a buddy’s birthday party. Had a movie night with my gf. Enjoyed a snow day and went exploring in the wooded area of the nearby park.
And I realized that I was on my own for two and a half weeks. Just me solely responsible for everything. No time off. No break. No partner at home to share responsibility with. With the shared custody and split week, I can usually shovel off household stuff (laundry, dishes, house cleaning, groceries) to when he’s not here. But I couldn’t do that this time or else we’d eventually run out of food and clean underwear before the 2 1/2 weeks were up. Co-parenting is difficult, especially when you think the other person may be a great parent but also an asshole and it becomes hard sometimes to separate the two. But co-parenting also means that I get periodic breaks from being a single mom. Breaks to not just do the household stuff but also breaks to take a breath. Parenthood, single or not, can be joyous and brain melting all in the same second. I swear there are things he does that make me want laugh AND bang my head on the table. Not every parent gets a break and many do not even allow themselves a break. (Psst! Subliminal message: take an effing break!) This extended time with my son has been glorious, and we’ve fostered new connections and learned a lot about one another. It has helped us to have a better relationship. But at the same time, the breaks help me to be a better parent. I can think through situations, catch my breath, and use the time to make time for him.
My brain makes all that crap sound reasonable. But my heart that misses him is calling bullshit.