Mommy Wars: Single Mom vs. SAHM

So I found the trusty husband…turns out he’s in Minnesota. And evidently I took him to the airport. Not sure how I could have missed that. Oh yeah! It’s because I went two days without a coffee pot. In his defense we did get a new coffee maker last night. I kinda left you hanging on that last one. The trouble is that he made us go to the Mega-Lo Mart with him to find it. I hate the Mega-Lo Mart. But by gawd we were not leaving that store without a new coffee maker. My husband is not only the plague upon all cars, but upon all coffee makers too. When we were living in Kansas City we only had a French press. One morning he broke the French Press. All was not lost as we had a single cup French Press that was our emergency back-up. The next day… he broke that one too. In the situation this weekend, I would not normally have been to worried, but the Russians broke our back-up French Press this time. It made it to Russia, but never made it home. It came out of the suitcase decimated glass dust. However, all is well. I have a new coffee maker (not nearly as good as the old one) and I didn’t actually kill my husband. I just shipped him off to Minnesota. Almost as bad.

This brings me to a very important subject…

For the next 3 days I am on my own. Derek went to a work conference and left me high and dry. My parting words to him at the airport were, “I’ll never forgive you for leaving me.” I don’t want to say I’m going to be a single mom this week. That just ain’t true. Single moms get to go to work each day.

As a SAHM (Derek quit snickering) I get no break. When my husband goes out of town I am with my child 24/7. Except the quick 2-3 hour break I get Wednesday when my MIL comes while I run to the church for my few hours a month. A single mom typically has a child in school or daycare part of the day, thus getting a break. As a SAHM I get my breaks at night. The husband bathes the child, entertains the child, and even sometimes puts him to bed. When he’s out of town… I do it all. I am “on duty” from the second the boy starts jumping in his bed in the morning to the second he stops rocking and falls asleep. It is non-stop.

I don’t envy the single mom. I appreciate my husband every second of the day. Without him I would surely go nuts. I am just saying that what gets me is when SAHMs complain that they are a “single mom” when their husbands are out of town. Get real ladies. We get the shaft in these cases. Put on the big girl panties and do like I do… eat a whole package of ice cream sandwiches and buy the big ass bottle of wine, because girl, its another two days, three hours, three minutes and six, five four three… until my husband comes home.

15 Comment

  1. I don’t think I could be a single mom. Ok, if Hubby died and I *had* to, I’d do it, but I’d hate every minute of it. But you’re right, SAHMs never get a break, day in, day out. I love being home with my kids, but some times I envy Husband going off to work, having adult conversations and getting pats on the back for every little thing he does.
    Hope the time flies for you and your Hubby is home (and giving you a much needed break!) soon!

  2. Rhonda says: Reply

    Oh yes. Most definitely get out the wine.

    B is gone 1/3 of the time. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is. Oh how I hate it when that phone rings on the day he’s supposed to come home. It means he’s not coming in for at least another day. I buy a bottle of wine before every shift.

    The first shift after the adoption, I cried when I picked him up from the airport, I was so happy to see him. All of that time with both kids and no break was so hard. Its better now, especially with Bonnie in preschool.

    You’re right, its true that it makes me appreciate him so much when he’s home. And also? I don’t feel one bit guilty taking my time away when he’s here.

    Single moms are angels, that’s all I have to say.

  3. hopingforgirl says: Reply

    DH was out-of-town a couple times recently, the 1st time was 5 days to TX, and I THOUGHT I WOULD LOSE IT BY THE END lol… i was thinking the exact same thing, HOW do single mothers do it?? they are TOUGH!

    then his grandfather passed away recently and he was gone only 3 days, with DS2 and actually it was a nice break even though of course i was SO happy to see DS2 when they got back, i made a beeline STRAIGHT for the baby!! 😉

    i won’t even mention how long he will be gone on his next venture, or when, but let’s just say i WON’T be happy!! it will be the longest yet :/

  4. Jessica says: Reply

    I completely understand! It’s hard being a SAHM, but worth it in the end. There are days I will call my husband and ask if we can put the kids in day care so that I can go back to work full time. Then I think about two of the three jobs I’ve had working for other people since graduation. I’ll stay home, thank you very much! Kids may scream, throw tantrums, throw stuff, throw food,and get into everything possible, but in the end, they are your kids, not your boss and/or coworkers, and you are the rule maker (or co-rule maker), and you can teach your kids to be polite and use common courtesy, whereas most adults get annoyed with those gentle lessons! More importantly, I enjoy being a SAHM; I have my days, but we also have our moments: Quin has discovered that he can “tickle” me, and loves to do so when I’m nursing Gretchen. It doesn’t really tickle, but I swear he sticks his hands in the freezer before tickling me!

