Husbands are wonderful creatures, aren’t they? They’re warm. They’re fun to talk to. They always have intriguing thoughts to share. And, they help out with dinner prep, childcare, and pet duty. At least that’s what Mr. MMM does in our house. And believe me, I truly appreciate him. So when he told me he had to travel to the opposite end of the country for the entire month of January, I felt a weird “Oh No” twinge in my gut. Nonetheless, I have plenty of years of being single and running the household under my belt. I had this. And I did. But, I much prefer having him around. Our house is a little less scheduley (I am making that an official MMM word) and a lot more fun when he’s home. In light of my survival, I’d like to dedicate this post to Great Husbands, Wives, Boyfriends, and Girlfriends, Everywhere!
The Build Up
Mr. MMM and I really do march to the beat of our own (frugal) drummer. When we realized his departure date was fast approaching, we devised a list, and then another list, and finally a third, finalized list. We ordered all the groceries that Mini and I would need for the month and had them delivered. Read all about how we manage to save money by ordering our groceries online here.
After the groceries were set, we made up a schedule for Mini. School nights were to go something like this: homework, dinner, bath, TV, then bed. Weekends were a free-for-all. Mr. MMM also set me up with the neighbors just in case it snowed. He asked them if they could help me with snow blowing the driveway if we had anything substantial. I’m not sure he realizes I had 5 years of shoveling the driveway all alone – without any help from the same neighbors. Did I mention how much I love him yet? Fortunately, and unbelievably, we didn’t have any measurable snow during his stint in Cali. Phew.
I was all set to also have help from my mom. Mom would help me put Mini on or get her off the bus so I could put in full days at work. She would also help out here and there if I needed to have a break. Woot! Moms rock!
The day came before we had a chance to digest what was actually happening. This was the first time since we had moved in together and exchanged vows that I was alone.
Lucky for us, we have a wonderful friend who was willing to pick Mr. MMM up at 5am and drive him 2 hours to the airport. I would’ve certainly done this, however, I would’ve had to wake up myself and Mini. We would’ve been exhausted all day – she doesn’t take naps. And if she isn’t going to nap, you know damn well I’m not going to nap. Probability suggests – it just would’ve been a really bad day. So, we opted to take our friend up on his offer and things went off without a hitch.
Of course, I am no stranger to being alone. So this wasn’t going to be anything I couldn’t handle. Easy peasy. Right?
Well, not so fast. There were a series of unfortunate events that triggered a domino effect for the entire month. It was NOT easy peasy. And I realized just how much Mr. MMM means to me and how much easier he makes daily living.
How It Really Went Down
Now, let me reiterate, I am NO stranger to being alone. I lived for the better part of a decade as a solo cat. And I LOVED it. I really cannot express how much I enjoyed living alone and exploring who I was and figuring out what I really wanted. It was a wonderful time in my life and I feel fortunate to have had that experience.
I quickly settled back into single parent mode. Things were humming along.
THEN, my mom got sick. Really sick. She has some muscle issues and was unable to lift her arms above her shoulders. Yikes! This meant, not only was I not getting ANY help from my mom, I was also having to help her. I was doing her laundry, picking up medicines, and making sure she had groceries. This is the perfect example of not knowing what you got till it’s gone. Wow, was it tough without my mom.
Because my mom got sick, I had to rearrange my work schedule. This was vital so I could work from home a few hours each day in order to cover bus drop-off and pick-up. Then there were the early dismissals, in-service days, and day off for ice. Thank goodness I have a decade under my belt with my current employer. They were flexible in allowing me to adjust my schedule and take vacation days to cover Mini’s schedule.
Kudos goes out to all the single parents kickin’ it out there. I KNOW how difficult it is from past experience. This month proved to be an unpleasant reminder.
Aside from the schedule inconveniences, I was able to really step back and realize that, although I can do it all, it’s better when I don’t have to. I’m a better parent when I don’t have to do it all. When I do it all, I’m focused on getting tasks done and not enjoying the moment. I’m more manager and less mommy. And I never did like management ;)
Mini and I did have awesome weekends together, if you don’t count the one Sunday I had to work for 9 hours at home on actual W2 stuff. We cannot hit our FIRE goal fast enough!
Since we’re currently experiencing the doldrums of winter here in the northeast, Mini and I mostly hung out in our family room by the fire. Hooray for making our our current house our dream home! Money well spent. I showed her movies I thought she’d love. Last weekend we watched Annie for the first time. It has always been a great memory of mine with my mother, so I felt the necessity to pass along the magic…because it really can be a hard knock life! I also taught her to play a few card games and Monopoly. She was really digging the real estate thing. And I couldn’t have been more proud *tear*. We cooked together, we cleaned together, and we played together. She also got a glimpse of what it’s like to manage a house.
Truth be told, Mr. MMM isn’t home yet. I have the pleasure of picking him up from the airport this Friday morning! Mini and I are planning to make a welcome home poster to hang on the garage. We might even go the extra mile and bake some cupcakes. Man, does he ever have a sweet tooth!
I cannot wait to have my better half back! Finally, we can take walks together again. We can drink coffee together again. We can binge Netflix together again. We can be goofballs together again. We can smoke hookah together again – hehe. We can tag team LIFE together again. Most importantly, I can take an afternoon nap again. And it’s going to be so awesome.
How do you manage your household? Are you footloose and fancy free? Or do you have a partner in crime? Do you take care of furry kids? What about the human kind? We’d love to hear how you handle your daily grind! Don’t be shy, leave a comment!
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