My soul mate has left me. And I want to applaud the single mums.
Our arrival back in Australia was busy and hard work. We had a garage full of stuff in our old house we wanted to go through and decided the easiest method would be to do so from the actual house so we moved back into our original abode, albeit temporarily.
We were barely there for a week when Josh received bad news that his father in Israel had taken a turn for the worse. It was a Tuesday and Josh decided he needed to be there and Wednesday morning at 3am I drove him to the airport and he was gone.
Oh, big deal you say. Well yes, it was actually, because you need to imagine other then those 3 days I was press tripping Ireland, Josh and I had spent every hour of every day with each other for the last 574 days of travel. That’s 13,776 hours!
Josh has been my soul mate since we were 16 - that’s when we had our first date. We spent some 5 years dating before marrying at 21. Since 1997 I have spent only ONE Christmas away from him, the year I moved to London. That’s 15 Christmases.
And here we are 2013 and my first Christmas without him in 11 years. It is hard. But he is in the place he needs to be at the time he needs to be. And thankfully I am in my own home back in Australia with my family and friends here for support.
So how am I surviving my dramatic thrust into single mum-hood, my parenting challenge?
1) Accept Help
You will get plenty of moments in time to wear your Wonder Woman undies. This might not be one of them. I am aware of my limitations and accepting help where needed. Use it to have a night off or to clean or to shop for the kids Christmas presents. Don’t be worried about being a burden or embarrassed about your needs. Your friends and family would not offer if they didn’t mean it and well, if they didn’t mean it then they will soon learn they shouldn’t be so blasé ever again.
2) Keep Busy
My kids and I become cranky if we stay home and watch TV all day. We are filling our days with activities and fun. Making Christmas paper chains, heading to the beach, play dates. Did you know there are a number of activities out there that offer free trials? So we are taking this opportunity for them to try things – karate, gymnastics, swimming, and dancing.
3) Have Days Off
How contradictory to staying busy, but even a day off is needed when being a single mum. Do allow the kids a day to rest, stay in, drive you insane a little, because it is those moments that make the going out so much more enjoyable!
4) Stay Connected
Whether it’s to your mum, your sister, your best friend or your man, stay connected. Josh and I still skype every day and viber before I go to bed- it’s like he’s still in the room with me. I also have a friend who calls me daily to make sure I am okay. I love her for that, she is so thoughtful and am stoked to have such a lady in my life.
5) Create A Community
Recently at the beach I noticed a lot of women in herds or packs. It was a school day so there was the odd couple here and there, but mainly women. While staying connected to your love ones is important, strive to make new connections too. Go out on play dates with mums whose husbands are at work, visit those girlfriends whose boyfriends are FIFO (Fly-in-Fly-out refers to a term used for people who work in the mines for a couple weeks and then are home for one week). Find other single mums who love to share dinner, have sleepovers, share tasks or day-care roles.
I am no single mum expert, but these are the 5 things that have been my lifeline during my new single period in time. Josh may be gone for 1 or 2 months, but whenever he get’s back he won’t find no shy, crazed cat lady. He will find Wonder Woman!
It's not all hard work, read our sister post on my 5 awesome perks being away from hubby.