    And no, I didn’t reverse “days” and “moments” in the above paragraph!

    As for potty training, I’ve been told boys figure it out later then girls, but we’ve also been hot, then cold, and now lukewarm. I really didn’t want two kids in diapers, but that’s what happened! Is there a toddler class (pre-preschool) that helps teach them? That’s one reason I wanted Quin to go to his Montessori school: they help with potty training. We’ve just left the potty seat in the bathroom, and talked about the process. No actual successes to date, but when he was “hot,” he pooped a couple of times on the potty with his diaper on. Best of luck! I think I’ll try the sunscreen and bug dope approach: strip them naked and let them run around outside during the summer, with the potty outside in a convenient location!

  5. Jessica says: Reply

    Oh, and I feel for Derek: I remember when you had to go coffee free in college! I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so… crabby! *wink, wink*

  6. I completely understand. Been there — at home with tiny ones while my husband went off to multiple-day conferences where he got to stay in a hotel, eat at restaurants, be with adults. I’m still kind of bitter. And that’s why I feel no guilt in plotting to run away to Vegas with a girlfriend for a couple days this fall. Girls only. No kids. A bit of a sanity-returning holiday. I’ve waited 7 years for this …

  7. NEAL says: Reply

    tacomachickadee’s earned it.

  8. Jessica says: Reply

    Tacomachickadee – I would love to hear how your girls only event goes! A couple of friends and I keep talking about it, but with a new little one on the scene, it won’t be happening for a while. I also get bitter when my husband leaves for a while, and am fortunate that it doesn’t happen often. (Although he will occasionally push my panic button and mention a 4-6 week required training program in Oklahoma – he is a turkey!)

  9. This is why I’ve been a woman on the edge for the past 6 weeks. I didn’t sign up to be a single mom – 24/7 for 6 weeks is just wrong. I think there is a clause in the Geneva convention about it. Yes, I love her with every fiber of my being…but if my husband doesn’t get his butt to Guatemala soon and let me hand her off for 20 min there is no telling what he might find when he arrives. Heh.

  10. Jessica — Patience, and then do it! This escapade is the joint celebration of my girlfriend finishing nursing school (a career shift), and me being officially done nursing babies (a life change). All the kids are at least 2 now … otherwise it would not be happening. I’ll make sure to share ALL about it when it happens … I still can’t believe it’s almost time. We’ve been plotting this for years. And now it’s actually time to start PLANNING. Weird.

  11. Wendy says: Reply

    Kids are like dogs. They can sense when you are afraid, worn out and at the end of your rope. Don’t let the boy smell your fear! He will terrorize you for those three days then act the perfect angel the moment trusty hubby walks in the door. How do you think I got this twitch????

  12. Jenny says: Reply

    I think you are quite brave with all you have taken on, and this is a great post.

  13. Heather says: Reply

    You will get through it 🙂 If you want to hang with the kids, give me a call :)…..remember last year at this time you weren’t a “SAHM”. Enjoy this one on one time with your son 🙂

  14. serena says: Reply

    oh no are the single moms and the sahm really at war? I would like to think we are all together on this rocky boat called motherhood (single mom here) 🙂

    Elle you are totally correct, when you are at home, you are ON 24/7. No breaks. Staying at home is harder in my opinion. However, I’d love to be doing that. I do grieve for the time away from my child. But I do enjoy going to the bathroom by myself that my job allows. 😉

    Best wishes for your solo time! Find a fred meyer that has kiddieland. Is he too young for Ikea smallworld?
    Serena

  15. I have four kids and my DH has never once taken the kids at night (bath, playing and putting to bed) so I could have a break by myself at home.

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